Zarafa Dhow Suites is fittingly named: Zarafa means ‘the beloved one’ or ‘the lovely one’ in Arabic and these two private villas on the banks of the Zibadianja Lagoon in Botswana are both beloved and lovely.
The villas strike a careful balance between romance and adventure, with the opulent décor in reds, browns, brass and copper. They are strongly reminiscent of the richness and beauty of Africa, with more than a passing nod to its history - the decks are made of century-old teak railroad ties. Canopy ceilings fall to open sides for the best of the sensational views. Linking the two en suite bedrooms in each suite or villa is a lounge and dining area, fronted by a large deck and private swimming pool. A fire pit is a romantic place to sit in the evenings.
With no Internet or mobile reception, Zarafa Dhow Suites is a lavish retreat for friends or a family, secluded from other visitors and unplugged from the frenetic 21st century. It is a very private breakaway in remote northern Botswana that is situated in the private Selinda Reserve, overlooking the clear waters of Zibadianja Lagoon.
The lagoon attracts abundant wildlife – dry season sightings include buffalo and elephant by the hundreds – and the region links the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. It is at the crossroads of some of northern Botswana’s most prolific wildlife regions, with year-round sightings of leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, red lechwe, zebra and giraffe. The more uncommon species such as African wild dog, which usually den each dry season near camp, cheetah, roan and sable also call the area home.