Although it consists of only four immaculate tents for eight guests at a time, Zarafa Camp has thought of everything: each enormous tent is equipped with personal Swarovski binoculars, a high-powered Nikon telescope for stargazing, a blazing gas fire for cool nights and a Canon 5D SLR camera for capturing a rare red lechwe or African skimmers in flight. Not to mention private plunge pools, indoor and outdoor showers, and quirky 1940s crank phones for making drinks orders…
All this luxury is ameliorated by Zarafa Camp’s commitment to being as green as possible. The solar farm supplies electricity, waste is recycled into ‘bio gas’ that used for cooking and the tents have been constructed from canvas and recycled hard woods. Even their raised platforms have been built from reused 100-year old teak railway sleepers.
Because it is so intimate, the schedule at Zarafa Camp is very flexible, allowing guests their own timetable and adapting to the ebb and flow of wildlife. Completely ‘unplugged’, its setting on the remote Zibalianja Lagoon in the Selinda Reserve allows for spectacular sightings of elephant, a variety of antelope and thrilling predators such as African wild dogs and cheetah. It is no wonder ‘Zarafa’ means ‘beloved’ or ‘lovely one’ in Arabic.
The main tent – resonant with deep reds, rich brown and warm coppers – comprises a cosy lounge, a well-stocked library, and an elegant bar and dining area. The sprawling viewing decks has spectacular views of the Zibalianja Lagoon – ideal for capturing the classic ‘laughing hippo’ snap.
Zarafa Camp also has a ‘jungle gym’ for those wanting to stay in shape and a thoughtfully-stocked memento shop so you can take a little piece of Botswana home with you. At night, curl up next to the roaring fire pit and prick your ears for the distant roaring of a lion pride.
The 4x4’s have been custom adapted to suit photographers and the pontoon’s deck is a great place to while away an afternoon with fly-fishing, birding (look out for black egrets, cousins to the ubiquitous white egrets) or just relaxing with chilled sundowners.