Zarafa: The Lowdown

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Well- Zarafa. Where to start? It’s to Zarafa’s credit that even the most hardened of safari experts consistently have Zarafa somewhere near the top of their safari wish list. It’s ravishingly beautiful, very exclusive, and while it does come with a fairly significant price tag, we think Zarafa is worth it.

What’s Zarafa really like?

Zarafa has just four beautiful marquee-style rooms – the camp calls them “tented villas” and looking at the size of them we can see why. Each has a deck for admiring the wetlands in front of camp, a plunge pool, outdoor shower and a seating area to hide away from the world. The décor is (deluxe) settler-style with polished wooden floors, rich red rugs, comfortable leather chairs and desperately lovely copper baths. Owners Dereck and Beverly Joubert are well known wildlife photographers so each room’s supplied with a Canon camera body and lenses, Swarovski binos for you to use during your stay and a telescope for serious star gazing. The main part of the camp is no less luxurious, though the feel is relaxed- you shoudn’t expect any starchy formality here. Meals are usually fun and communal and food is excellent- Zarafa was the first Relais and Chateaux camp in Botswana. As well as the sitting area, bar and dining room, Zarafa also has a “jungle gym” and a good souvenir shop stocked with treasures to bring home.

What can I do at Zarafa?

Activities at Zarafa focus on day and night game drives- more often on the open grasses than in the denser mopane woodland where the wildlife is more difficult to spot. Game drives are usually shared, but we can also arrange a private vehicle at an extra cost for you. Guided walking safaris are also an option for those who want a feeling of total immersion into the bush, and the boat safaris on the Zibadianja Lagoon are one of the most blissful ways to end a day that we can imagine.

Giving back at Zarafa:

Zarafa does much to ensure its footprint on the world is small- much of the wood you’ll see in camp is recycled, electricity is solar powered, water is filtered to reduce the need for plastic bottles and your game drive vehicle is run on a mixture of diesel and vegetable oil.

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