Located near the Zibadianja lagoon, Zarafa can easily lay claim to the most exclusive, intimate and beautiful camp in Botswana.
With just four marquee-style tents, on raised decks made from reclaimed teak railroad sleepers and Indonesian mahogany, they are designed to soak up the magnificent vistas in style.
Inside, the combination of Oriental fabrics, deep copper claw-foot baths and soft leather chairs sets the scene, with the open sided (yet netted) canvas walls, keeps the feeling light and airy.
The extensive decking around the suites themselves are the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of something chilled from the leather and brass drinks cabinet, before a dip in the private pool, to keep you cool during the heat of the day. The main lounge area is reached through a thick Zanzibari door and is built around a palm island, under the canopy of a magnificent ebony tree, overlooking the floodplain savannah with the surrounding lagoon providing a cool breeze.
Activities here are as personal as the camp. Night and day game drives are excellent, including two custom made land cruisers specially designed for photography with raised roofs, photographic bars and individual bucket seats, with the lodge even providing a Canon 100-400mm lens for every guest. Getting out of the vehicle to enjoy the excellent walks is also a wonderful way to explore the area in addition to the special pontoon boat, river safaris and catch and release fishing on offer. The wildlife here is excellent (in particular wild dog) and the mix of wet and dry habitat, offers a diversity of flora and fauna that is hard to beat.
Why we like it
Zarafa takes its name from the giraffe that was gifted to Charles X of France by the Viceroy of Egypt in 1826, translated from Arabic as “the beloved one”. The care and attention taken by the owners, renowned wildlife filmmaker Dereck Joubert and his wife, photographer Beverly, in designing the lodge clearly shines through, resulting in one of the most exciting, luxurious and personal lodges in Africa.