Editors' Picks

Zarafa Camp

Luxurious, authentic, conservation-focused

Zarafa Camp, Botswana

+27 87-354-6591

See Website

Indagare Adored

At a Glance

Like its sister property, Selinda Camp, Zarafa Camp is also set in the Selinda Reserve, but on the banks of Zibadianja Lagoon, rather than on a river. Here, too, guests can split their time between safari jeep game drives, bushwalks on foot and boating trips on the nearby waterways to see hippos and crocodiles. The five air-conditioned tented suites (including the separate two-bedroom Dhow Suite) are spacious and feature design elements like freestanding copper bathtubs and wooden doors imported from Zanzibar. The setting here, however, steals the show and all areas are designed to highlight the surrounding nature— each suite has an outdoor shower, private pool and deck with views of the lagoon. It’s no wonder why Great Plains Conservation founders Dereck and Beverly Joubert themselves lived in the Selinda Reserve for years.

**The Standout:** A picnic lunch on the Zibadianja Lagoon aboard the HES Zib, the camp’s comfortable pontoon boat **Don’t Miss:** Learning about Zarafa’s “leave no trace” sustainability efforts: one of the first properties in Botswana to run on solar power, the camp is designed to be low-impact

Indagare Loves

  • Entire-day game drives with picnic brunch in the bush
  • Sunset pontoon cruises and sundowners
  • The commitment to Great Plains Academy, which offers scholarships and training in conservation


With its four tents and a two-bedroom villa, Zarafa Camp offers one of the most exclusive experiences in all of Botswana. The unique property pays extraordinary attention to detail, and the décor, food and warm staff are all of the highest order. Located in the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve, Zarafa affords visitors incredible vistas of the Zibadianja Lagoon.

The first Relais & Chateaux property in Botswana, Zarafa exemplifies exclusivity and precision. Part of the Great Plains Conservation foundation, and owned by National Geographic photographers Derek and Beverly Joubert, Zarafa was designed to be the essential safari experience. The details in each of the 1,000-square-foot open-plan tents are perfect, from the private plunge pools and leather-bound minibars to the recycled hardwood chests and copper gas fireplaces.

The Dhow Suites cater to two couples or a family of five. Located next to the Zarafa property, the two-bedroom, double-decked mega tent has a central living area, extensive deck and pool and comes with its own chef and staff. Zarafa’s sister property, Selinda Camp, is located about 30 minutes away, and offers a similar intimate experience.

The Linyanti area boasts wetlands and a spectacular diversity of species, from the resident lions and wild dogs to the large elephant population. Activities include game drives during the day and night, guided wildlife bush walks and boating on the property’s pontoon. In between activities, guests can enjoy in-room massages or ride one of the stationary bikes on the open-air gym platform (one of the machines can be moved into your tent upon request). The food at Zarata is incredible, and the chef creates gourmet menus based on guests' personal preferences.

Conservation and community outreach are essential to the Great Plains Foundation, and Zarafa has led the charge with its green initiatives as one of the first luxury properties to be powered exclusively by solar energy.

Who Should Stay

Those looking for an intimate safari setting or lodge takeover

Written by Indagare

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