Zarafa Camp, overlooking the Zibadianja Lagoon, evokes a sense of old-style safari with its four large, luxuriously appointed double or twin ‘marquis style’ tents. At a maximum of eight guests, the emphasis here is on individual hospitality and privacy. Each generous tent and veranda is positioned under cool and shady trees to emphasise the spectacular view and comprises a spacious bedroom, en-suite bathroom, a copper bath and shower as well as outdoor shower.
The main area is furnished in the same ‘campaign’ style as the tents and evokes the traditional safari ambiance of the turn of the last century. Lounge and dining facilities may be enjoyed under canvas or on the full-length deck shaded by giant broad-leafed trees – overlooking the expansive view and the wildlife that passes by. The camp is perfect for those who favour a more intimate personal experience or those who prefer the entire camp for their own, exclusive use.
Activities at Zarafa Camp are flexible to suit guests’ particular interests and include morning, afternoon and night game drives with experienced professional guides in custom-built 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers. Short guided nature walks from camp are encouraged, to introduce guests to some of Africa’s less prominent wildlife. Siesta time can also be spent in the sunken hide at the waterhole’s edge.
All of the Chobe wildlife is present at Zarafa with a varied bird and mammal community. Abundant plains game can be found here including lechwe, kudu, buffalo, zebra and giraffe. It is also a predator-rich reserve including cheetah, wild dog, lion, and leopard. The massive herds of elephant are another highlight while a wide variety of birds – some 300 or more – can be seen
ACCOMMODATION: This breathtaking camp has four large and luxuriously appointed double or twin “marquis style” canvas tents that accommodate a maximum of 8 guests. It is the perfect camp for small groups who are looking for privacy combined with superb accommodation and great wildlife viewing (often directly from ones bed!). Each of the spacious tented rooms is expansive and is close on 100 square meters in size (or around 1000 square feet). Each one of the tents tent is positioned along the edge of the forests to take advantage of the spectacular view over the floodplains and savannas, while offering cool shade.
Each tent comprises a spacious bedroom, an en-suite bathroom with copper bath & shower (as well as an additional outdoor shower for those who prefer the outdoors). The adjoining, comfortable lounge with its private pool rounds off our guest accommodation. A large shady veranda is standard as are overhead fans, flowing and seductive mosquito nets, and a beautiful handcrafted copper fireplace, strategically placed between the bathroom and bedroom for the winter months. The furniture has been designed and handcrafted by Don Young and his team specifically for Zarafa Camp and is made from recycled ancient hardwoods.
Zarafa Camp Game Viewing
At Zarafa the intimacy of the camp’s size allows for an extremely private all round experience hosted by Stuart, Tessa and Rose, while you are guided by Dukes and Steven.
Drives usually start at dawn and take a small break for brunch and possibly a siesta in the heat of the day unless there is something extraordinary happening in the bush. In the afternoon we like to get out as it cools and to make best use of the “softening” light.
As this is a private concession we are not restricted by park rules, so walks and night drives can be arranged.
Wildlife in this area varies slightly from that at Selinda in that this camp is very close to the lagoon and the source of the Savute Channel. The view from camp is breathtaking and at the lagoon itself huge schools of hippo gather and crocodiles slide into the water as you approach scaring off water birds in great variety and abundance. While you are tucked into your bed at night, you will be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the lagoon’s hippos.
Elephant are common around Zarafa Camp, with densities during the dry season on a par with those of the Chobe National Park. At the peak of our dry winter months, we have counted around 9000 elephants in The Selinda Reserve.
The lions that hunt hippos (the “surfing lions”) are part of what has made this region famous. Their skill at hunting these huge animals is legendary. There is also the chance for the “spotted predators”. The open plains are ideal habitat for cheetah while leopard viewing is rewarding when they are encountered.
One of Africa’s most endangered predators, the Wild Dog, is usually resident and the Selinda pack frequently dens in close proximity to our camps.
Other common species include: buffalo (that sometimes congregate in huge herds numbering many thousand), giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, hyena, a variety of antelope including red lechwe, and the chance to spot a number of nocturnal species on our night drives.