The Zarafa Dhow Suites is an intimate, two room exquisite tented villa located on the 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, an area linking the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. Few properties rival the location of this little gem built entirely under canvas, as one of the largest tents ever built on the continent. The Suites are located adjacent to Zarafa Camp, Botswana’s first and only Relais & Chateaux property. Overlooking the crystal waters of Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the famous Savute Channel, every area of camp has a magnificent view. The lagoon is also the water source for a tremendous population of wildlife – dry season sightings boast buffalo and elephant by the hundreds.
Zarafa is the brainchild of the founders of Great Plains Conservation, who pooled their collective experience on safari to create what they deemed to be the best and most environmentally innovative camp. The villa, 210 square metre (2,260 sq ft) in extent, is under beige, flowing canvas, with canopy ceilings and completely open (yet netted) sides. Entering through the heavy wood Lamu door transports guests to a lavish space of deep reds, browns, brass and copper, evoking richness and beauty. Central to the Dhow Suites are a full lounge and dining area fitted dining table, coffee table with cappuccino machine and a full-length leather couch and chairs.
Selinda Reserve, at the crossroads of some of northern Botswana’s most prolific wildlife areas, boasts staggering wildlife populations year-round. Home to some of the classic species, such as leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, Red lechwe, zebra and giraffe, it is also a refuge for some of the more uncommon species such as African wild dog (which usually den each dry season near camp), cheetah, roan and sable. And for birders, it will not disappoint. Our nearby African skimmer colony is a highlight, as are the antics of the Black egret on the shores of Zibadianja Lagoon. From camp, hippos are visible in the Lagoon and elephant wander through regularly. Night noises will either lull you to sleep or wake you from a deep slumber. It is an exciting area, and guests are in the heart of a wilderness wonderland.