Zarafa Dhow Suites, a lost realm of lush African Marshlands in the Ovakango
In the northern part of Botswana, where the borders of Zambia, Nambia, and Angola all come together, a gigantic water catchment collects all the rains and rivers from the surrounding countries and forms a vast, fertile marshland called the Okavango Delta. This huge wetland is crowded with African wildlife of all kinds, as they follow the rains each season, and it has earned the title of one of Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. Technically an oasis, the Okavango is also home to many villages scattered about its higher terrain. In the lowlands, the flooding in the wet season, from December to February, sometimes swamps 15,000 square kilometers. Throughout the year, the waters are deep enough to accommodate 71 species of fish, 400 types of birds, as well as the thousands of elephants that roam the region. Lions hunt the lechwe antelope, and hippos and water buffalo relax in the heat. In the midst of all this lively beauty the Great Plains Conservation group has established the Selinda Game Reserve.
Created by award-winning wildlife filmmakers Derek and Beverly Joubert, the group, along with its charitable Foundation, exists to create awareness and promote the preservation of one of Africa’s hard-pressed natural treasures. To this end, they have constructed several deluxe Safari Camps in the Selinda arm of the Delta, highlighted by the Zarafa Dhow Suites of the Zarafa Camp. Located on a peninsula beneath the spreading arms of a great stand of ebony trees alongside the Zibadianja Lagoon, featuring large verandas with outstanding views in all directions, and offering bespoke tours of the surrounding region, the Zarafa Dhow Suites will provide guests with exemplary luxury service in untamed Africa.
Deluxe Amenities in the African Wilderness
The Zarafa Camp, a Relais and Chateau property, consists of one intimate group of four tents, designed to adapt to all local weather and enjoying full luxury amenities, and one private Villa, the Dhow Suites. Serving a maximum for four adults and one child, the Dhow Suites comprises two large tents, in “marquis” style canvas, with two bedrooms and private main area, offering an expansive 2,200 square feet of space, operating independently of main camp. Guests enter through the Zanzibari doors, and the tents are secured by well-carpentered local woodwork, with wood floors and decking. Powered by its own solar farm, the Dhow Suites features a plunge pool and gym, copper bathtubs, and outdoor shower. At the heart of each Dhow Suite, a lovely dining area and lounge encourage relaxing evenings, surrounded by the deep reds and browns of the furnishings. Many guests also enjoy a fine cocktail on the wrap-around verandas. Spa services can be booked in-room on a bespoke basis, and access to 4×4 vehicles is included in the services of each suites.
Taking in the Ovakango in Bespoke Comfort
During your stay at the Zarafa Dhow Suites, you will be able to enjoy the sights of the great animals of Africa relaxing in their natural habitat. When water levels are high enough, the camp boat, the “HMS Zib,” will offer bespoke lagoon cruises, and every booking at the suites includes the services of a guide, along with a 4×4 vehicle. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to join the Jouberts as they continue their work in film, and bespoke helicopter tours of the area can be easily arranged. At the Dhow Suites, your private chef will prepare a fine dining supper on the veranda, and as the sun goes down, you might enjoy a drink as you watch a baboon stand sentinel over the troops below. Zarafa Dhow Suites will give you a look at the African wilderness from a time before man ruled the earth, and it might be the most beautiful sight you see for some time to come.