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Zarafa Camp
Zarafa Camp
Zarafa Camp
Zarafa Camp
Zarafa Camp
Zarafa Camp
Zarafa Camp

About Zarafa Camp

Set within Botswana's private 1,350 km 2 Selinda Reserve, the intimate Zarafa Camp (formerly called Zibadianja) ...

... was completely relocated and rebuilt in 2008. It now occupies a scenic setting atop an ancient, slightly raised earth bank, beside the lagoons and floodplains, which stem from the Zibadianja Lagoon. It is one of Botswana's most exclusive, most beautiful and most costly camps.

Zarafa has succeeded in combining luxury and adventure in an exclusive yet informal setting. The camp is beautifully designed and well run, and goes the extra mile to cater for its guests' wishes. The new and even more exclusive Zarafa Dhow Suites are a good option for families or friends travelling together. If you're looking for indulgence, great game viewing, polished guiding and service, this is the place – albeit with a price tag to match. Though there's a good variety of wildlife here year round, the best time to visit is without doubt during the dry season, from June to October.

Accommodation
4 chalets & 1 Suite
Children
Best for 12+
Open
All year

Activities

4WD Safari

4WD Safari

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Boat trip

Guided walking safari

Guided walking safari

Helicopter

Helicopter

Mokoro

Mokoro

Night drive

Night drive

Safaris visiting Zarafa Camp

Just ideas, we'll always tailor-make a trip for you


Map

Reedbuck safari

8 days • 3 locations • 1 country
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Focussing on the Okavango Delta and combining the crème de la crème of Botswana’s camps – Zarafa, Vumbura Plains and Mombo – this is one of the finest safari experiences in Africa.

Visiting Moremi, Okavango Delta and 1 other area

US$14,490 - US$27,160 per person

Read more about the Reedbuck safari

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Traveller reviews of Zarafa Camp

13 real, un-edited reviews from Expert Africa's travellers.


100%
13 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
13
Good
0
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Mrs MfromSo. California

Arrived 30 Aug 2019, 3 nights

"Our favorite stay"

"This was our favorite lodge of the trip. …" Read Mrs M’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms & Mr PfromUSA

Arrived 5 Jun 2018, 3 nights

"Luxury Glamping in the Bush"

"Our experience at Zarafa was nothing short of magical! …" Read Ms & Mr P’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr TfromWeybridge

Arrived 31 Jul 2016, 3 nights

"Outstanding experience, up close and personal"

"Very small exclusive camp. Stunning water front position. Hippos and Elephants …" Read Mr T’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

The C familyfromSurrey

Arrived 15 Jul 2016, 5 nights

"Wow! Didn't want to leave even after 5 days!"

"This camp is something like, "Out of Africa"! Everything and everyone …" Read The C family’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Dr SfromCambrai

Arrived 4 Oct 2015, 4 nights

"Zarafa Camp review"

"Beautiful camp,awesome food,very good guide. We had a wonderful stay. …" Read Dr S’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Miss T & Mr HfromUK

Arrived 18 Jul 2015, 3 nights

"Perfection"

"Somewhere the minute you arrive you are already planning how you can return …" Read Miss T & Mr H’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mrs DfromBelgium

Arrived 15 Oct 2013, 2 nights

"Zarafa Camp review"

"Amaizing service in overall. You feel at home. The food is also gorgeous, …" Read Mrs D’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs DRfromN London

Arrived 31 Jul 2010, 3 nights

"Can life get any better?"

"Absolutely fantastic. All the same comments apply as with Vumbura. [Ed: …" Read Mr & Mrs DR’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs LfromMiddlesex

Arrived 25 Jul 2010, 3 nights

"Zarafa spectacular!"

"An amazing place to end a trip. Sheer luxury in the bush - but without ever …" Read Mr & Mrs L’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr H & Ms GfromLoughton

Arrived 15 Jul 2010, 3 nights

"Zarafa Camp review"

"Zerafa camp is relaxed and peaceful which helps bring you back down to earth …" Read Mr H & Ms G’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

See all Zarafa Camp reviews

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Zarafa Camp

Click an animal to see our traveller's success in sighting them.
How we work this out.


Buffalo

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Leopard

100% success

Lion

100% success

Roan antelope

100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success

Wildebeest

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Cheetah

50% success

Sable antelope

50% success

Aardvark

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Wild dog

0% success

Zarafa Camp's location

Look closer at the environment and surroundings of Zarafa Camp.


When to go to Kwando-Linyanti area

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Zarafa Camp in Kwando-Linyanti area


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Botswana in January

January is at the peak of Botswana’s rainy season. These rains are often in the evening and are short but heavy, with occasional thunderstorms. Temperatures will still be high but cooler than October–December. Animals are generally dispersed, and not easy to spot, with the best game viewing found in the north of Chief’s Island and on the eastern and southern sides of the Okavango Delta. January is also one of the best months to see the zebra and wildebeest migration in the Makgadikgadi salt pans and at Nxai Pan. Migratory birds abound throughout northern Botswana, along with a large number of breeding flamingos in the flooded salt pans. Rates are generally relatively low, making this a good time to visit on a budget.

  • Temperatures are still warm, with occasional thunderstorms
  • The bush feels alive; birdlife is at its most spectacular
  • Big game is dispersed
  • Zebra & wildebeest migration at its height
  • Availability in lodges and camps is often very good

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in January

Botswana in February

The weather in February is very similar to January, with heavy rain most days – often towards evening – and temperatures on the high side, albeit cooling off from the rains and surface water. Across northern Botswana, the landscape feels green and alive; insects and smaller animals are more easily seen, and many birds and animals are raising their young. However, the rains have created pools and waterholes in the bush and thicker vegetation and tall grass makes it trickier to spot larger animals. Further south, the game viewing is beginning to pick up in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Visitor numbers remain low, with attendant rates and availability in camps and lodges.

  • Temperatures still warm with occasional thunderstorms
  • Many animals with young; birdlife at its most spectacular
  • Big game is dispersed
  • Game viewing picking up in the Central Kalahari
  • Visitor numbers are low, so camp availability can be very good

Our view

This is not a great time to visit

Weather in February

Botswana in March

March usually sees Botswana’s main rains starting to tail off. Many days will be clear, with a strong sun raising temperatures. On some days clouds will build, and the late-afternoon may see a short thunderstorm. Across the country, the landscape is green and alive. Many birds and animals are finishing raising their young. Much of the migration is now moving north towards the Savute area or Chobe National Park, though thick vegetation still makes it trickier to spot even larger animals. March is one of the best times to be in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where many of the pans fill up and animals come to drink, closely followed by predators. With few visitors in most areas, rates may still be relatively low.

  • Variable weather: rains tailing off but still hot
  • Occasional small thunderstorms
  • Many animals finish raising their young; birdlife still spectacular
  • The best time to visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Few tourists visit during March, so rates often low

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in March

Botswana in April

During April the rains have usually stopped, though there may be still be the odd late downpour. This results in clear skies and a lovely green, lush landscape. Night-time temperatures usually start to drop during April with this being most noticeable in the Central Kalahari and the Makgadikgadi areas. The Central Kalahari is really coming into its own at this point and from April through to May/June the Savute region is a particular favourite of ours, with good predator/prey interaction. In much of northern Botswana, the camps are coming into their “shoulder” season, so rates are on the rise but still relatively low.

  • Evening temperatures cooling with just the odd shower
  • Northern Botswana is green and lush
  • Many animals still with young; good predator/prey interaction
  • Central Kalahari and Savute the best places for wildlife
  • A popular shoulder season time to book. Rates relatively low

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in April

Botswana in May

May is a very popular month to visit Botswana, often the last month of the “shoulder” season before camp rates hit their peak. While there is very little chance of rain, the annual floods from Angola are starting to make their way through the northern part of the Delta, and will eventually reach the majority of the Okavango late June. With cooler temperatures morning and evening, predator activity tends to be higher, although tall grasses can still obstruct game viewing. With cool crisp evenings, and the game viewing really picking up, this is the favourite time to visit for many of our team – and camp bookings throughout Botswana are snapped up quickly.

  • Cool mornings and evenings with little chance of rain
  • Game viewing is beginning to pick up
  • Predator activity increasing, though grasses still quite high
  • Last month of “shoulder” season for most camps
  • Availability goes quickly throughout Botswana

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in May

Botswana in June

June is the real start of the dry season. Temperatures are still cool in the morning and evenings with night-time temperatures sometimes reaching freezing, rising to 25–30 degrees Celsius during the day, with blue skies. Along with this comes a certain clarity to the air, favourable for serious photographers. Surface water and waterholes begin to dry up during this period and many animals begin to congregate around the remaining areas with water. Visibility is improving as the grass is beginning to die back, and game viewing is very good everywhere, with particular improvement in the Kwando–Linyanti areas. Not surprisingly, camp availability is becoming scarce and rates are high.

  • Warm, comfortable days; cold nights, morning & evenings
  • Air clarity favours serious photographers
  • Wildlife is gravitating to waterholes, making game-viewing productive
  • Grasses beginning to die back
  • Most camps are into peak season, with rates correspondingly high

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in June

Botswana in July

Evenings and mornings are still cool in July, and this combined with great game viewing makes it one of the most popular times to visit Botswana. Vegetation is really thinning out now making game easier to spot, with the few remaining waterholes attracting lots of wildlife. The north-eastern side of Chobe National Park, along the Chobe River, is also very rewarding, although this area can become very busy. Game viewing is extremely good in the Khwai areas, too, but again, this is a public area and – unlike in the private concessions of the Delta – vehicle numbers can be high. Camps are now very much into the peak season, and tend to be full.

  • Comfortable days; cold nights, morning & evenings
  • Game viewing very good as vegetation dies back and waterholes dry out
  • Chobe Riverfront and Khwai areas become very busy
  • Private concessions helps to avoid potentially high vehicle numbers
  • Now very much into peak season

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in July

Botswana in August

August is a popular time to visit Botswana, coinciding with the European summer holidays, and camp availability is difficult. Temperatures are generally cool at night, and comfortable during the day, although towards the end of the month they can rise above 35 degrees Celsius (albeit with low humidity). Cloudless skies bring spectacular star-gazing. Wildlife has congregated around the few remaining water sources, and much of the vegetation has now died back, so wildlife viewing tends to be varied and rewarding, particularly in the Okavango Delta. Depending on the rains in Angola this can also be one of the best times to see the delta floods at their peak.

  • Dry, warm days, with mainly cool nights
  • Cloudless skies with spectacular stars at night
  • A fantastic time for wildlife watching, particularly in the Okavango
  • Traditionally one of the best times to see the Delta in full flood
  • Peak season: so high rates and many lodges full

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in August

Botswana in September

September is another favourite month for some of our team members. Daytime temperatures are getting warmer, but nights remain cool. With the drier conditions, most of the greenery has faded from the landscape, and dust or even smoke create hazy conditions that aren’t great for photographers – though this does result in fantastic sunsets. This is another extremely good month for game viewing, with large numbers of elephant and buffalo congregating in the Chobe region and migrant birds begin to return to Botswana. Rates remain high – and availability correspondingly low.

  • Warmer days and cool nights
  • One of the best months for wildlife viewing
  • Large congregations of elephant & buffalo in the Chobe region
  • Hazy conditions less good for photographers, but brilliant sunsets
  • High season rates; many lodges & camps are full

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in September

Botswana in October

October is the one of the hottest months of the year, and usually one of the driest. Towards the end of the month the chances of rain can increase, and along with this can come greater humidity. The air is usually dry and hazy, making photography more challenging, but the lack of water and vegetation result in very good big-game viewing. Water levels are now much lower, so water-based activities such as boating, mokoro trips and fishing cease in many of the camps which are not on major tributaries.

  • Hot temperatures, with the chance of rain towards the end of the month
  • Great big-game viewing
  • Less opportunity for water activities in camps as floods recede
  • Hazy air not great for photographers
  • Final month of the peak season in camps

Our view

Fantastic: the very best time to visit

Weather in October

Botswana in November

November usually marks the end of the dry season in Botswana, when increasing temperatures drive a rise in humidity, sometimes culminating in the first rains. These are often short but very heavy showers in the late afternoon or during the night, and can be spectacular. The rains lower the temperatures slightly but bring a flush of green back into the dry landscapes. As waterholes in surrounding areas fill, wildlife will gradually begin to disperse as it is not restricted by the availability of water. November is a great time for birdwatching, with the arrival of many migrant birds. The first couple of weeks are very popular with travellers looking for great game viewing at lower rates as Botswana enters the “shoulder” season.

  • Hot in the middle of the day; sometimes humid
  • Heavy showers increasingly likely as the month progresses
  • Wildlife watching still good, but less reliable once it rains
  • Migrant birds start to arrive
  • “Shoulder” season brings mid-range rates in camps

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Botswana in December

The rains in Botswana have now started, bringing some respite to the high temperatures. Game viewing becomes harder as wildlife is more dispersed but great sightings can still be had in the right areas such as Khwai and the Kwara and Mombo concessions. Areas such as the Makgadikgadi Pans change completely with the salt pans becoming covered in a shallow layer of water attracting large numbers of breeding flamingos. Low-season rates at many camps are a draw.

  • Temperatures starting to fall from the highs of October/November
  • Very high chance of rain, usually large heavy storms for short periods
  • Flamingos return to breed at the Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Wildlife more dispersed, so game viewing more challenging
  • Typically low-season rates in the camps

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in December

Botswana fact file

Useful information and advice to help you prepare for a trip including Zarafa Camp


Other lodges in Kwando-Linyanti area

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

Within the vast Kwando Reserve, renowned for its wild dogs, Lagoon Camp offers excellent game viewing that focuses on predators.


94% (229 reviews)
Lebala Camp

Lebala Camp

With enthusiastic guides and trackers, Lebala – in a vast private reserve – is a particularly good camp for seeking wild dogs..


95% (174 reviews)
Selinda Camp

Selinda Camp

In an attractive area that is particularly rich in game between June and November, the luxurious Selinda Camp caters particularly well for photographers.


96% (66 reviews)
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau

DumaTau, in the private Linyanti Reserve, offers game drives, seasonal boat cruises and walks. Wildlife safaris here are quite seasonal, and are at their best during the height of the dry season, between June and October.


95% (47 reviews)
Linyanti Bush Camp

Linyanti Bush Camp

An increasingly rare find in Botswana, Linyanti Bush Camp blends relative simplicity with numerous activities and very good guiding.


89% (38 reviews)
Savuti Camp

Savuti Camp

For years the Savuti Channel ran dry, but it's now flowing again and this newly refurbished, 7-room lodge has pride of place to witness the spectacle.


97% (26 reviews)
Selinda Explorers Camp

Selinda Explorers Camp

The luxurious, traditional tented Selinda Explorers Camp offers a mix of walking, canoeing and game drives led by really top notch guides in a game-rich area.


96% (17 reviews)
Motswiri Camp

Motswiri Camp

Motswiri is a super little camp with just five tents, each overlooking the Selinda Spillway. Come especially for walking, birdwatching, canoeing and horseriding safaris.


99% (16 reviews)
Kings Pool

Kings Pool

King’s Pool is a top-end luxury safari camp with a price tag to match; the game viewing can be very good during the dry season.


71% (7 reviews)
Linyanti Ebony

Linyanti Ebony

Independently owned and run, the small Linyanti Ebony sits on the same site as Linyanti Bush Camp, with similarly high standards of guiding, and a strong emphasis on the wildlife experience.


100% (6 reviews)
Selinda Adventure Trail

Selinda Adventure Trail

The Selinda Adventure Trail offers a novel and tranquil way to travel through part of Botswana's pristine wilderness whilst staying in comfortable fly-camps and led by a knowledgeable guide.


100% (4 reviews)
Little Motswiri

Little Motswiri

A simple and remote satellite camp, Little Motswiri focuses on non-motorised activities, particularly walking and horseriding. It enables guests to explore 120,000 acres of private wilderness around the Selinda Spillway.


100% (1 review)
Footsteps across the Linyanti

Footsteps across Linyanti

Footsteps Across the Linyanti is the only true mobile walking safari we know of in Botswana. Explore a wild and remote wilderness on foot with a knowledgeable guide.


40% (1 review)
Linyanti Expeditions
No reviews yet

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