ECO GREEN LODGES IN BOTSWANA
Zarafa Camp, Botswana
Set in an immense private reserve, Zarafa Camp sits on a remote island in the floodplains of the Zibadianja Lagoon in the heart of prime wildlife territory. The Selinda Reserve’s wide range of habitats makes for ideal year-round wildlife viewing with seasonal influxes of huge herds of elephant and buffalo and steady predator populations. Couple this with the stunning landscapes and utterly peaceful surrounds shared between just four suites and it’s a recipe for bliss in your own “private Africa”
Zarafa falls under the umbrella of Great Plains Conservation where conservation takes top priority and the camp operates as green as possible, blending into it surrounds without compromising on luxury. Each of the camp’s four immense 1,000 square foot ‘marquis style’ canvas tents are raised up on wooden decks positioned on the forest’s edge and shaded by a canopy of African ebony and Red ivory trees, with uninterrupted views over the floodplains. The three “rooms” of the tents are decorated beautifully with custom-made furniture in traditional colonial Africa style and a bonus special feature in each tent is a professional Canon camera with zoom lenses for the personal use of each guest with compliments of Zarafa’s owners, Beverley and Dereck Joubert, world renowned wildlife photographers. At the end of your stay your photos are burned onto a CD to take home with you.
On safari it is possible to see a tremendous diversity of species, from resident prides of lion to huge herds of elephant and packs of wild dog. Exploration of this vast area defies imagination… by foot, 4×4 open vehicle, and pontoon boat. There is a harmony to Zarafa. Perhaps it is the camp’s intimate size, the calming waters of the lagoon or the genuine nature of the staff, but whatever the case, it is a treasure.
OUR RATING: Luxury
PRICE FROM: US$ 1550 per person
FAMILY FRIENDLY: Children over 6 years welcome
SIZE: 8 guests
HEALTH: Malaria zone
WHY GO: For an experience of wildest Africa in luxury and exclusivity with unrivalled personal attention. Where else can you view an elephant from the comfort of your bed !
HOW ZARAFA CAMP IS SHINING A GREEN LIGHT FOR
NATURE: Zarafa is one of the greenest lodges on the planet with minimal impact on the Earth. A "solar farm" consisting of over 150 205-watt solar panels produces sufficient electricity during daylight hours to handle all of the camp's electrical needs. Their game drive vehicles operate on a mix of vegetable oil (85%) and diesel (15%), a completely new initiative in the safari industry naturally reducing noise and air pollution. Their drinking water is treated through a UV filtration system cutting out the use of disposable plastic water bottles.
ANIMALS: Noise and light pollution is kept to a minimum and animals are treated with utmost respect on game drives with minimal off track driving. For a min of 4 night’s stay US$25 per person per night is donated towards the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, a project addressing the rapid decline of Big Cats like lions in the wild, and guests are encouraged to match the donation.
PEOPLE: Two villages bordering the Selinda Reserve are empowered through Great Plains by providing training and employment within its network of lodges and developing craft skills such as beading and making handmade paper using recycled paper and elephant dung which are sold in the lodges curio shops.
The Great Plains Foundation also runs life changing photocamps for children from the surrounding villages helping to connect them back to nature and the animals for whom they are the future guardians.