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Zarafa Dhow Suites

The Dhow Suites successfully retain a clearly African feel, while balancing that delicate relationship between personal and informal and romance and adventure.
Ngamiland North, North-West District, Botswana
Rates from $6900

Zarafa Dhow Suites Details 


The logical extension to Great Plains Conservation’s Zarafa Camp, the Dhow Suites, have quickly become the ultimate private retreat, offering 2200 sq ft (210m2) of understated opulence in one of Africa’s last great wildernesses – the private 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve.
Cut from the same cloth as Zarafa’s main camp, the suites are completely autonomous, having their own staff and catering exclusively for a small intimate group of friends or family who want to truly immerse them in the grandeur of a classic safari experience.
With two lavish bedrooms on either side of a sumptuous lounge and dining room, the ambience is one of complete harmony with nature, with breathtaking, elevated views out over the Zibadianja Lagoon. A multi-level deck, with a pool, adds to the palatial expanse of living space, which has been inspired by the miracle of wild Africa.
That miracle is embodied by the story of Zarafa, the “beloved one” – a Nubian giraffe given to Charles X of France by the Viceroy of Egypt in 1826. Zarafa’s journey to Paris necessitated her being transported down the Nile in an East African dhow with a hole cut in its upper deck to accommodate her long, slender neck.
The Dhow Suites have been named for this most traditional of vessels, and the role it played in Zarafa’s own, fascinating “safari”.
The East African influence in the suites is tangible, with ancient Zanzibari doors adding unique flavour to the rich interiors. Each bedroom has its own fireplace and huge copper baths, positioned to make the most of the views out over the lagoon. Dinner takes place either in the indoor dining room or outside, under a canopy of stars.
The villa concept takes its lead from the old-world elegance of the 1920s, when safari was in its infancy and yet managed to encompass a style and grace all of its own. Think Karen Blixen, lead crystal and Limoges, Mozart playing on a gramophone and a million stars twinkling in the Milky Way overhead…
It is a “beloved suite” and the ideal place for people to not just connect with Africa, but also reconnect with one another.

Camp Access
Zarafa Dhow Suites are only accessible to guests by scheduled air transfers or private air charters. On arrival at the airfield, the road transfer to camp is approximately an hour, including time for brief game viewing stops en route.
Zarafa’s (Category B) airfield is licensed for aircraft as large as a King Air, Pilatus PC-12 and Cessna Caravan. The co-ordinates are S18″33.95′; E23″30.73′.
Flying time in a Cessna Caravan from Maun to Zarafa’s airstrip is about 45 minutes and from Kasane it is 50 minutes. Flying times vary depending on the type of aircraft being used and prevailing weather conditions.

Our Footprint
In keeping with the revolutionary environmentally friendly methods used in the construction of Zarafa’s main camp, the Dhow Suites have been constructed with maximum focus on minimising the impact on the pristine environment, which surrounds them.
Energy comes from Zarafa’s pioneering “solar farm” consisting of over 150 205-watt solar panels, which produce enough electricity during daylight hours to handle the electrical needs of both the main camp and the Suites.
As with the Zarafa camp, Zarafa’s Dhow Suites’ game drive vehicle operates on a mix of vegetable oil (85%) and diesel (15%), a completely new initiative in the safari industry, and drinking water is treated through a UV filtration system which eliminates the use of disposable plastic water bottles.
These components make Zarafa one of the “greenest” camps on the planet.

  • 2,260 sq. foot Marquee style tent of canopied beige canvas on raised wood deck of 100-yearold teak railroad ties;
  • Private deck leading to a private swimming pool;
  • Lounge has couch and two chairs, plus coffee station and dining table;
  • A fridge holds a wide selection of beverages,
  • wine and spirits;
  • Swarovski telescope, binoculars and camera;
  • Gas fireplace is between the bedroom and bath;
  • Either twin or double bed configuration.
  • En-suite from the bedroom, there is an open-air concept bathroom with indoor shower, claw foot deep copper tub and double vanities;
  • Separate flush loo room;
  • Outdoor ‘full-body’ shower;
  • Hot and cold running water;
  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion and hairdryers provided.


Zarafa Dhow Suites has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms featuring pure luxury throughout.


Separate flush loo room;
Outdoor ‘full-body’ shower;
Hot and cold running water;
Soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion and hairdryers provided.
Elaborate canvas tent on raised wood decking.
Unique bed cooling system for summer;
Gas fireplace for winter
Fly netting on all room sides and over beds.
All meals included;
All drinks and beverages are included with the exception of imported champagnes;
World-class (Relais & Chateaux recognised);
Three delicious meals a day are provided.
We are extremely flexible on timings. Picnic breakfasts or lunch (or both) are the norm due to very active game drives, often delivered to the bush!
All dietary requirements are catered for from regular to vegan to children, prior warning requested
Private a la carte (menu options).
Indoor and outdoor;
Room Service;
As standard.
Included in nightly tariff - next day service, weather permitting.
Central Lounge and dining room with small bar;
5m Swimming pool;
Coffee/tea station;
Expansive deck with fire pit & seating.
A shop is situated at Zarafa Camp and can be visited throughout the day. It sells locally and regionally produced crafts, many of which support local community projects in the nearby Okavango panhandle.
Yoga mats, weights and bands are provided in each suite;
In-room massage is available at additional cost;
Spinning exercise bike is located on the deck.
The Dhow Suites are operated by an impressive solar farm;
This system produces 220V, 24-hour electricity to the suites;
Universal plug points in each tent.
Wi-fi available in suite;
No mobile signal.
Minimal exposure – Malaria prophylaxis are recommended if guests are concerned; however, this is a remote area with little occurrence.
Guests must hold comprehensive medical insurance and emergency evacuation insurance;
Senior staff all has first aid training;
Nearest decent medical facility is in Maun, and then Johannesburg.
Moderate due to high predator density area.
None. There are no populations nearby, and no uninvited guests.
Four fire extinguishers.
The Dhow Suites layout is not conducive to wheelchair bound guests due stair access and steps on the main decking.

Checking In & Out

Check-in from 2pm and check-out by 11am


11 January - 31 March 2017: US $6900/Night
01 April - 14 June & 01 November - 19 December 2017: $ 8 950
15 June - 31 October 2017: $ 13 225
20 December 2017 - 10 January 2018: $ 9 800
Checking In & Out
$6900 / per night



The area offers some fantastic food options sourcing the region’s best produce and catering to a range of budgets, see some of the best below:
Caravela Portuguese Restaurant
Sanitas Restaurant
Bull & Bush Pub
Rodizio Brazilian Restaurant
Make sure you book in advance if you plan to eat at any of the above restaurants as they are very popular and easily fill for the weekend.
We also offer a concierge service on this property if you would like us to arrange any bookings.


Getting There and Distances

Zarafa Dhow Suites is 5 kms from Gaborone

Book Zarafa Dhow Suites
$6900 / per night1

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