Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp

Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp

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Traveller (159)
Zarafa Luxury Tent
Room & Suite (44)
Lounge and dining tent
Dining (12)

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About

5.0
#11 of 27 lodges in Okavango Delta
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
Zarafa Camp is an intimate, four room tented camp located on the on the private 130,000-hectare Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, an area linking the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors. Few camps rival the location of this little gem, which together with Duba Plains and Selinda Camps, is one of only three Relais & Chateaux properties in Botswana. 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. This exquisite camp 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. Only recycled hardwoods and canvas were used in the construction and all the camp’s electricity comes from its solar farm while ‘bio gas’ plants recycle waste into usable cooking gas. Zarafa Camp has no equal in terms of its environmental credentials and its careful appointments.
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool with view
Free breakfast
Boating
Walking tours
Free airport transportation
Spa
Gift shop
Outdoor pool
Private pool
Plunge pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Complimentary Instant Coffee
Complimentary tea
Complimentary welcome drink
Kids' meals
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Airport transportation
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Hand massage
Head massage
Manicure
Massage
Neck massage
Pedicure
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Butler service
Express check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Ironing service
Room features
Desk
Fireplace
Housekeeping
Interconnected rooms available
Coffee / tea maker
Minibar
Walk-in shower
Bath / shower
Safe
Seating area
Sofa
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Private bathrooms
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
Romantic

Location

Selinda Reserve Botswana
191Reviews6Q+A42Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
V & V Singapore wrote a review Mar 2020
2 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I are diehard wildlife safari enthusiasts and have travelled to the Okavango Delta for the last four consecutive years.
Zarafa has been our most memorable Safari experience to-date, offering everything we could possibly wish for on a 3 day trip.
The camp itself is in a stunning location in front of a river and the 4 tents around the main lodge are beautifully appointed with an old world ‘Out of Africa’ charm , sparing no comfort yet tastefully designed -without being over the top.
Our hosts / managers Ron and Alexandra hail from Europe but have chosen to work with Great Plains Conservation , inspired by the laudable conservation ideals and ethics of the company.
The company was founded by Derek and Beverly Joubert, deeply devoted and dedicated to the conservation of wild life while sustaining local communities in the area. We hope to visit their sister property at Duba Plains next year, where only local staff are employed to stimulate the local morale and economy.
Our guide Obie is hands down the most knowledgeable and experienced guide we have ever had the pleasure of meeting and learning from .
His depth and breadth of knowledge of the delta’s geography, its diverse landscapes , flora and fauna is unsurpassed . We look forward to deepening and enhancing our already rich experience and understanding of the delta and its wildlife with him again.
Lunghi our chef is young, very driven , passionate and creative with his cuisine and it was a pleasure to watch his eyes light up every time he discussed a colourful delicious menu , specially crafted for us.
One of the highlights at Zarafa was a movie and dinner night replete with popcorn (!) when we asked if we could watch the soon to be released 90 minute Sundance documentary by the Jouberts . That turned the last night of our journey to the Delta into a magical starlit one and was a wonderful way to seal and cement our wildlife experience.
Last but certainly not least , a big thank you once again to Alexandra the manager who was sweet enough to loan me her personal pair of sunglasses as I had lost mine in the bush before arriving at Zarafa. It was such a treat to view and experience extraordinary wildlife through her purple tinted glasses.
Thank you everyone at Zarafa camp for making our trip so special.
We will definitely be back !
With warmest wishes and deep appreciation ,
V and V from Singapore
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp
Responded 27 Jun 2020
Dear V and V, Thank you for your very kind words and for taking the time to share your experience with everyone. Zarafa is indeed one of a kind - the place itself is charming and magical, and our staff is dedicated to creating once in a lifetime experiences - like the starlit private cinema you enjoyed on our main deck! We are thrilled that your stay with us exceeded your expectations and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Great Plains Family soon! Warm regards, Alexandra, Ron & Zarafa Team
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travelbude wrote a review Mar 2020
Oakland, California19 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Words can’t describe how magical Zarafa Camp is. From the staff to the location to the beautiful accommodations, the most incredible food and fabulous game sightings, you will be transported to paradise. Special thanks to Ron and Alexandra, for making special arrangements of transportation from Zarafa on our last day. It was pouring rain, our airstrip was inaccessible and Ron brought in a helicopter to transfer us to a different airstrip to meet our plane. He actually drove more than a hour one way to bring us a lunch when it turned out that our wait was more than four hours. Now that is first class service!

The food served was the best we have ever had at any Michelin star restaurant. So many choices and great presentation.

Donald has to be one of the very best trackers to find the game that we saw.

Thank you to the management team and staff for a true experience of a lifetime. February 28-March 2.
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Date of stay: March 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp
Responded 27 Jun 2020
Dumela from a beautiful Botswana! Thank you for your beautiful words - we are so happy you enjoyed your stay with us at Zarafa! We pride ourselves in not only sharing a magical place with our guests but also in truly caring about everyone who comes visit us. And while weather we cannot control, we are glad we could make your wait a little more comfortable! We hope to welcome you back to the Great Plains Family sometime! Warm regards, Alexandra, Ron & Zarafa Team
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floridatraveller2021 wrote a review May 2021
1 contribution1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I would highly recommend this lodge as one of the best we have ever visited.

In the time of Covid Zarafa was a dream come true. They all made us feel safe and protected from the virus.
We had the privilege of celebrating our anniversary while there and the staff went above and beyond to make our stay memorable. Preparing one surprise after another on our special day.
The location is amazing, the lodge is one of the prettiest we’ve ever seen, the staff was incredibly welcoming and provided exceptional service during our stay. The food Presentation was that of a five-star restaurant and the taste of the food was superb. The chef went out of their way to cater to our particular tastes.
Zarafa is rich in game and Joseph our guide literally could anticipate where game was going to be for each drive. Elephants, Lions, leopards, African Cats, giraffe, they had it all. And even at times we were following lions he could anticipate where they might be five minutes later so we could be there for great photo ops.
Alexandra and Ron the camp managers were always visible and always there to anticipate our needs.
This lodge would be a great stop for families, couples or small groups.
Thanks to Piper & Heath for arranging for us to visit.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: May 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Hilton Walker, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp
Responded 20 May 2021
Dear J & K, It was such a pleasure to welcome you to Zarafa - and thank you for choosing to celebrate your anniversary with us! We are very glad you got to experience Zarafa's magic, from the beautiful and plentiful wildlife Selinda Reserve has to offer, to the delicious food our chef's strive to surprise with every day and lastly to the charm Zarafa as a camp has. Thank you for taking the time to share your beautiful experience, and we hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back someday! Warm regards, Alexandra, Ron & Zarafa Team
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Helena K wrote a review Nov 2021
Stockholm, Sweden10 contributions12 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Zarafa is truly magical, everything from the luxurious accommodation to the service and the surroundings! Despite being a tent in the bush the standard is comparable with any 5-star hotel (can only imagine the logistical challenges and how much work goes into the upkeep).

Food is excellent, superb variety and the surprise lunch on a riverboat was our favorite meal. Extra plus for accommodating my request for watermelon juice and then making buckets of it :)

Our guide Donald was amazing; vast knowledge, service oriented and genuine. He was attentive to our wishes and made us feel 100% comfortable and safe. Wild life and nature are out of this world and the lack of other vehicles / people makes it a very special experience.

To sum it all up, as much as we enjoyed the high standard of accommodation, the people working there and the beautiful settings are what make this place unique.

Thank you Zarafa Family for sharing your paradise with us, we will cherish this memory forever!
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Date of stay: November 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ALR417 wrote a review May 2022
Birmingham, Michigan35 contributions42 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We were so fortunate to spend 4 nights at Zarafa to celebrate my birthday and I can't imagine a more perfect place to spend it. All the staff was extremely friendly, they made you feel like family from the minute you are picked up at the air strip. Our guide Name was so knowledgable and did a great job of tracking and finding us lots of animals on our game drives. The managers Jamie and Ruby were fantastic, as were all the staff. Highlights of our 4 nights included lunch out in the bush, a full set up next to a pond with hippos who kept us entertained throughout our lunch. We did one of our game drives out on the water and got to see an elephant enjoying time in the water and did some fishing as well. One evening game drive we got to experience a pride of lions roaring, as the sun was setting, with a rainbow in the background. Truly amazing and didn't feel like real life!! For my birthday the chef made me a delicious cake and the staff set up a sweet dinner for us in our tent. Speaking of the tents, they are well appointed and feel very luxurious, at the same time blending in to the surroundings. We loved sleeping and being able to hear all the wildlife out in the distance. The food was very good. Breakfast was served out on the morning game drive to maximize your time on the game drives, which I appreciated as I wanted to spend as much time as possible looking for animals. We were so sad to leave and hope to go back sooner rather than later! Thank you Zarafa Camp for an absolutely incredible experience with lifetime memories made.
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Date of stay: April 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Pranav P wrote a review Jun 2022
Houston, Texas20 contributions12 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Our 5th GP camp (stayed at Duba Plains prior on this trip; review posted).

Plus points: Camp, location, room (we were in room 1 end of May 2022), Gake (assistant mgr) & our guide Obie - Fabulous!
Highly recommend him!!! We had him to ourselves all 4 nights. We told him our interests and he focused on that. Many highlights but 2 stand out - drive to see the wild dogs and the 2 bull ellies crossing the lagoon at sunset seen from the speedboat. Obie has a gift to place the vehicle in the right position allowing us to observe and understand animal behavior.
Obie planned a wonderful meditative sundowner for us one evening.
Additionally, we enjoyed sitting by the fire pit after dinner with Gake and Obie.
Thank you Gake and Obie!!!

Chef, food - sad to say but hopeless. The Chef had a attitude problem from the time we arrived; Seemingly spoke with us in angry tones; No idea what his problem was but got irritating. Chef here was complete opposite of Chef Raymond at Duba Plains.
We went to bed hungry one night as he didn't bother to tell us what's for dinner during lunch; cooked burnt gnocchi; Frank (mgr) came by; No one offered to make us something else (even if bread and butter). Got up at 1am looking for food.
Next morning, had a frustrated conversation with Gake who seemingly understood acknowledging the chef was very likely not right for us. They attempted a weak recovery on our 4th evening.
They gifted us hats that were too big for us (One can tell the size is big just by looking).
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Date of stay: May 2022
Room Tip: Room 1; saw ellies crossing our room one afternoon on way to the lagoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Hilton Walker, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp
Responded 08 Jul 2022
Good afternoon, thank you for taking the time to give feedback on your recent stay. I am happy that Obie gave you special memories to take home with you. Connections, not only with the wildlife but with our people are important and if we do not accomplish this as part of your visit then we have not been successful. I received feedback from your visit and myself, with our Senior Executive chef have set out and started a training program to re-train our chef on soft skills but also to redo our menu options especially for our vegetarian and vegan guest. I belief that with this training we can give our guest the same level of service in each camp with a touch of their specialty dishes introduced to you. We hope that we will see you for another visit and that you will have an amazing culinary journey through all our camps.
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Katherine S wrote a review Sept 2022
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Zarafa was our last stop on our first trip to Africa and it was truly INCREDIBLE- was the definition of luxury! We stayed in the Dhow suite and cannot say enough wonderful things about our stay. The suite was SPECTACULAR with everything you could possibly imagine - a full bar, a wide selection of wine, a firepit, a private pool, and the camp has a permanent tent set up at the landing strip, where we were greeted with high tea upon arrival. The staff was exceptional! Joseph was our guide and he was so knowledgable, always on the lookout and identifying tracks on the game drives to try to find animals for viewing, and he lead us to some fantastic wildlife sightings! Six was the manager for the suite and he paid attention to our every need. Philip and Bee were our valets who were also so attentive. The attention to detail at Zarafa was truly remarkable. One morning, Joseph asked what we usually have for breakfast at home, and the next day it was ALL on the table. We had a dinner the last night with entertainment and was cooked on the desk of the suite with our guides, which was a treat! This place was truly remarkable and nothing you asked for was too big or too small. We left kicking and screaming; beautiful camp, great wildlife sightings and the most attentive staff!! We can't wait to go back!
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Date of stay: September 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
pparasher77 wrote a review Jul 2021
New York City, New York33 contributions23 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We just returned from an amazing 7 days stay at Zarafa and it has hands down been my most favorite vacation. Their attention to detail and customer service are impeccable and they went above and beyond to make it memorable and unique. The food is the die for and it feels like you have your own personal chef. The wines are top quality and amazing. The game drives are excellent with so much to see. Alex and Ron are amazing managers and OB is so knowledgeable on the game drives. We are forever changed from this trip.
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Date of stay: June 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jackbdm wrote a review Jun 2022
Oxford, United Kingdom13 contributions13 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Having been on multiple safaris, and stayed in over100 African safari camps and lodges in the past 8 years - Zarafa takes the biscuit. It's the perfect balance. Every detail is fantastic, and yet there is authenticity and a relaxed atmosphere at the same time. If you can stay at Zarafa, and experience the amazing Selinda Concession with Great Plains, I couldn't recommend it more highly.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: June 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Michelle H wrote a review Aug 2023
Winter Park, Florida86 contributions13 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Incredible!! We have done many safaris all over Africa and this cam is definitely at the top of the list. Intimate small camp with attention to every detail! The tents are well appointed and luxurious. Large freestanding tub to enjoy post safari, large deck with comfortable lounge chairs and a private pool. We did come in their winter and pool was pretty chilly for me but others enjoyed it. The game viewing from the tent was fantastic!, Elephants, hippos, giraffes and more. We view a leopard witching the first 15 minutes on the drive from the airport to the camp. Our ranger Donald was knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. The managers, MD and Kevin were always available to assist in any way.
Baby, the incredible chef, created some of the most memorable meals, she need her own television show! She was well trained and the meals were elegant and exceptional. Unusual pairings and flavors of local cuisine were enjoyed at every meal. All of our dietary requests were met without issue. There is a nicely stocked bar and a small fridge in the tent with refreshments, tea and coffee. We were awakened with hot cappuccino every morning before our game drive. The special sundowner was a surprise and each of the great plains camps manages to surprise us with something special. Free wi-fi in the room that works well.
The furnishings and decor are lovely and the attention to detail in every aspect of the camp is top notch. There is a small spa area and the massage therapist Nadia was great.
The game drives did not disappoint and all of our adventures were incredible. The staff presentation of singing and dancing on our last night there was a treat and they left us with a lovely parting gift.
We will definitely be back here again!
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Date of stay: August 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Great Plains Conservation, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp
Responded 30 Aug 2023
Hi Michelle, We are so glad that we could play a role in your exciting safari experience, and we thank you for your thoughtful words. We will be sure to let the Zarafa family know that you enjoyed their hospitality, and we hope to see you again soon! Kind regards, The Zarafa Camp Team
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Durban, South Africa7 contributions
Hello! Once our our camps reopen we will have a maximum of 4 guests per vehicle, in order to allow enough space between guests. Of course, if there is a family or a group travelling together, then we can accommodate up to 6 people on a vehicle. If you wish to have a private guide and a private vehicle that can also be arranged for an additional cost. To ensure everyone's safety going forward, all guests and guides (as well as all staff) are required to wear facewear.
Answer from kakeeter
Snohomish19 contributions16 helpful votes
We were at Zarafe on December 3 and 4, 2015. The very large tent cabins were never hot. There was a small pool on the deck of our tent/ cabin. This was the best place we have stayed in all of our African travels in the last 2 years.
FranCapeTown asked a question Apr 2016
Cape Town49 contributions8 helpful votes
Wifi connection? Electricity in rooms for charging camera batteries?Hairdryers?
Answer from RosyPeach
London, United Kingdom58 contributions23 helpful votes
Yes, all of the above. Wifi now available in the rooms. Camp runs off solar power so you'll likely need to use the low-wattage dryers they provide rather than your own. But there's a constant supply of electricity so you can charge whatever you need whenever you need.
GATELAIS asked a question Aug 2017
Angers, France2 contributions18 helpful votes
Bonjour Le mois de mars serait il adapté pour un safari au Zarafa camp ? Merci
GATELAIS asked a question Aug 2017
Angers, France2 contributions18 helpful votes
Bonjour Le mois de mars serait il adapté pour un safari au Zarafa camp ? Merci
sarahkeats wrote a tip Sept 2023
Gladwyne31 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"It is very hot in September"
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Pranav P wrote a tip Jun 2022
Houston, Texas20 contributions12 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Room 1; saw ellies crossing our room one afternoon on way to the lagoon"
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Rick from Chattanooga wrote a tip Jul 2019
3 contributions5 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All great ents in this small camp."
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Nick L wrote a tip Jun 2018
Ann Arbor, Michigan18 contributions19 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The furthest from the lodge"
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UrsulaHToronto wrote a tip Apr 2018
toronto15 contributions13 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All are excellent and equal."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Okavango Delta area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
zarafa camp hotel okavango delta
LOCATION
BotswanaNorth-West DistrictOkavango Delta
NUMBER OF ROOMS
4
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION ZARAFA CAMP - Lodge Reviews (Okavango Delta, Botswana)

Frequently Asked Questions about Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp?
Top room amenities include a minibar, a desk, and a fireplace.
What food & drink options are available at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp?
Yes, guests have access to an outdoor pool during their stay.
Does Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Great Plains Conservation Zarafa Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
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