Zafara is set in a private reserve north of the country. A magic lagoon, Zibadianja, is the very centre of the camp’s life. Everyday, when you get back to the camp, you look forward to seeing this open expanse of water constantly changing its colour with the light at day and night. All guests have exclusive access to dreamlike equipment that includes Swarovski HD binoculars, a Canon 5D, 35-135 mm and 100-400 mm lenses. For some the true luxury will be in the copper bathtub or the outdoor shower, the private pool and terrace or chef Catherine delicious dishes. The bush is magnetic, every day you wake up willing to explore more, discover what’s out there and make new encounters. All senses are alert like never before, quick in recognising the inebriating smell of wild sage (an amazing natural repellent). Soon, thanks to your guide, you will learn a completely new and ancestral vocabulary made of the names of birds with deep blue feathers, impalas, giraffes, wild dogs, hedge hocks, rain and wind. There is no phone signal anywhere in the camp but you will always find a desk with letter paper and you will start writing again. And you will read the story of the camp owners, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, world-renowned National Geographic film-makers for whom conservation has become a life commitment. In the evening, you get back to the camp that’s already dark, the fire is on and the chairs are in circle to share stories of a day in the bush. If the weather allows it, the table is set outside, under the dim light of oil lamps. The concert of frogs in the lagoon is uninterrupted. At times, you can recognise a hippopotamus walking in the water. You’re accompanied to your tent for the night. The next morning when it’s still dark outside, you recognise an intimate and familiar voice wishing you good morning. The day begins with another delicious breakfast. Zarafa Camp has been a family to us, both welcoming and passionate. Zarafa Camp has just won an award as the Most Life Enriching Experience and that’s exactly how we remember our days in the wild.
Words and photographs Meraviglia Paper.
Thanks to Great Plains Conservation, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Alex Waters, Reuben (our guide), Markus, Marijn, Catherine and the whole camp staff.