Zarafa is located in northern Botswana’s Okavango Delta region, an area of floodplains that comprises one of the world’s only entirely inland delta systems. These lush landscapes attract astonishing numbers of wildlife, including some of Africa’s largest elephant and buffalo herds. Some of the continent’s most endangered species can also be spotted roaming the floodplains, including black and white rhinoceroses and African wild dogs. At the heart of this wildlife-rich region is the Selinda Reserve, a 320,000-acre private park that is home to just Zarafa and one other sister lodge. Zarafa’s secluded tents line the Zibadianja Lagoon, a distributary of the Okavango Delta.
The Selinda Game Reserve is centered on the Selinda Spillway, a unique waterway that can flow either east or west depending on the water levels of its respective tributaries. The channel has a history of drying up for long stretches of time—after 30 years without water, it began flowing again in 2009 and connected with the marshlands two years later. The flowing channel has attracted all manner of wildlife to the area, including elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, zebras, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, rhinoceroses, roan and sable antelopes, red lechwe, and African wild dogs.
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