Where the buffalo roam
Savuti or as it is often spelled “Savute”, is part of the Chobe National Park and lies South of the Chobe River Front.
Travelling down from the river area and through the thick sands of the Chobe Forrest Reserve you approach the Ghoha Hills, this is where the majestic Savute begins. Technically part of the Chobe National park, it is a completely separate region to the Chobe River area where the game experience and the vegetation have little in common.
Bordered to the north by the Chobe Enclave and to the west by the Greater Linyanti Reserves, the Savuti Channel cuts in from the west and slowly feeds the Savuti Marsh. For many years this area had been very dry which certainly affected the game moving through. However now with the high seasonal floods and waters moving down the Selinda Spillway, the Savuti Channel, fabled as the “Stolen River” is once again in flow.
The affects of this water have been dramatic. Since the flow began again in 2009, the Savuti Marsh in particular has become much more fertile and is bringing back the larger herds of buffalo and elephant as well as increasing the ever present zebra population.
Savuti is famed for its predators, from the Leopards who trace down the dolomite rock formations of the Gubatsa Hills whilst klipspringers watch nervously, to the large lion prides known for having developed the skill of hunting elephants, behaviour not generally witnessed in the rest of Africa, the Savute region is back to its prime as being known as one of the greatest game viewing areas on the continent.
The area is renowned for its extensive grasslands and savannah dotted with hills, some of which have evidence of former human habitation and rock paintings. An area of exceptional potential is only marred by the fact that is in within the boundaries of the National Park and therefore no night drives nor off-road driving is allowed.
How do you get to Savuti?
Now that water has returned to the Savuti Marsh, more breeding herds of elephants are being attracted, as are herds of buffalo that were harder to see in past years. The Zebra migrations attend during the summer months further swelling the numbers of general plains game.
Plenty of predators abound in Savute
Always known for its predators, Savute is most famous for its lions, but populations of leopard and hyena are good, you must always look out fort cheetah and wild dog, which are also known to travel in the area.
The region is also covered with extensive savannah and rolling grasslands, which makes wildlife particularly dynamic in this section of the park. During dry seasons, tourists going on safari often view warthogs, kudus, impalas, zebras, wildebeests and above all elephants bullying each other. During rainy seasons, the rich birdlife of the park (450 species in the whole park) is well represented. Packs of lion, hyenas, zebras or more rarely cheetahs are visible as well. This region is indeed reputed for its annual migration of zebra.
The peak season for an area can differ and is dependent on wildlife movements and the weather itself
Winter is between June and October.
Considered the dry months, the savute cannel and the marsh has been doing well of recent years.
As the waters recede, they also disappear from other drinking spots leaving the waterholes and the channel as the only sources of water.
Summer is between November and May
Considered the rainy season. Depending on the year, the rains can be heavy or light and have the effect of filling up waterholes far and wide.
The result is that animals scatter as there is no need to congregate around a scare water source.
Selected Savuti Tours
We have quite a few tours on offer which showcase Botswana... you can view all of them by clicking the button below...
As Savute is part of the Chobe National Park, activities are bound under the same rules. Only day drives are permitted and there is also no off-road driving or walking.
Only Goha Hills Savuti Lodge is allowed night drives and walks etc, as it is outside the park boundaries.
There are no boating or any other water activities, generally due to the fact that this is not a traditional water area. However, this is not the reason why you would come to Savute in the first place… the game drives are spectacular enough and take full advantage of one of the best safari areas in Africa.
The best accommodation choices are with the permanent fixed camps of Savute Safari Lodge and Savute Elephant Camp, both of which offer excellent levels of service and are positioned with stunning views over the area.
Two other permanent Lodges are Camp Savuti, based in the public camp-site used for self drivers, and Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge placed just outside the park to the north.
Savute Under Canvas is a sister camp to Chobe Under Canvas and offers excellent semi-permanent accommodation that moves every few days within the area.
Mobile Tented Safaris operate within Savute and offer a range of the accommodation in private camp-sites. Please view our Mobile Tented Safaris section for operators who can get you there.
The last option is a Self Drive Safari… Safari Lifestyles can arrange the hire of a professional 4×4 vehicle for your safari in Savute. The downside to this is that the public camping sites in Savute are not up to scratch, the newly built ablution facilities here are good but the camping areas are much too close together and this is not good as elephant are often in camp and guests will feel they have to walk though other guests camping areas to get to the ablutions. There are still some of the older sites on the channel and these are the only ones we would recommend.
Lodges within Savuti
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