Situated in the south west of Chobe National Park, Savuti has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife on the African continent, with year-round opportunities to view all kinds of game – from giraffe, elephants, zebra and buffalo, to big cat predators like lion, cheetah and hyena.
The Savuti Channel is an unpredictable water source that flows from Linyato to the heart of Chobe National Park and Savuti Marsh. The water has appeared and dried up again many times over the centuries, leading to a diverse landscape. The scenery is certainly striking, from the desert like patches covered in sand, to the verdant grassy plains, pans holding water for animals long into the dry season, and the Gubatsa Hills, an outcrop of dolomite rocks rising an astonishing 90 metres out of the ground.
November-March are the best times to visit, but whenever you go you are guaranteed to spot some wildlife. In the dry season, elephants, impala, and kudu congregate at the water holes to quench their thirst. In the wet season, the Savuti Marsh is almost covered in rare types of bird, who flock to the area to raise their young and join the 300 different species already living there. Zebras also migrate during this period, meaning predators come out to hunt the beasts grazing on the marsh, and the game viewing is excellent.
Park entry fees are 120 Botswana Pula per person per day ($14) and P50 per day for foreign registered vehicles ($6). There are also additional fees for camping – 100 pula per person for adults 18 and over, 50 pula for children 8-17 and 20 pula for children 7-5 (under fives go free).
The elephant sightings during the rainy season are a sight to behold – especially when they’re drinking together at the water holes at sunset. The zebra migration (and predators on pursuit) are also a must-see during the rainy season.
Activities at Savuti:
Aside from the classic safari opportunities like bird watching, safari walks and 4×4 trips, extreme sports like sky-diving, sand-boarding and white water rafting are also an option for thrill-seekers. The San Rock paintings can be seen at Gubatsa Hills. The delights of the rest of Chobe National Park are also within easy reach.
Getting to Savuti:
The Savuti reserve has its own airstrip, but can also be easily be reached by 4×4 from Maun in the south, or Kasane in the North.
Staying at Savuti:
Savuti has a wide range of luxury accommodation and tented lodges promising breathtaking views of the area’s wildlife.
Savuti Elephant Camp
12 tents, spread long the Savuti Channel, all screened off from the bush offer some of the park’s best elephant spotting opportunities. All tents are elevated on wooden platforms, with a private deck furnished with easy chairs and a hammock (perfect for lazing around, watching the wildlife at the watering hole).
Savuti Safari Lodge
On the banks of the Savuti channel, this large property consists of 24 modern wooden and thatched suites, all with private decks, a library, cocktail bar, an al fresco dining area and a swimming pool (where you can watch game at the watering hole).
The Savuti Camp is situated in an isolated area beside the Savuti Channel, about 30km northwest of Savuti Marsh. This is outside of Chobe National Park, but inside the private Linyati reserve. With almost two thirds of the Savuti Channel inside the reserve, guests here have exclusive access to an extraordinary array of wildlife. The intimate, tented camp has just seven ensuite tents off the ground, and boasts a plunge pool, hatched dining room and ‘wood pile’ hide, where guests can watch elephants in the dry season.
Mostly covered in arid desert – and home to some of the largest national parks in the world – the highlight of any safari in Botswana must be the Okavango Delta in the far north. Read more about taking a safari in Botswana.