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Where are the best camps in Savuti, Botswana?

Posted in: Botswana

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Savuti Channel campsites

Although Savuti or Savute channel are locations within Chobe national park; it’s remarkable history – not least, the mystery of the water reappearing – and association with top game viewing makes it a fascinating subject. Savuti camp is famous as a location to stop on a self-drive Botswana safari and a couple of high end lodges, including the well known Savute safari lodge, have taken the ‘gamble’ to base their properties here.

Prior to 1957/58 the channel remained dry, but due to heavy rains that year it started to flow again and this continued until 1966; when again the flow of waters in the Savuti Channel game to a halt. However, this was only a brief dry period and it started again in 1967 and co continued until 1981. This period was crucial for Savuti’s development as a top game viewing location and this happened almost exclusively due to the efforts of one man – Lloyd Wilmot. He set up a camp opposite the Savuti Channel called…….’Lloyds Camp’………and started to promote the area for clients on a Botswana safari who were looking for something off the beaten track. It is important to note that the Savuti Channel is regarded as a ‘dry riverbed’ which occasionally has water running in it; not the other way round. The Savuti Channel continues its journey into the ‘Mababe Depression’ forming a now famous marshy area – covering more than a 100 sq km – known as the Savuti Marsh.

Best time to visit Savuti?

Although outside of the rainy season, the Savuti Channel is dry, that does not stop this area and Savuti marsh being associated with superb game viewing. The soil is particularly rich here and that attracts large herds of buffalo and wildebeest; as well as smaller populations of Impala and Zebra. Savuti is famous for its bull elephants and is home to several lion prides. If you travel during the high season from June to October, you can expect to see plenty of wildlife. Savuti is known for its large spotted hyena packs and although a threat to the resident leopard – they to, are seen in good number, especially around the rocky kopjes.

You will still see plenty of game in the green season, December to March/April; but this is often the best time for birders to visit and enjoy some beautiful resident and migratory species – such as racket-tailed rollers or broad-tailed paradise whydahs.

Savuti camp Botswana

There is a famous public campsite at Savuti, which has been well designed to protect it facilities from the attention of curious or thirsty elephants, as well as other wildlife. Don’t be surprised to see elephants come right through the Savuti camp while you are relaxing for the midday heat and at night, to see the green eyes of scavenging Hyenas are a common site. Standard facilities include toilets, showers, solar powered hot water. Each pitch at the campsite has a Braai (barbecue) and its own water supply which has been elephant proofed. We mention the Savuti camp, not just for the self-drive lovers, but also because if you book a small group Botswana safari which involves mobile camping, there is a good chance that one of their stops – en route to Chobe national park – will be at Savuti.

Savute Safari Lodge

The lodge is situated in a prime position overlooking multiple water holes and close to the site of the original Lloyds Camp. Because game drives and safaris have taken place in this area since the 1970’s, the resident wildlife, is to a degree, habituated to humans and the noise they make in their strange safari vehicles. This can mean ‘close up’ encounters with lions in the camp and is one of the reasons all guests staying at Savute safari lodge are escorted to and from their rooms. Savute safari lodge accommodates just twenty four guests in eleven thatched chalets built of local timber and one family room which consists of two double bedrooms.

Activities include action packed game drives in the dry thorny scrub and large area of mopane. In contrast to this habitat, you will spend quality time in the Savuti marsh which is famous as the end point for the Savuti channel and is full of wildlife.  Guests can also enjoy a visit to the ancient San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills – a small hilly outcrop which forms a prominent landmark in the otherwise flat landscape.

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