Savuti, part of the Chobe National Park, has just been the location for recent BBC natural history documentaries: “Africa’s Giant Killers” (Lions that hunt elephants) and “Africa’s Fishing Leopards.”
Savuti has been famous for many things but most recently, it is the Savuti River that has become its main attraction. The mysterious channel inexplicably flows and ebbs dry, cutting off a vital supply of water for the resident elephants. In recent history it has spilled out onto the immense Savuti Marsh. After being dry for two decades, the Savuti River started to flow again! The Savuti Marsh rivatalised, the dry marsh can transform into a magnificent wetland.
Currently, the mysteries of this fickle flow of water are continuing – check with us for current local conditions in Savuti as the channel is now not flowing (as of 2017).
Game Viewing in Savuti
Predators are relatively common here. Leopards favour the rocky hills and use them to stash their kills and cubs. Predator interactions are common as the prey resource is relatively concentrated. The Marsh Pride of lions are well known as they have starred in recent documentaries featuring their ability to kill elephants! We often focus on tracking down this pride as they are fairly active daytime hunters. Savuti is currently good for cheetah viewing as there is a coalition of 2 males that operate in the grasslands.
Zebra can also be seen in Savuti (wet season), migrating to the south or back north when the park interior dries up. The zebra numbers usually peak around April, on their route back to the Chobe River.
Waterhole game viewing is a feature here especially in the dry season. Some of the artificial waterholes draw in the big resident bull elephants, standing shoulder-to-shoulder fighting over the trickle of fresh water. Of course, when the natural sources of water dry up, these artificial water points become a focus of predator activity, especially lions! Ultimately, you will want to see the interactions between the Marsh pride of lions and these elephants! (This mostly happens in the hot dry season).
Savuti is also famous for its bird life. In particular, you can often see large flocks of carmine bee-eaters riding on the back of Kori Bustards, Ostrich or even following elephants! (Best seen in the rain season between November and March). A charming experience is when the Bee-eaters follow the safari vehicles at close quarters, catching insects stirred up by the passing cars.
The area is characterised by rocky outcrops. Ancient rock paintings can be found and one panel is relatively accessible. An ancient sand ridge, a relic of a former lake created during wetter times, is another prominent geographical feature in the area. The game viewing here is done exclusively on game drives (there are no other activities allowed due to strict park rules).
We visit Savute on our mobile safaris as a high quality game viewing destination. It is located between the game viewing areas of Khwai and the Chobe River and is a usual stop on any itinerary heading north or returning south. Three nights is a recommended minimum stay, considering the time it takes to drive to Savuti. It can also be accessed as a destination on its own as it is a 6 hour drive from Maun (can be reached in a half day).
- Witness the famous “Marsh” pride of lions hunting elephants
- Drive the Savuti channel – whether flowing or dry
- Witness massive bull elephants fighting over fresh water at the park’s waterholes
- Congregations of breeding herds of elephants (numbers vary through the seasons)
- See authentic Bushman rock paintings
- Large stands of Baobab trees
- Excellent predator viewing with all the big cats and wild dogs
- Camp in private wild and unfenced campsites
- Stay at a luxury lodge