Savuti & Kwai River Valley

Savuti & Kwai River Valley

About Savuti & Kwai River Valley

Savuti (often spelled Savute), is part of Chobe National Park and it lies South of the Chobe River Front. The majestic Savute begins when you approach the Ghoha Hills after travelling down the river area and through the thick sands of the Chobe Forest Reserve. It is one of Botswana Wildlife hotspots, known for its exceptional predator views.


The Best Time to Visit Savuti and Kwai River Valley is from May to October. During these months, the weather is cooler and dry, perfect for safaris with daytime temperatures pleasant at 25°C to 29°C. This period offers exceptional wildlife viewing near water sources. Following this, the onset of summer rains from late November brings a lush, green landscape alive with new impalas and zebras, turning the area into a bustling hub for predators. It's a wonderful time for nature lovers to explore the dynamic ecosystems of these valleys.


Savuti & Kwai River Valley are known for their amazing wildlife, including lions and hyenas. Close by, Linyanti offers stunning views and great chances to see animals like buffalo, zebra, and elephants up close. With fewer vehicles around, visitors get a peaceful, authentic experience of Africa's wilderness. This area is perfect for anyone wanting to see beautiful landscapes and lots of animals in their natural habitat.

What To Experience

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Travel Guide For Savuti & Kwai

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When To Visit Savute And Kwai ?

The busiest month in Savuti is April, followed by June and July. Prices will be more expensive during this time. The dry season from May to October is considered the most comfortable time for a Savute safari. Temperatures are at their lowest (just above freezing on a midwinter early morning) and there is almost no rain.

Daytime temperatures range from 25°C to 29°C. It is important to note that the weather is hot and dry in September and October as the rains build, but the game viewing around water is exceptional. Summer rains turn Savuti into a verdant wonderland. Temperatures drop slightly due to cloud cover and the new lush greenery, and with hundreds of impalas giving birth as migrating zebras arrive, Savuti transforms into a predator haven. You might get a few raindrops, but it's early summer.

Famously large prides of lion and packs of hyena hunt on the open grasslands, leopards patrol the woodlands, and it’s one of the best places in Botswana to see wild dogs. From late November to early January is one of the best times to go to Savuti.

How Do You Get To Savute ?

There are 3 ways you can use to get to Savute, a light aircraft, a mobile safari or a self-drive. A light air transfer from Maun or Kasane (depending on guests' itinerary) to the Savuti airstrip in Chobe National Park is required to reach the camp. The flight from either town takes about 40 minutes, and the view from the plane over the beautiful Chobe becomes part of the experience.

Upon arrival at the Savuti airstrip, guests will be greeted by a Camp Savuti representative and driven the final 20-40 minute journey to the camp. This road transfer could be considered more of a game drive because it passes through Chobe National Park and there is a good chance of seeing a variety of animals before arriving.

Savute Wildlife

During the wet summer months, animals migrate to Savute to feed on the marsh's lush grasses.

With the arrival of the rains, thousands of zebras migrate from the northern regions of Chobe and Linyanti into the marsh's lush grasses. During the wet season, the game does not disperse. In fact, it congregates on the floodplain and marsh. Here are some of the most common animals you will see.

These big mammals can be seen in the Savuti area and it is very common to see them in large numbers at a waterhole at any given time. During the winter months the elephants are rare in the Savute area due to lack of water, but in the wet summer months they move back into the area.

There is a group of Lions that hunts adolescent elephants in the area. You will come across a few whilst in Savute. It was also in Savute where a documentary of an iconic war between Lions and Hyenas was filmed.

Many zebras move to the grasslands of the Savuti in summer when food is scarce elsewhere. The Zebra migration here is much smaller compared to the migration between the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Impala are very common in the Savuti region. There are small herds that are resident in the area but most migrate into the region in summer. They flourish well in this area and in other regions where grazers might not find much food.

These large antelope are often found along the river. They are common in the Okavango Delta, but you can still be seen around the Savuti area.

One of Africa's Big Five, the buffalo is also common in Savute. The buffalo is known to be very dangerous when wounded or caught off guard. They are considered to be the cattle of the bush. You will find large herds on the abundant floodplains of the Savute Marsh and are a major target of the lions.

You are likely to come across Giraffes in areas where there are many acacia trees. The giraffe feeds exclusively on these species of trees. Because of their long necks, they do not need to drink often and can live well in quite arid areas.

These animals migrate to the lush grasslands of the Savuti, and the Savuti Channel or Linyanti River in search of water in the dry season. They rely on these sources of water to survive in the dry winter months.

Kudu are one of the most beautiful and unique of the African antelope; they have a dusty brown coat, long twisted horns and white stripes along their sides. They come down to the Savuti Channel and the Linyanti to drink and in search of food.

Savuti & Kwai Birdlife

The elegant, long-legged kori bustard and the stately secretary bird live in Savute, which is home to some of the world's largest flying birds. These amazing birds prey on unsuspecting snakes and rodents slithering through the long grasslands. The migration of carmine bee-eaters atop the spacious backs of kori bustards will delight birdwatchers. The endangered ground hornbill, which meanders through the tall grass with tangerine eyeshadow and a bulging throat, is another local birding attraction. Raptors use their razor-sharp talons to dominate the sky and tree tops. The sight of a bateleur eagle swooping down with ivory wings to catch unsuspecting prey is simply breathtaking. The ribbon tails of pin-tailed whydahs sway low across the grasslands as they glide through the clear sky.

Best Seasons To Visit Savuti

High Season (Sunny Weather)
Winter lasts from June to October. In recent years, the savuti channel and marsh have done well in the dry months. As the waters recede, they disappear from other drinking spots, leaving only the waterholes and the channel as water sources.

Off Season (Wet Weather)
Summer lasts from November to May. Given the rainy season, depending on the time of year, rains can be heavy or light, filling up waterholes far and wide.
As a result, animals disperse because there is no need for them to congregate around a scarce water source.

Savute Park Fees

Park entrance fees are 120 Botswana Pula ($14) per person per day and P50 ($6) per day for international vehicles. Camping costs an additional 100 pula per person for adults 18 and up, 50 pula for children 8-17, and 20 pula for kids 7-5. (Children 5 years and below go free).

Activities & Experiences In Savute

Aside from the traditional Botswana Safari Activities such as bird watching, safari walks, and 4WD trips, extreme sports such as skydiving, sand-boarding, and white water rafting are also available for thrill seekers. Gubatsa Hills is where you can see the San Rock paintings. The rest of Chobe National Park's attractions are also easily accessible.

DumaTau offers day and night game drives as well as short nature walks along the Linyanti and Savuti rivers. The camp's boat provides guests with access to the waterways, allowing them to observe the Hippos up close (water levels permitting). There are several hides in the area that allow guests to observe and photograph animals in their natural environment without disturbing them.

Walking safaris and night drives are permitted outside of Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park and are offered by lodges and camps as part of their regular activities. Some Khwai camps also provide boating and/or mokoro activities, so the variety is excellent. Khwai also has some of the most affordable camps in the area.

Savuti and Kwai Accommodation

Savuti’ s accommodation options range from tented camps to luxury game lodges, with something to suit all tastes, budgets, and trip types. If you're looking for a safari in Botswana's infamous 'predator capital,' our Savuti Accommodation is sure to inspire you and make planning your Botswana Safari a breeze.

Savuti Camp
The Savuti Camp is located in a remote area alongside the Savuti Channel, about 30 kilometres northwest of Savuti Marsh. This is located outside of Chobe National Park but within the private Linyati reserve. Guests here have exclusive access to an extraordinary array of Botswana's impressive wildlife, with nearly two-thirds of the Savuti Channel inside the reserve. The intimate tented camp has only seven en-suite tents off the ground and a plunge pool.

Elephant Camp Savuti
12 tents spread along the Savuti Channel and all screened off from the bush provide some of the best elephant spotting opportunities in the park. All tents are elevated on wooden platforms, and each has a private deck with easy chairs and a hammock (perfect for lazing around, watching the wildlife at the watering hole).

Safari Lodge Savuti
This large property on the banks of the Savuti channel features 24 modern wooden and thatched suites, all with private decks, a library, cocktail bar, alfresco dining area, and a swimming pool (where you can watch game at the watering hole).

Best Month to Visit Savuti & Kwai

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Savuti & Kwai River Valley in January

In January, the Savuti & Kwai River Valley comes alive with the peak of the rainy season. This time is fantastic for bird watching as migrant birds peak in numbers, adding to the vibrant avian diversity. Additionally, the zebra migration is in full swing, offering a spectacular wildlife spectacle. This month is a paradise for bird enthusiasts and those eager to witness nature's migrations.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in February

February continues to offer exceptional birding opportunities in the Savuti & Kwai River Valley, thanks to the wet season's peak. The area's lush landscapes attract various bird species, making it a haven for bird watchers. Moreover, the ongoing zebra migration provides unique game viewing experiences, making it a perfect time for nature lovers.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in March

In March, the Savuti & Kwai River Valley's wet season brings abundant bird life, including the impressive flocks of Quelea. The region remains a hotspot for bird enthusiasts, with the landscape teeming with migratory and resident birds. The zebra migration also continues, offering breathtaking wildlife scenes against the green backdrop.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in April

April marks the transition towards drier days in the Savuti & Kwai River Valley. The last of the rainy season still offers good birding, with the chance to see the massive flocks of Quelea. Game drives start to become more rewarding as animals begin to congregate around water sources, enhancing wildlife sightings.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in May

The arrival of May brings the cooler, dry season to the Savuti & Kwai River Valley, ideal for safari activities. With lower temperatures and minimal rain, visibility improves, making it easier to spot wildlife concentrated around waterholes. It’s the start of the best period for game viewing, with comfortable weather enhancing the experience.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in June

In June, the Savuti & Kwai River Valley's dry season offers clear skies and cool weather, perfect for game drives. Wildlife viewing is at its peak as animals gather around water sources. This month combines great game viewing with the lowest risk of malaria, making it a prime time for safaris.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in July

July continues the trend of excellent wildlife watching in the Savuti & Kwai River Valley. The dry, cool climate makes it comfortable for visitors to explore the vast landscapes and observe animals congregating at waterholes. This month is among the best times to experience the area's diverse ecosystem.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in August

As August progresses, the Savuti & Kwai River Valley remain in the dry season, with wildlife still clustered around diminishing water sources. This period allows for uninterrupted game viewing opportunities, with the cool weather making safaris a pleasant experience for all visitors.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in September

September in the Savuti & Kwai River Valley is hot and dry, yet it's a fantastic time for observing wildlife around waterholes. The challenging conditions for animals mean exceptional game viewing for visitors, as the thirsty wildlife frequently visits the remaining water sources

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in October

October sees the Savuti & Kwai River Valley at its hottest and driest, just before the rains return. The intense heat drives wildlife to waterholes, providing unparalleled game-viewing opportunities. It’s the climax of the dry season, with the anticipation of the rains adding a thrilling dynamic to safaris.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in November

With the start of the rainy season in November, the Savuti & Kwai River Valley begins to transform. The early rains prompt the impala birthing season and the return of the zebra migration, offering a fresh spectacle of life in the wilderness. This month marks a period of renewal and vibrant activity in the ecosystem.

Savuti & Kwai River Valley in December

December in the Savuti & Kwai River Valley is marked by early summer rains, breathing new life into the landscape. This lush, green environment is perfect for birding and witnessing the continuation of the zebra migration and impala births. It’s a time of abundance and beauty, ideal for those seeking to experience the circle of life in the wild.

Frequently Asked Questions

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The nearest city to Savuti is Maun city. Savuti is widely known for its amazing river channel and unparalleled beauty. Savuti is a water paradise in northern Botswana, enriched with beautiful wildlife and wilderness.

The Savuti Channel is located in northern Botswana. With an area of 1930 s q miles, this river channel is located in southwest of Chobe National Park.

The Savuti is a river channel that runs at a distance of 100 km from the Chobe River. It is located to the east of Chobe National Park. Savuti is one of the best places in Southern Africa where you can witness the greatest concentration of wildlife.

After drying up for the last 30 years, in 2008 the Savuti received water from its primary resource, the Linyanti and it started flowing again. In 2010, the water finally reached the Marsh and began to spread on.

June to September is probably the best time to visit Savuti. Here you can experience the game drive, bush walk, and birding. The most commonly seen wildlife are African buffalo, African bush elephant, black rhinoceros, southern giraffe, African leopard, lion, plains zebra, and antelopes.

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