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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.
Savuti is best visited during the dry months (May-October) for wildlife viewing, especially the elephants. But if you want to see the zebra migration the wet season is better, Zebra give birth to their fowls in Savuti around November and can be seen near Linyanti from February-April.
Many antelope can be found in Savuti, as well as roan and sable antelope, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyaena, black-backed jackal and wild dog. Sometimes the elusive aardvark and aardwolf are spotted. Birding is spectacular.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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’ 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.
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).
This is one of Botswana’s highest rainfall months with an average of 100mm falling in often unpredictable and heavy downpours, and as a result January is not the most popular time to visit. It does mean that prices are a lot lower, making this prime safari destination more accessible to travellers on a lower budget. Birding is excellent at this time of year; however the water levels in the Delta are low, and the presence of water means wildlife is scattered.
Botswana’s climate is fairly regular and consistent, with hot, wet summers and mild, dry winters. The north gets the most rain, and precipitation decreases steadily as you head south. December and January are the wettest months, with average daily temperatures between 30°C and 35°C, and hot days approaching 40°C. The most extreme conditions are in the Central Kalahari, but even there nights seldom drop below 15°C.
Perhaps Botswana’s rainiest month with long showers, and hot and humid weather, temperatures ranging from mid-20s to 30s(C).
The heavy rain makes some parts of the parks (i.e. Moremi) either inaccessible or very tricky to navigate by road, but in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the landscape is a green, grassy paradise with lots of newborn antelope and a great variety of birds.
The steady drop in temperature and rainfall continues throughout March, but hot days across the country can still reach the mid 30°C’s. In the south and centre of Botswana, cold nights can drop to 10°C, but tend to stay between 15°C and 20°C in the north. There are still afternoon thunderstorms every few days, which keep the atmosphere clear. March remains an excellent month for spectacular landscape photography.
The April/May shoulder season is an excellent time to visit Botswana. By April, rainfall has almost completely ceased across the country, although there may still be a few scattered showers. Everywhere is still green and most pans still hold some water, but what is available is getting scarcer, forcing both predators and prey to stay near. Average daytime temperatures are now about 30°C and nights hover around 15°C – pleasant enough for long evenings around the campfire, while also allowing for a more comfortable sleep.
May is the beginning of Botswana’s dry winter season and there’s usually no rain at all anywhere in the country. Average daytime temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C, and it’s generally slightly warmer in the north and cooler in the south. Evenings in the north are now regularly below 15°C and by the end of the month, nights in the Kalahari can fall close to freezing. May is one of the best all-round months for visiting Botswana, with good to excellent game viewing, mild, dry weather and relatively quiet campsites and parks that get much busier later in the season.
June is another excellent month to visit Botswana, although the parks get busier from around the 20th as schools in neighbouring South Africa break for winter holidays. These usually run from the last week of June to mid-July and campsites across Botswana book up quickly. Late June marks the start of the high season in Botswana and July to October is the busiest time. Make sure you book your campsites well in advance.
June and July are Botswana’s coldest months and night-time temperatures in the Kalahari can drop below freezing. In the north, it rarely freezes, but lows of 5°C are common and morning game drives can be very cold. Daytime temperatures are roughly the same across the country, averaging between 20°C and 25°C. As ever, the north is warmer and hot days may still reach 30°C.
July is the start of Botswana’s busy season and camps and lodges can book out far in advance. Botswana’s parks and reserves don’t have that many public camping areas and most are small and spread far apart. This makes finding space tricky during peak times, but also means that even when the campsites are at their fullest, Botswana’s parks never feel overly crowded.
August remains extremely dry across Botswana, although by the end of the month there may be a brief shower somewhere in the south. Temperatures, however, are already beginning to rise and while nights in the Kalahari can still fall below freezing, sub-zero mornings are the exception not the norm. Daytime temperatures also climb rapidly during August and hot days across the country will regularly top 30°C. August is very a popular safari month in Botswana and campsites and lodges should be booked far in advance.
Northern Botswana stays completely dry during September, but the centre and south may receive a few scattered showers. Temperatures climb rapidly throughout the month and no longer drop below 0°C, even in the Kalahari. Average lows are between 10°C and 15°C, a bit cooler in the south and warmer in the north. By the end of September, the days are hot everywhere, averaging over 30°C and approaching 40°C in Maun and Kasane. September is another busy month in Botswana, and the popular northern camps should be booked well in advance.
September and October are particularly impressive along the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers. Thousands of animals rely on these waters for survival, especially elephants, which can drink up to 200 litres of water a day. After a long, hot day foraging for food, hundreds of elephants gather along the river, often running the last few metres, trumpeting wildly in their excitement and thirst.
October is Botswana’s hottest month and temperatures can exceed 40°C in the north of the country. The south is a bit cooler, but not by much. Nights in the south average between 15°C and 20°C, and in the far north are often much warmer. In the south and centre the rains usually come earlier, with the first afternoon thunderstorms bringing some relief. In the north, it rarely rains until the end of the month and the rainy season doesn’t start properly until mid-November. Despite the heat, October is a popular safari month, especially along the Chobe River which is famous for its herds of thirsty elephant.
November is the spring shoulder season in Botswana, a time of soaring thunderclouds, returning migrant birds and, once the rains arrive, fields of new-born calves. It’s still very hot, with daily highs of 35°C to 40°C across the country, and it can get even hotter in the north where nights are humid and often well over 20°C. The start of the rainy season is always hard to predict, but good years can see early November rainfall in the south and central Kalahari, while Moremi and Chobe usually have to wait until later in the month.
December and January are Botswana’s wettest months, with afternoon thunderstorms a regular feature across the country. The rains are cooling, but daytime temperatures remain high, averaging in the low 30°C’s, but with hot days of up to 40°C or more. Nights tend to be humid and warm, often not dropping below 20°C. The clear atmosphere and thunderclouds make for excellent photographs, and you can expect a spectacular thunderstorm every few days.
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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We travelled with Falcon Safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana for 16 days. Falcon designed a wonderful trip with private guide to the most interesting sites in both countries. The organization of the whole trip was excellent, flights within the country, accommodation and activites. The guides were very knowledgable and told us a lot about the countries, their history, people, economy and much more. Wevisited the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the Victoria Falls and a number of national parks in both countries.
Rhino tracking was a real adventure! We had tremendous further game drives and saw very many animals - we did the Big Five. We had much more activities than planned and enjoyed very much.We strongly recommend Falcon Safaris to everyone planning a trip to Southern Africa and East Africa.
Our Consultant Vimbai was very helpful and accommodating. We stayed at the Elephant hills hotel which was nothing short of amazing.Our activities included a helicopter flight, dinner cruise as well as a morning game drive. All the activities were absolutely amazing.
We worked with Gertrude to schedule and organize everything and she did an excellent job. I asked a lot of questions via e-mail and she answered everyone in a timely helpful manner. Our guide at Victoria Falls was also great. He met us at the airport, provided a thoughtful tour of the Falls and got us to our next guide in Botswana. Our lodgings at River View Lodge were just as described- very comfortable and excellent food. All the staff were so pleasant and helpful. If I had to do it again I would arrange a morning boat ride as well. We only did the sunset boat rides and they were the high point of our entire trip- we saw so many animals and our guide was very knowledgeable. Just a great experience. Our lodgings at Oddball's Enclave was rustic and we loved it. So great to disconnect from the world for a bit. Leo, our guide, was the best - got us out and about, saw fantastic wildlife and got back to camp safely each time. Doc manages the camp so well. This whole trip was planned and organized by Falcon Safaris and we could not have been happier.
Falcon safaris have given my the correct advice with excellent service. The only suggestion will be to work closer with the lodges to confirm bookings as soon as possible. We have booked and pay our deposit a year in advance. We have only receive our final convermation from Chobe Safari lodge a week before departure. I do realize its not within your controle but with limit alternatives and a group of 14 people it becomes an issue to find alternative accomodation if the booking was cancelled.
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