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Savute Elephant Camp
Elephant, Savute Elephant Camp, Botswana
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Savute Elephant Camp


The adventure begins the moment you step off the plane!  The African wilderness surrounds you in all its splendour and the sights, sounds and smells envelope your senses and bid you welcome.  The short drive from airfield to camp yields your first glimpse of the game-viewing feast in store for you as a lone Elephant crosses the road and you hear the distant roar of a Lion – This is Savute!


Best Time to Visit:

Wildlife viewing is at its best during the dry months from June to October.

Average Visitor Rating:

5 out of 5 'Pawprints' Based on 0 Review(s)
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Sensational Savute 

Savute Elephant Camp is simply one of the best places to stay on the planet if you want to see Elephant, as well as a huge diversity of other wildlife and some of the most unusual Lions in the world!  The camp is situated on the banks of the Savuti Channel, a rather erratic waterway that is the major draw card for thousands on animals in this otherwise arid part of the Chobe Game Reserve.  The Camp is operated by Orient Express and everyone there is intent on giving guests the best Luxury Safari experience of their lives.  Seeing is believing, so come and experience Savute for yourself.


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A Little Background

Thousands of years ago a large inland lake existed in this area, but tectonic movements in the Earths’ crust cut off the water supply and the lake just about dried up, leaving what is called the Savuti Marsh area.  These days the marsh is fed by the Savuti Channel, which can be dry for very long periods, and then “miraculously” starts to flow again.   In recent times, the channel completely dried up in 1982 and was dry for nearly 30 years – once again blamed on a cycle of tectonic movements.  When the water disappeared in 1982, it was decided to sink three boreholes to establish permanent waterholes to support the animals.  Savute Elephant Camp is built on the river banks above one of these waterholes, and is thus assured of a constant stream of wildlife, especially large herds of Elephant who visit regularly to drink and bathe.  In 2012, the channel started to flow again and the whole area has become transformed from an arid wilderness to a spectacularly lush area of savannahs and rolling grasslands, once again attracting a huge diversity of wildlife, many of which moved further afield when the channel was dry. 



Huge Herds of Elephant, the Lions of Savute and other Highlights

The Elephants

Chobe Game Reserve, and Botswana in general, has the highest population of Elephants in Africa, numbering over 130,000 and you are absolutely guaranteed a close encounter of the Elephant kind when you come to Savute Elephant Camp.  Not only can you view them from the privacy of your personal patio, but you can also lie on a recliner around the pool and watch them come to the channel to drink and bathe, literally 30mts from where you are soaking up the warm African sun.


The Lions of Savute

Also rather notoriously known as the Elephant Killers of Savute, some of the Lions in this part of Chobe have become experts at killing Elephant, a behaviour that is almost unheard of in other areas.  One possible explanation is that human intervention in Nature is to blame; some researchers believe that when the permanent water holes were created in the dry Savuti Channel, many of the Lions’ more regular prey moved away to greener pastures, while the Elephant stayed and enjoyed their man-made water hole. Of course the Lions were hungry and at first preyed only on old, weak Elephants and young animals, but have gradually become adept at killing healthy adults too.  They move in large packs, numbering up to 32 and hunt with stealth and dexterity.  The good news is that now that the waters have returned to the Savuti Channel, and with it the other animals, fewer and fewer Elephant are meeting such a cruel end. 


Predators and Prey

At Savute Elephant Camp you have an excellent chance of multiple sightings of four of the Big Five (most of the Rhino in Chobe have fallen victim to poachers), large packs of Spotted Hyena and even the highly endangered Wild Dog.  There are thousands of Zebra, who regularly migrate through the region, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Warthog, Kudu, Impala and Cheetah are also in evidence, and the expert guides at Savute know just where to find them.  Be sure your camera is charged and ready for action!



With over 450 recorded species of bird the area is just wonderful for Twitchers!  You can see and hear many of them from your patio; what a perfect way to start and end the day!



Safaris at Savute Elephant Camp

The guides at this camp are outstanding!  What sets them apart is that they are all local people who have lived in the area all their lives, and know every nook and cranny as well as the palm of their hand.  They are experts at animal behaviour, know exactly what to expect and anticipate and can take you to the best places to maximize your chances of game spotting.  They will spend hours tracking a particular animal if you want them to and look after you for the duration of your visit, both on the game drives and inside the Camp so that you can build up an excellent relationship.  You will be taken on early morning and late afternoon game drives in open game-viewing vehicles where each and every guest has a great view.



Other Activities

Bushman Paintings and Baobabs

Oout in the middle of nowhere are a collection of incredible Bushman paintings thought to be over 1,500 years old.  Unusually, these painting are not hidden away in a cave, but are out in the open where they paint used has endured the elements all this time.  Nearby is a grove of 13 giant Baobab trees that are even older than the paintings!  A sunset drive to see these treasures is an activity you should not miss.



Between drives rest alongside the pool or on your private view patio and enjoy the stillness of the African bush.


The Boma

This is where everyone meets in the evening to compare viewing highlights and enjoy the superb African-inspired food in the open, around a traditional campfire.  



Accommodation at Savute Elephant Camp

The twelve ultra-luxurious tents are on raised wooden platforms with outstanding views of the river.  No effort has been spared to make you comfortable!  There are wonderful en-suite bathrooms with open-air showers, huge beds, air-conditioning, mini-bars, private safes, hair dryers and every other convenience you can imagine, including your own private deck with a view and a pair of excellent binoculars!



How to Get There

There are scheduled flights to Maun from Johannesburg and several other African cities.  From there you will transfer to Savute by shared charter aircraft in 50mins.  You can also fly in from Kasane or Livingstone.



Best Time to Visit

There is good game viewing all year round, but it definitely peaks during the dry season (June to October) when many animals congregate along the life-giving channel.  However, the best time for birding in Savute is during the wet summer months (December to March) when many migrants are in evidence.

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