The Savute is hauntingly beautiful even whilst being stark and wild. This makes it an area not to be missed on any safari tour to Botswana – particularly for a first-time visitor.
I have been privileged to live on the banks of the Savute Channel and I have never experienced a more exciting place in terms of predator/prey encounters and predator vs predator encounters!
Who can boast of having Leopard and Lion drink out of their birdbath while sitting at dinner with guests, no more than 10 meters away?
- Annual Zebra and Wildebeest migration
- Massive bull elephants
- Best during spring and late summer
- Breeding herds of elephants
- Huge competition between Lion and Hyena
The areas near the one or two sources of water away from the Chobe River are often the scene for dramatic events involving predator and prey.
Large numbers of hyena are resident in the area. When the first spring rains arrive, the renowned Savute channel area, and in particular, the Savute Marsh, come alive with huge herds many thousands of Zebra and fewer Wildebeest, on their annual migration south. At the end of summer the migration is repeated northwards.
The Savute channel which last flowed in 1979 when it used to flood into the Savute Marsh – is flowing again! This adds a whole new dimension to the character of the area.
Savute pulses to a timeless rhythm, with its alternating wet and dry cycles that mould its landscape and determines its inhabitants. This is the mystery of “The Stolen River” – title of an award winning documentary by Dereck and Beverly Joubert of National Geographic fame.
One thing is inarguable; Savute is never boring – anything can happen at any time. I have witnessed a pack of wild dog chasing an Impala, pass within five meters our dining area – and make the kill seconds later!
When you think of a Botswana holiday, remember to build in a Savute safari experience.