Savute is a mysterious and fascinating land, occupying a remote corner of Chobe National Park. Once a large inland lake, the Savute Marsh is now fed by the erratic Savute Channel, a water source that tends to dry up for years on end before strangely flowing again.
Dry for almost 30 years, this “Vanishing River” reappeared in 2010 and reached the Savute Marsh for the first time since 1982. As a result of this variable flow, the region is covered in extensive and alternating savannahs and rolling grasslands. Today, what was formerly an area sustained by artificial waterholes has transformed into a lush harbor for hippos, aquatic life, and large numbers of dynamic wildlife. Experience warthog, kudu, impala, and the densest dry-season concentrations of elephant during the dry season, and plenteous birdlife, lions, hyenas, rare cheetah, and stunning zebra migrations in the green season.
The Savute’s zebra migration is the second largest in Africa at summer time, usually taking place between November through April, depending upon the rains. Zebra relocate from the dry, arid areas of the park, where the only source of water is the Savute Channel, to the over-flowing waterholes and the grass savannahs elsewhere. Their movement entices predators to travel too, and game viewing here quite often offers great excitement.
Beyond the thrill of the wildlife and ample opportunities for game drives, the opportunity for cultural pursuits cannot be ignored. Visit the rocky outcrops of Gubatsa Hills to view the ancient San rock paintings hidden on walls of stone.
Who knows when the Savute Channel might decide to retreat again? For this reason, now is the perfect time to travel to Savute with Ker & Downey and experience the abundant game and geological and tectonic marvels currently on display.
One of Ker & Downey’s favorite camps in this area is Belmond Savute Elephant Camp.