Savute Elephant Camp: Information from the owner
All the information on this page is supplied to us directly from the lodge owner and reflects their view, not ours.
For Expert Africa's view, see our own report, which contains our own observations and views.
|No. of rooms||12|
Main description of Savute Elephant Camp
As it name suggests, Savute Elephant Camp is known for the herds of elephants that can be spotted roaming its plains.
But other large animals also gather here to slake their thirst, especially now that the intermittent Savute Channel has started flowing through Chobe National Park once again after an absence of nearly 30 years.
The camp has its own traditional boma, where guests can relax in the evening and swap safari experiences while marvelling over the stars in the vast African night sky. As with all Orient-Express destinations, this is a place to really feel the pulse of Botswana—and to become a part of it yourself.
Savute Elephant Camp: Facilities
|Room facilities||Air Conditioning, Deck, Dressing Gowns, En-Suite, Fan, Heater, Mini Bar, Safe, Shower, Tea / Coffee|
|Available services||Credit Card, Laundry Service|
|Activities on site||(some activities may be seasonal) Big 5, Bird Watching, Game Drives, Game Viewing, Game Walks, Cultural Tours|
Room types at Savute Elephant Camp
Luxury tented accommdation
Savute Elephant Camp offers an oasis type setting in complete luxury. All luxury tents are housed on raised wooden platforms, offering great views, and shaded by a traditional African thatch roof. The large private decks are furnished with easy chairs and a hammock, ideal for viewing wildlife, or for enjoying a private dinner in complete privacy. The tent interiors are luxuriously appointed with such comforts as an en suite bathroom, private fully stocked mini bar, four poster bed complete with mosquito netting, as well as a discreet air conditioning. The 12 twin-bedded luxury canvas tents are perfectly suited to the desert air and feature lavishly appointed ensuite bathrooms and dressing areas. They also have private viewing decks and comfortable outdoor lounges overlooking the Channel. Amenities include: Individual gas geysers 'His and hers' vanity unit Private viewing deck High-quality Zeiss binoculars Outside lounge, with hammock and ceiling fan Electric heaters Air conditioning Private outdoor showers Mini-bars Tea and coffee making facilities In-room safes Hair dryers Electric overhead fan (24 hour use) 110v/220v plugs for electric razor Facilities for charging video cameras 24 hour DC battery lighting in guest rooms Intercom system to reception
Activities at Savute Elephant Camp
Now is a fascinating time to spot birds here. The intermittent Savute Channel, dry for 30 years, has recently started flowing past the camp again. With it has come a host of new species. So dry land birds such as bustards and secretary birds have suddenly been joined by more aquatic varieties. Simply sit out on your terrace, especially at dawn and sunset, as they come to splash and drink right in front of your eyes.
Keen birders should also take note of the seasons. At certain times of year you may encounter annual migrations such as flocks of carmine bee-eaters on the move. Some ride on the backs of kori bustards—an amazing sight.
Bushmen Paintings and Baobab Trees
Out in the bush, where rocks rear up among stony hills, are a collection of paintings that take your breath away. These works by Bushmen are thought to be more than 1,500 years old—beautiful images of elephant, giraffe, sable and eland antelope. Normally these types of painting might be found hidden in caves, but here, unusually, they are out in the wide, open landscape. No-one knows what materials the bushmen used, but the paint is thought to be a mixture of snake venom, blood and plant juices.
After viewing these paintings, continue to the amazing baobab grove—a cathedral-like cluster of 13 giant trees that rival the Bushmen’s paintings in age. Stand among these towering columns at sunset, as the evening light bathes them in a russet glow and drinks are handed round—and wonder at this ancient land.
It’s dark outside as a cup of steaming coffee and a freshly-baked pastry is brought to your tent. The first rays of sun are sneaking over the horizon as you set out with your guide. As the light intensifies, the scent of wild sage perfumes the air.
Early morning game drives take you out and among Africa’s largest populations of elephants. Big cats are on the prowl, too—from leopards to lions. Depending on the season you will also experience the great migrations of creatures such as zebra and antelope. Rare sightings might include the endangered wild dog, rock-climbing klipspringers and the elegant roan antelope.
Equally atmospheric and exciting are evening drives, as the shadows lengthen and the sky turns red. Animals and birds emerge from their siesta, and suddenly the bush is alive with sights and sounds.
Game viewing vehicles sit up to 6 guests, allowing all on board to enjoy the wildlife from a window seat.
The open skies around Savute camp make it the perfect place to experience the vast, dark dome of the African night sky. “A jewel box” is how one of our guides describes it, and certainly it is a wealth of riches from the Milky Way to Orion and Venus. Discover how Bushmen used the stars to locate the true south. And, using a powerful telescope, gaze on constellations that visitors from the northern hemisphere may never have seen before, including the Southern Cross.
Gather around the campfire in this circular log hut and exchange your day’s adventures, much as local villagers do in similar buildings throughout Botswana. Flames flicker and lamps glow as drinks are served; a choir sings traditional songs and invites you to a buffet of African specialities.
Then take a comfortable seat and listen as camp guides recount tales of the bush. Musicians strike up traditional songs and the evening often ends with everyone on their feet, dancing to rhythms handed down through generations.