Reviews of Savute Safari Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Very comfortable lodge in Savuti.
The lodge was very comfortable with great service but felt more like a hotel than the intimate safari camps we are used to.
Our expectations of large elephant numbers were not met due to weather conditions allowing them to be widely dispersed. Our guide struggled to understand at times and did not fully engage with information having to be extracted from him.
We did see lots of lions and a leopard also,
Exceeded expectations although some flaws
Slightly conflicted perspective on Savute Safari Lodge but turned out to be great overall.
We booked this trip at the very last minute (two days prior to leaving) afetr deciding on a whim to take another look at the (rapidly drying out) Savute Channel. This lodge wouldn't have been our choice as I much prefer smaller less mainstream lodges and Savute Safari Lodge is neither of these things with 24 beds and what seemed to be quite a lot of larger groups staying. But it was all we could find for the days we were there.
However, notwithstanding our misgivings, it was a great choice. The staff were charming, Gwis, our guide was absolutely excellent as was Action, the manager who clearly led a very well run camp. The chalets were not your standard fantasy Africa lodging (they had rather ugly tiled bathroom, sliding glass patio doors, built in wardrobes etc) but they were actually very comfortable and practical which more than compensated for the optics
Savute channel / marsh continue to be fascinating and we saw excellent game (leopard, lion kill, 1000s of zebra, huge eles and so on) so Savute as good as ever and we were very happy with the guiding as mentioned above. And since you're in a public area, it's not as if by choosing one camp over another, the experience would be radically different, at least not where it matters out in the bush.
Mixed experience at Savute Safari Lodge
Started off badly, guide who met us (2 Germans and myself) acknowledged the Germans and ignored me. By day 3, I had been passed through 3 guides treated like an inconvenient parcel – I made it very clear I was unimpressed by this treatment and will not recommend the company, Desert and Delta Safaris, or the Lodge to friends and colleagues. I assume it was bad luck that I arrived as a single traveller at that particular time and hopefully others will not suffer my fate. The poor treatment was very surprising as at the previous 3 camps I had been welcomed and treated like any other guest.
The lodge itself and the rooms are excellent and the wildlife around the re-flowing channel varied and interesting. Just a pity about the management and unfriendly staff.
Expert Africa comments
We are very sorry to hear that this travellers time at Savute Safari Lodge was so disappointing. It is a camp that we here at Expert Africa have always thought of as having one of the friendliest teams so we were very eager to find out what went wrong.
Desert & Delta were extremely apologetic that this guest did not feel welcome at the camp. They explained that it was certainly not normal practice to move guests between guides, and they have let the camp know that this is not acceptable. The camp explained that the movement between guides was in order to try and give this traveller a better experience. Desert & Delta acknowledged that this intention obviously did not come across. The original guide spoke to management as he was worried that this traveller had been put in a vehicle with avid birders, and he thought she would have a better time with guests who were interested in a broader game viewing experience, this meant a further change in guide on the second third day in order to allow this guests viewing experience not to be interrupted when the guide dropped off clients at the airstrip.
They acknowledge that the camp staff obviously didn’t go about this in the right way and a lack of communication between the staff with the guest lead her to feel like an 'inconvenient parcel'. For this they are extremely apologetic. Clear communication with guests is something that the operators are constantly working on and continual training is undertaken to improve this for future travellers.
Savute Safari Lodge review
Wonderful welcome at our first 'proper' lodge, and this continued throughout the stay.
Wonderful guide in Baba, who was very informative about the flora and fauna. Baba was very experienced in his work and his expertise enabled us to see so many birds and animals, including many types of antelope, packs of wild dogs, large herds of elephant and buffalo, giraffe, and many others as well. Never seen so many animals together in one place before, and one sundowner was within a huge herd of buffalo!
Saw many lion families, all close to our Jeep. The highlight of the trip, tho one that left us very emotional and sad, was to see a group of lionesses stalk and attack two buffalo, one of which got away. The other didn't but it was bellowing for some while after the lions began eating it alive. It lived for some 35/40 minutes after it had been brought down. Not something that I would like to see again, but an experience that will not be forgotten.
Take your guide's advice on walking the lodge paths, as one morning when Baba arrived to take us to early tea and muffin, we were shown leopard tracks on the paths that we used! Obviously Baba was very happy in his job and he managed to get his love of flora and fauna across to us all. An excellent first lodge.
A Wonderful Waterhole at Sociable Savute
Savute Safari Lodge is a very sociable place to stay. The staff that we met there were without fail friendly and efficient, and there were some real characters amongst them. There is a wonderful waterhole adjacent to the eating area where animals come in large numbers to drink the pumped water, preferring it to the water in the Savute channel. Be warned though, it is all too easy to spend hours after your excellent evening meal, sitting around the camp fire watching the wildlife perform at the waterhole whilst exchanging tales with fellow guests and staff, and then you remember that you should have had an early night to be ready for the next morning's game drive.
The chalet that we had was clean and comfortable, with remarkably crisp white bedlinen. There was a pleasant view from the chalet over the Savute Channel. We saw elephant, kudu and impala and a wide variety of birds, including pied kingfishers, whilst relaxing on our verandah.
We were able to recharge our camera batteries in the chalet.
Game drives are taken in the adjacent Chobe National Park, which is renowned for it's large herds of elephant and buffalo. We saw them both in their thousands, which was very impressive. We also had good sightings of lion, wild dog, and hippo, but the leopards remained elusive. The National Park imposes some constraints on the game drives, the most significant of which are :
a) You have to leave the park before closing time (18:30)
b) Off-road driving is not allowed.
The first of these constraints meant that interesting late sightings had to be abandoned and were followed by a "Ferrari safari" mad dash to get to the camp gates on time. The second of these constraints meant that, even with binoculars and telephoto lenses, many sightings were not as good as they could have been. We knew about the constraints before we booked Savute, but we still found them a bit frustrating. That said, we still managed to witness our fair share of drama on the game drives, and our guide (Issa) did an excellent job of being there when the predators left their kill to cross the road right by our vehicle to get to the nearest water.
Surrounded by Elephants
Largest camp we stayed in but still only 12 rooms - slightly more corporate but extremely comfortable.
Dining area great for elephant viewing during dinner and balcony of room was fantastic for watching a variety of wild life in the channel.
Staff excellent and our driver Caltex worked very hard to show us as much as possible including a fantastic pride of extremely well fed lions.
great safari at savuti safari lodge
high end luxury combined with great game viewing opportunities at all times....from your room/at meal times/on game drives
can't fault the service, caring, personalised without being overbearing, genuine and well informed
game drives brilliant, learnt so much from the encyclopaedical knowledge of our guide, Metal
Lesley was totally overwhelmed to have her retirement acknowledged at the final evening meal with the candlelit table for 2, dancing and singing, cake with candles.......at best we thought we might get a nice room, I'd always joked I'd love a surprise party, but thought I'd be ready for it, but was totally caught out by it (Boi was so sweet about my reaction)
Savute Safari Lodge - great start to holiday
Our flight from Maun to Savuti Airstrip arrived at 4pm. The afternoon game drive had already left (at 3.30pm). We were taken directly to meet up with our guide Baba and 4 American guests out in the bush. Our bags were taken separately to the camp. On this first game drive we saw 5 wild dogs and 8 lion cubs with their mothers. We couldn't have wished for more.
We stayed in Chalet 8 which had a superb bedroom/lounge and balcony overlooking the Savute Channel and a water hole where many elephants came to drink - you could almost touch them. Baba was a great guide, who truly wanted you to see as much as possible, and the 4 American ladies were wonderful company. Vehicles had to be back at camp before dark. It was fun trying to keep your sundowner inside your glass as Baba made a dash along the bumpy road.
Bird sightings included a Verreaux's eagle owl (giant eagle owl) and a tawny eagle. San rock art and a 1000 year old baobab tree were also close to the camp.
The staff were lovely and sang to us before dinner....something which was repeated at many other camps although perhaps not with such gusto. This was the largest and most sophisticated camp we stayed in. It was the only one to have internet access for guests. The only thing we missed were hot water bottles (bush babies) at night and on the early morning game drive. Once the sun goes down in May/June it gets very chilly.
Savute Safari Lodge Review
Arrival at Savute Safari Lodge had a real wow! factor. Lots of elephants and other animals within yards of us at the waterhole in front of the lodge. Lovely spacious room with veranda just above the water. Food was excellent and the staff very friendly. We particularly enjoyed the staff singing and dancing and sitting round the fire after dinner with them and other guests.
We were struck by the greenery along the channel and the vast expanse of the Savute Marsh. Our guide, Gwist was exceptional and went to great lengths to ensure our enjoyment of the area and animals at close quarters. Highlights were lionesses taking down a 15-20 year old elephant (fascinating and gruesome), subsequent feeding on the carcass by the pride then jackal and kite. 6 lionesses stalking wart hog - unsuccessfully. Several sightings of wild dog with puppies and leopard - including a leopard in a tree eating a catfish. We also enjoyed the large herds of buffalo and elephant, wide variety of bird life and seeing the rock paintings.
Great lodge for elephant watching
The tents were very large and well furnished. Ours looked out over a water hole and channel that were visited by numerous elephant
The highlight of the stay here was seeing a pack of wild dogs. Our guide was excellent and found the best spot to photograph them from.
As the brochure said there wasn't an abundance of game on the way to the reserve but once there we saw buffalo, lions and many different species of birds.
The service was good, staff met us on every return from a game drive with wet flannels. A nice touch.