Reviews of Savute Safari Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
Savute Safari Lodge - quite special
Each lodge we visited had its own character and we enjoyed our experience at each one. My sister and I perhaps enjoyed the Savute Safari Lodge most of all.
The chalets are large, very nicely appointed and well lit during the day and from our decks (units 1 & 2 overlooking the channel) we saw numerous elephants but also giraffes, kudus and wildebeests. The channel in front of the dining area is softly lit at night and the elephants put on quite a show. The drives here were so much fun….in some areas our range rover maneuvered through fairly deep water. Our guide (Gee) found lions for us on each of our drives…including 2 females with 3 cubs and a mating pair mating. Gee also spotted a leopard, but it was getting dark and a bit difficult to see. Of course, we also encountered the "usual" elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, African fish eagles, lilac breasted rollers, red and yellow hornbills and impalas...wonderful! One afternoon, we went to see the rock paintings. The hike/climb was shorter than expected and there are just a few paintings; still we enjoyed getting a little exercise and the view from the rocks was quite nice.
Even with the wonderful accommodations and excellent gaming, it is the staff that makes Savute Safari Lodge so outstanding. I felt a warm welcome from the moment we arrived and a genuine desire to make our stay fabulous.
And that they did. On our second night they whisked our party of 4 upstairs to the library deck where they had prepared an elaborate dinner to celebrate our special occasions (our 35th wedding anniversary, our daughter’s 21st birthday and my husband’s retirement). It was truly spectacular…candlelit, private setting, excellent food (including delicious grilled kudu)…definitely a night to treasure.
We encountered one issue with chalet 2 during our stay. The bathroom had a very strong sewer/septic odor. The maintenance staff was responsive and the issue improved but was not completely resolved during our stay. We saw some PVC pipes outside the chalet as we were leaving, so we assume that the problem did get resolved.
I would love to return to Savute Safari Lodge and I would definitely request chalets 1 & 2. They are the farthest from the lodge; they are the most private and have the best view of the channel.
P.S. Safute Safari Lodge has hairdryers that can be checked out from the office...nice to have after several days in the bush!
Savute Safari Lodge review
good game drives and guides
Savute Safari Lodge review
The bumph says 'Spectacular sunloungers' and indeed they are! Overlooking the channel and seeing non stop elephant visitors.
Very friendly staff, easy going guide who was determined to find lions for us and did, good food, excellent accommodation.