Reviews of Savuti Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Savuti Camp review
The service at Savuti could not have been better. Our every want and need was accommodated with a smile. They even let me use their office computer to email my teenage son to make sure he returned safely from India.
The rooms were beautiful - impossible to believe you were out in the middle of Africa.
Also, the food was amazing! I had hoped to lose weight on this trip, but gained due to the incredible cooking.
Finally, and most importantly, the wildlife was plentiful. We saw so many different animals on our list, it is impossible to list them all here. One of the highlights was seeing a wild dog hunt and later the wild dog pack taking a nap. The other had to be seeing a magnificent leopard in a tree so close you could practically touch her.
Great guiding and game viewing
Onz was a great guide and we saw lots - including on one unforgettable day 9 wild dogs "disposing" of an impala, a leopard guarding a kill put up in a tree, two male lions with a giraffe kill, and a lone buffalo. The camp manager Anelle was super efficient.
But as with all the camps we visited the lack of 1) wifi in the rooms, and 2) some form of a gym are major drawbacks when you are away for 2 weeks - getting 1,915 unanswered emails when I reached the BA lounge in Joburg was to say the least somewhat stressful. Wilderness Safaris needs to get with the times....
Our favorite camp!
We had an amazing time at Savuti camp--my opinion of the Wilderness camps has really increased.
The staff and managers were accommodating and friendly. We had an awesome guide named Willy. We were really lucky and saw more elephants than anywhere else we have been. I saw my first lion roar up close.
Despite the early rains, there was a fair amount of wildlife diversity. Overall, our best experience at a camp so far.
Savuti Camp review
Facilities, food and drink v good
Staff lovely and management very good.
Good game drives - good balance of time
Guide (Goodman) simply the best ever. Could not rate him highly enough
Really could not fault this camp at all. Great balance for us between a luxury style camp and one that does the game properly
Savuti Camp review
We stayed at three different Wilderness Safari camps, all terrific, but Savuti is the best hands down. Wow, when you arrive and walk in from the arid Mopane landscape and first see the location of the camp on the Savuti channel, it is absolutely jaw droppingly beautiful!!! What a surprise...the food, staff, and tents were spectacular. The fact that the structures have thatched roofs makes them so much more inviting and atmospheric as compared to the all-over canvas tents we experienced in the other camps.
We loved the incredible spaciousness of the tent and magnificent view from our deck. Upon arrival, we were served a private brunch, as the other guests had not yet returned from the morning bush drive. We looked out upon the channel and a group of elephants playing in the water, splashing each other and just having the time of their lives, as were we!!! Any review of Savuti would not be complete without a word or two about Goodman, without question, the finest ranger and guide imaginable. We were so fortunate to share two days with him that we will never forget. His knowledge and genuine passion for Africa, the landscape, the animals and culture, were inspiring and riveting. We will never forget him and everything we shared.
In summary, we have to say that Wilderness Safaris deliver a magnificent overall experience for the price. Even though their classic camps are not cheap, it is a bargain given the quality of the experience that they deliver. The logistics of what they provide are staggering when you think about it and we can't imagine what the premier camps could provide that would warrant the price differential. You can only eat and drink so much fine food and drink in any one day. The staff and accommodations were superb in every respect.
Savuti Camp review
The staff were lovely. Our guide and the other couple in our Land Rover did not get along. The husband was difficult and demanding, and we had different priorities. I wanted to see as much wildlife as possible, especially large cats. When we had the opportunity to see leopards, he was complaining that we were "driving around too much," and we never made it to the leopard sighting.
I think our guide did not know how to handle this person, which I totally appreciate. Paul and I did tell the managers about the guest's behavior, complaining not only that he was annoying us, but that he was being rude and disrespectful to the guide. It does bring to the fore the problem of being "paired up" with strangers who can positively, or negatively, impact one's visit.
We thoroughly enjoyed our two-night stay at Savuti Camp. The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. The accommodations were excellent.
In the cool evenings, our beds were waiting for us with a "bush baby" (hot water bottle) beneath the covers to warm us. Similarly, there were bush babies beneath the ponchos in our vehicle to take away the chill as we started off on our morning game drives. The food was plentiful and tasty- an early continental breakfast, mid-morning tea, mid-day brunch, afternoon high tea, sundowner cocktails and snacks, and dinner! It's remarkable that we didn't gain more weight than we did.
Of course, we came to see game and with the help of Willy, our guide, we did; we thought he did a marvelous job! We saw many animals, but some of the images that stick in my mind are those of the wild dogs; the lion's finishing off the carcass of a kudu, the eleven hippo heads that arose from the water to inspect us as we rounded a bend in the river, and the male lion swimming across the channel to reunite with the brothers from which he had been separated.
Savuti Camp review
Savuti was the fourth and last stop on my 11 day safari in Botswana and I thought it would be impossible to have it top the other lodges. But it did. It was overall, the best place I stayed, mainly because of the game viewing, which is at the end of the day, what we are there for!
The lodge was absolutely beautiful, the "tents" were gorgeous, right on the channel (only outdoor showers are missing and I don't really need one), the service was spectacular - my eating safari just continued with 4 meals per day with massive amounts of delicious food. But lilke I said the highlight was the game drives. Because Savuti is part of a 3 camp "team" in the Linyati reserve (the others being Duma Tau and King's Pool), the guides can communicate with each other when game is spotted. But they have a rule of no more than 3 vehicles at a sighting, so you get a great balance of loads of viewings, but still an intimate setting. We had an amazing leopard-in-a-tree veiwing as the sun set on the branch, two other separate leopards and also found a pack of 18 wild dogs devouring an impala. Again, through pure chance, I had a day and a half of private game drives, with just me and my guide Onx in the vehicle!
The camp also organized a dinner in their gorgeous Boma for us, complete with traditional song and dance show that the staff took part in with great skill and energy. What an unexpected treat! All in all, Savuti was just incredible. If this is a "classic" camp, I can't even imagine what a "premiere" camp involves.
Different - and better than ever
We had stayed twice before at Savuti when the channel was dry. so it was with interest and a little trepidation that we returned, wondering if it would live up to our prevous wonderful experiences. Happily, it far exceeded them. The camp has been refurbished, with the tents now covered by thached structures (no more baboons bouncing up and down on the tent) and now looks down upon a flowing river. We were warmly welcomed, our previous visits having been noted, and began what has to be our best experience ever.
The area around Savuti abounded with wildlife - elephants, large herds of giraffe, hippos unexpectedly wandering around the bush, leopards and wiid dogs. We also saw lion, cheetah and two antelope that had not been seen the area for four years - eland and roan.
Highlights of the camp included an unexepected and magical dinner in bush one evening, lunch in the bush on an all-day trip; the birthday party - complete with cake - laid on for my husand and another guest; and our final dinner in camp, set in a private area by the pool, decorated with lanterns and tealights. The food at Savuti is the best we have ever had - and that is exceeding a very high standard.
Abbie and the team have created a very special place and atmosphere and we cannot wait to return to Savuti.
Savuti was probably a mistake for us
The camp itself is beautiful and the mixed male/female local staff make it a home from home. The guides also work like slaves to make your stay enjoyable. However as our main aim of going to Botswana was to view and photograph a similar wealth of animals that we had seen in an earlier trip in Chobe, the game drives were disappointing.
We did see animals including the big cats but the terrain is very boring as it never seems to change very much with lots of stunted trees (thanks to the elephants) and underfrowth. We were hoping for more scenery and greater numbers of animals.
Full marks to Ace our guide who lived up to his name.
Expert Africa comments
We are pleased that these travellers enjoyed Savuti, although sorry that they found the game drives and terrain not what they expected.
The team at Savuti Camp comment to us that that most of their drives concentrate up and down the channel, which is picturesque with diverse flora and fauna. However, to access the eastern part of their concession, a band of thick mopane woodland needs to be traversed. This can be boring, but it needs to be driven through in order to reach the game viewing areas to the east.
To put the game-viewing in perspective, we were very pleased to learn that during their drives from Savuti, these travellers saw lion, elephant, buffalo, as well as cheetah... and of course general game.