Stretching from the Linyanti River all the way to Savute Marsh, the winding waterways of the Savute Channel have pumped life into the western section of Chobe National Park for many thousands of generations. However, this fickle and unpredictable channel, which has a fascinating history of flooding and drying up, independently of good rainy seasons and flood levels elsewhere, has mystified local inhabitants, geologists and others for many years.
When David Livingstone, the first European to visit the area, saw the Savute Channel in 1851 it was flowing. Thirty years later it had disappeared and the Savute Marsh had dried out, remaining this way for almost 80 years. It flowed again from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, when it again receded, hence its reputation as ‘the river that flows in both directions’.
In 2009, after another extended hiatus, the channel began flowing again and by January 2010 had spilled into the Savute Marsh for the first time in three decades, but for how long – no one knows …
ACCOMMODATION & THE LODGE
To ensure a private and relaxing environment, Savute Safari Lodge accommodates just twenty-four guests in twelve thatched chalets built of local timber. The chalets, which have been elegantly furnished in calm neutral tones to blend with the natural environment, feature expansive private decks, a combined bedroom and lounge area and en suite facilities.
Activities are organised around game drives throughout the Savute area in open 4x4 safari vehicles. Many trips will incorporate a visit to the Savute Marsh to give you a chance to see the historic presence of the Savute Channel at the marsh against a backdrop of teeming wildlife. Guests can also enjoy a visit to the ancient San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills – a small hilly outcrop which forms a prominent landmark in the otherwise flat landscape.
Savute boasts the second-largest summer Zebra migration in Africa; its timing is determined by the rains, but usually occurs between November and December and again between February and April, when the Zebras move from the rivers in the north in search of the rain-ripe grasslands and full waterholes in the southwest of the park. The migration is always followed by large numbers of predators – the Zebra migration is a must for visitors.
"This safari exceeded our expectations in every way. Many thousands of thanks for making our stay exceptional with memories to last a lifetime. We will recommend this place to all our friends – we will be back!"