Savute Safari Lodge is situated on the banks of Botswana’s fabled Stolen River, and is a traditional thatched safari lodge in a setting of singular beauty. But just as awe-inspiring is the decades old story of how the river was stolen… and in an unexpected twist, how it was given back.
Stretching from the waterways of the Linyanti all the way to Savute Marsh, the winding waterways of Savute Channel have pumped life into the western section of Chobe National Park for many thousands of generations. But this fickle and unpredictable channel has a fascinating history of flooding and drying up independently of good rainy seasons and flood levels elsewhere – a mystery that has intrigued geologists and other researchers for many years.
When David Livingstone discovered the Savute Channel in 1851 it was flowing. Thirty years later the channel had disappeared and the Savute Marsh had dried out, remaining this way for almost 80 years. It flowed again in the late 1950s, continuing until the early 1980s when it again receded, gaining the channel its reputation as ‘the river which 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. No-one knows how long the water will remain.
The signature expansive glass sliding doors and viewing decks at Savute Safari Lodge were inspired by the striking panorama, and have been further complemented by the Savute Channel which now flows just 50 metres from the lodge.
FACILITIES: To ensure a private and relaxing environment, Savute Safari Lodge accommodates just 24 guests in 12 local timber and thatched chalets. The chalets have been elegantly furnished in calm neutral tones to compliment the natural environment and feature expansive private decks, a combined bedroom and lounge area plus en-suite facilities.
Sink into one of the numerous comfortable leather, wood or wicker sofas in the lounge – and library – or sip a cocktail in the stylish bar, all of which are situated in a beautiful two-storey thatch and timber main building. Savute Safari Lodge boasts a shaded viewing deck, al fresco dining area and swimming pool with spectacular pool loungers – ideal for watching the varied wildlife – and the resident elephants – as they make their way to the Savute Channel to drink, bathe and play.
ACTIVITIES: Activities are centred around game drives throughout the Savute area in open 4×4 safari vehicles. Many trips will incorporate a visit to the Savute Marsh for your chance to see the historic presence of the Savute Channel at the marsh against a teeming backdrop of wildlife. Guests will also enjoy a visit to the ancient San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills – a small hilly outcrop which forms a remarkable landmark in the otherwise flat landscape.
Savute lays claim to the second biggest summer zebra migration in Africa, which 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 southeast of the park. Often followed by a myriad of predators, the zebra migration is a must for visitors.
CHILDREN: Regretfully, we are unable to accept children under the age of six. Families with children aged 6-11 will be required to book private activities at an additional cost, the nature of which may be subject to the discretion of the managers or guides. Children aged 12-15 must share accommodation with a parent. No childcare or babysitting service is provided at any of our properties and children remain the responsibility of their parents at all times.
WHAT IS INCLUDED: Your stay at Savute Safari Lodge is inclusive of accommodation, all meals, local brand drinks, scheduled game-viewing activities, emergency medical evacuation insurance to regional medical facility, park entrance fees and our complimentary laundry service.
WHAT IS EXCLUDED: Tips, gratuities and premium brand drinks. Guests are welcome to buy items from our Curio Shop and any forgotten items of a personal nature can also be purchased at the lodge.