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Savute Safari Lodge
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Reviews (363)
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All reviewswatering holewater holesavute channelwild dogsdesert deltagame drivesview of the waterdining areawarm towelssafari lodgesense of humourdirect viewlanding stripthree nightswatch elephantsbefore dinnerbush tv
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Reviewed 22 December 2011

I wanted to see the channel flowing and see the changes this has made to the area. We stayed for four nights. The rooms very large and excellent. Not all look on to the channel which is a pity.

The rate we paid through Desert and Delta was over $1000 per day so its on the very high end and is, as seems often the case where operators show a lack of faith in local currency and country, quoted in US dollars. For SA residents the price is hard to justify.

MC and Michelle run a good operation and are very good hosts we had great fun.

We had Metal as a guide and he is without exception the best guide I have ever dealt with. I have dealt with many probably over 100. His personal style and scientific knowledge was way above my expectation and for this reason, on its own, the ‘Africa safari’ experience was one of the best for me. He taught us and touched our hearts and minds and we are grateful.

With the channel flowing and the marsh with water Savuti/Savute is a great experience.

If the rate is acceptable then this is simply a great place to visit and this lodge was a wonderful – wonderful experience – I would go back in a flash.

Room Tip: ask for channel view
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JosephPerthAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2011

If you are interested in elephants, a small camp atmosphere and great guides, this will be a camp for you. Botswana takes a little more effort and money than South Africa. You must fly into Joburg and then connect with a flight to Maun. The next flight will be on a small plane which may be very warm and bumpy. One never knows what will be on the landing strip..
elephants, monkeys or lions! If you wish to see the elephants at a very close proximity, choose room 8 or 7. They are located thirty feet from the mineral water hole and there are elephants there constantly. However that also means that you will hear trumpeting, stomping etc. into the late night. We were disturbed a little the first night but you adjust and are tired since your wake up is 5:30 am. The river is now flowing which means more nature sightings at the camp. The couple that manages the camp make you feel that you are in their home. The staff singing, conversations around the fire pit, good food and terrific game drives make it a wonderful lodge.
Be aware that you are in a National Park and therefore off road driving is minimal. However we were very pleased with our game drives and knowledgeable guide. The camp uses a generator for electricity so if you want Internet, AC, spa etc. this is not the camp to choose. We went in early Sept. and had cool mornings and warm days. There is usually a large temperature fluctuation when traveling in Africa, so layering is very important. This is one of our favorite camps!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank calamity66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2011

Couldn't agree more with the previous reviewer that if you're into elephants, this is the place for you! This was the second lodge/camp we visited on a recent trip through Botswana and Zambia. (Baines Camp by Sanctuary; Chobe Under Canvas by & Beyond; Tongabezi were the others).

Management team and staff were super - really welcoming and professional. Excellent food with dinners and lunches as close to elephants as you will probably ever get. We could have watched them for hours. During the day, the bull herds would come to the watering hole and the newly flowing Savuti channel to splash and drink. At night, the breeding herds would take over - and occasional wildebeest would wonder in scaring them all. And some Cape Buffalo visited the same spot while we were there.

This is a larger lodge than the others we stayed on this visit and on a previous visit to South Africa with 12 "rooms" - that means if the lodge is at capacity, there's 24 people instead of 10 or 12 at some of the smaller lodges. After this visit, we know we now prefer the smaller, more intimate lodges. Because we come from a big city, the smaller and quieter the lodge, the better. Others may enjoy the camaraderie of more guests though.

That said, the individual rooms are far enough apart that they are very private and the grounds are lovely. The rooms seem to be due for a little sprucing up but huge and very clean. When we visited, temperatures were around 40C/104F during the day and stayed somewhat warm at night so we needed to sleep with the just the screen doors - if you do this too, you will hear (and smell) the elephants at night plus lot's of other animals. This isn't necessarily a negative - it's a fun part of the whole experience. We were here (and all the other lodges) for 3 nights each - felt at every place this was the perfect length of time. Long enough to get settled in but short enough that you felt like you had seen everything when it was time to go.

On our game drives, we saw some amazing game, brilliant birds and especially loved the visits to the Savute Marsh to see lions, elephants, storks, buffalo, wild dogs all very close to each other - at the same time. Because the lodge is in the middle of Chobe National Park and not a private concession, land rovers are restricted to the roads and must be back at the lodge by 7 pm. In some cases, this made game viewing less than optimal but the trade offs of preserving this park and respecting the animals that make their home here were worth it. Just bring a camera with a really good zoom lens (we needed just a little bit more than 200mm that would have made some shots perfect) and a good pair of binoculars. Pairing a visit here with a one in a private concession would be a good balance.

Nice touch - the checklist booklet of all the mammals, birds, reptiles in the region. We started to use this and brought it with us to our other camps - it made game viewing (especially the birds).

Tip: This lodge and other remote lodges in Botswana were having trouble taking VISA payments for gratuity and incidentals - we were advised that this is a Botswana bank issue in spite of customer calls to their credit card companies ahead of time. So bring USD in small bills just in case.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Zooeybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2011

a world class safari site, lodge, staff, guides, animals, absolutely wonderful

Room Tip: all rooms are fab
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank AlgarveSunman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2011

We just returned from a wonderful safari holiday at 3 Desert & Delta camps (Leroo La Tao, Camp Moremi and Savute Safari Lodge) and all were very different and equally amazing. Savute Safari Lodge was the most luxurious with very large chalets fronted entirely by glass and a huge viewing deck with chairs and small table. The bed was very comfortable. We were in #8, which is right in front of the water hole, where elephants gather and bugle you to sleep at night. They leave some time during the night to return again later the next day. The biggest disappointment honestly was from before we left home and everything we had read online said the Stolen River is dry. That is certainly not the case since 2009 and it is filled with water and flows right in front of the lodge and by the water hole. There were nearly always 40-50 elephants gathered during the afternoon and evening hours coming from all directions to get a drink. It was a beautiful sight! Michelle and MC are very nice and capable managers and make everyone feel welcome. We had Baba for our ranger and he was very good and a lot of fun. He understands about photography and lighting, so he was always willing to try to get the vehicle in the best position for us to take photos. They cannot drive off-road, so sometimes it isn't possible, but when it is, he does his best. While there we saw endangered wild dogs (a very rare sighting anywhere!), hundred of elephants, lions, leopard, roan antelopes, zebras, giraffes, buffalo, impalas, storks, spoonbills, lilac breasted rollers, hornbills and numerous other birds and wildlife. The food was excellent. Be prepared for very hot weather at this time of year from about 11:30 A.M.--4:30 P.M. and then it cools off quickly and is quite pleasant. We used Go2Africa for our Botswana bookings and they were fantastic to work with. I would highly recommend them.

Room Tip: Chalet #8 is right in front of the water hole where elephants gather daily.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Travel_Deb27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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