Savuti Camp is situated in an isolated part of the Linyanti Concession along the Savute Channel in northern Botswana. The site of Savuti Camp is about 17 kilometres 'downstream' from the Zibadianja Lagoon - the source of the Savute Channel. The Channel stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008; during this time it was an unusual and productive ribbon of grassland that served as a corridor and feeding ground in the surrounding woodland for a wide variety of herbivores.
In 2008, the Savute Channel once more became a deep, clear waterway harbouring hippo and aquatic life with myriad varieties of waterbirds. Wildlife, from plains game to a plethora of predators, has had to adapt to a new source of water and all the opportunities and menaces it has brought with it. For different species the Savute Channel has become a place of refuge, an obstacle, an unrivalled food source, a navigational aid, a larder, a playground, and a graveyard. It is impossible to say yet whether the waters will persist or begin to recede in earnest as much of this will depend on the next summer rains - but while it lasts, at Savuti Campthere are front-row seats for each drama that is played out.
With two-thirds of the Savute Channel located in the concession, Wilderness guests have private and exclusive access to the abundant game and the natural and geological changes that are occurring on a daily and seasonal basis.
Game concentrations here are high, particularly in the winter dry season, and apart from abundant plains game, species such as roan and sable antelope, southern giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyaena, black-backed jackal and wild dog may also be encountered. In winter, this area can also be excellent for the sought-after aardvark and aardwolf, which are big ticks on anyone's mammal lists!
For a quarter of a century, the Savute Channel was dry, creating wide-open grassland, home to both quantities and varieties of wildlife and a legendary predator's enclave. In 2008, the waters returned, and Savuti Camp now has front-row seats to view the abundant game that has congregated and adapted in its wake.
The 125 000-hectare (308 000-acre) private Linyanti Concession bordering Chobe National Park's western boundary is an enormous, wildlife-rich area, shared between just three small camps (DumaTau, Kings Pool and Savuti Camp), which creates an unrivalled atmosphere of remoteness and space.
There are three main features of the Linyanti Concession: the Linyanti River, the woodlands of the interior and the well-known Savute Channel, famous as a sporadic and unusual watercourse. The Channel stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008; during this time it was an open grassland, home to a wide variety of animals. In 2008, the Savute Channel once more flowed, creating a water source that rapidly filled with aquatic life, wide varieties of waterbirds, and hippo, amongst other changes. With two thirds of the Channel located in the concession, Wilderness guests have private and exclusive access to its abundant game.
These three features together with the floodplains, woodlands, grasslands, palm islands and scrub vegetation of the area harbour one of the densest dry season concentrations of elephant in Botswana - at times the Linyanti must have several thousand elephants roaming around. This phenomenon is one of the main attractions for travellers to northern Botswana, but the area is also important in holding good numbers of predators, providing an integral stronghold for species like the critically endangered wild dog, as well as lion, cheetah and spotted hyaena. The roan antelope found in the area can provide an equal thrill however, as can the high concentration of birds of prey, seasonal zebra congregations and the cathedral-like woodland of mature mopane trees.