The Leopard (Nkwe) can
be distinguished from Africa's other large spotted
cats (cheetah) through its 'rosette" spots.
The African Fish Eagle
is very similar in appearance to the American
Bold Eagle. These birds do not only feed on
fish, as many people believe. More...
Randall Moore's legendary
Abu elephant-back safari in the Okavango is
the most dramatic and luxurious way to enjoy
an African safari. More...
TO PLAN A SAFARI TO THE SAVUTE REGION IN BOTSWANA
SAVUTI CHANNEL and its MYSTICAL MARSH
OKAVANGO & MOREMI
as a prime game viewing area, the Savuti
(also spelt Savute), covers almost 1,930
sq. miles (5,000 square km) in the south west of
Chobe National Park.
western edge of Savuti is encircled by the Magwikhwe
sand ridge, 156 miles (100km) long and 65 feet
(20 metres) high, which is the ancient shoreline
of a super-lake that covered much of northern
Botswana. It is difficult to imagine that this
harsh dry landscape was once submerged beneath
an enormous inland sea.
A channel from the Linyanti River once fed the
now dry Savuti Marsh, which is the deepest part
of the Mababe Depression and is the only part
to have filled with water in recent history.
marsh has something of a mystical renown as it
can dry up or flood regardless of local rains.
David Livingstone, on his way to 'discover' the
Victoria Falls in 1851, commented, that it was
a "dismal swamp," but sometime around
1888 it started to dry up and remained completely
parched until 1957.
Camelthorn acacia trees established themselves in
the channel and along the banks and grew to full
size. During unexpected floods these trees were
drowned but as the channel and marsh dried out again,
the dead trees became one of the most prominent
features of the landscape.
parts of Savuti are almost desert-like with a scorching
sun and hot sand, while at the other extreme are
vast grass plains full of game, reminiscent of Tanzania's
Serengeti. These rich grasslands are boosted into
fecundity by summer rains, at which time huge herds
of zebras migrate south from the Linyanti to gorge
on the abundant grazing. Savuti also contains a
number of pans that hold water for months after
the rains, enabling animals to remain long into
the dry season.
strikingly different terrain found in Savuti, are
the Gubatsa Hills. Formed some 980 million years
ago during volcanic movement, these dolomite rock
outcrops create a series of extraordinary hills.
They rise to an astonishing 290 feet (90 metres)
high, out of a completely flat landscape.
area promises sightings of endangered wild dog,
which is said to be the most efficient hunter in
Africa. Large concentrations of lion follow the
annual zebra migration intently, and leopard and
cheetah are to be seen. Many hyenas live here and
researchers have found that lions loose 20% of their
kills to them. Hyenas are formidable hunters in
their own right but are opportunistic feeders who
will annoy and threaten a pride of lions until they
give up their meal.
Savuti is also famous for its elephants that roam
great distances for the best fodder.
secretary birds and kori bustards are often seen
strutting around the Savuti marsh and small redbilled
francolins provide as a noisy morning wake up call.
Interesting summer migrants and water birds include
Abdim's storks, carmine bee eaters and even fish
eagles. Little quelea finches are quite a spectacle
as they gather in thousands. They reach a frenzy
of numbers in about April when a single flock could
contain tens of thousands of these small twittering
Rainy season: Rains arrive from November to April,
at which time the animals make their way to pastures
rich in new grass. Sometime in November or December
thousands of zebras migrate from the Linyanti in
the north and move south through Savuti to the grasslands
of the Mababe Depression. In February they start
heading northwards again. Humidity and heat is high.
season: From May to October the water pans dry up
and the animals are attracted to three artificial
waterholes. Elephants dominate these while other
animals have to wait their turn. September and October
can be extremely hot but game viewing is very rewarding
as predators are concentrated around the waterholes.
· Rare and endangered wild
dog are a pleasure to observe
· Thousands of zebras moving
slowly across the plains in their twice yearly migration,
is a sight to behold
· Hyenas have the most complex
social system of all African animals and are fascinating
to watch at their den when youngsters are around
· Sit for hours watching
elephants at waterholes
· Safari lodges offer luxury
in a completely different environment from Chobe
· Quelea finches gather
in flocks of tens of thousands
· The sage bush (or bitter
bush) releases its herbal aroma as it is crushed
by foot or vehicle
Savuti is in Chobe National Park so off-road and
night driving are not permitted
This is a malarial area.
© OkavangoSafari.info 2005