Beautiful winter days without a cloud in the sky are gracing us here at Savuti with temperatures averaging around 29° C. The Savute Channel is still flowing, although the water level is not as high as it was last year at this time; however it is still providing clean, fresh water for the myriad animals at Savuti.
Elephant can be seen almost every day from camp taking a bath and quenching their thirst. Clear crisp evenings are broken by the comical grunts of hippo, the thin winter air carrying their calls across Savuti. Hyaena are regular visitors around the camp, their tracks visible when day breaks. The formidable and fearsome honey badger has been spotted from the boardwalk at night as well as the very elusive pangolin. Guests were lucky on a night drive to witness a very shy caracal hunting rodents in the long grass.
Lion have proved very difficult to locate, though the guides have done extremely well in finding them. The DumaTau Pride has split and two lioness and a youngster seem to be making the Savuti area their new home. A single lioness and male lion were seen together for a few days; hopefully some romance is in the air and we at Savuti will be blessed with some lion cubs in the future. Two females passed through the camp one evening, near the staff village.
A young female leopard decided to visit the camp area and over the following days, guests managed to see her in the vicinity. Guides have also managed to track and locate the large male leopard whose territory stretches from the Chobe Airstrip to the Linyanti, and have had good sightings of him. Another female leopard has been seen with a young cub of about a year old on several occasions close to camp.
There have been excellent sightings of elephant at Savuti - often the guides and guests were surrounded by large breeding herds on their game drives. With the moon waxing, guests have been able to see elephants swimming across the channel in the evening from their rooms. Large bull elephants are constant companions at Savuti making their way from tree to tree.
Large herds of buffalo have been moving in and out of the Linyanti Concession visiting the Savute Channel to quench their thirst. As the seasonal pans dry up and the vegetation’s palatability decreases, the buffalo are seen closer to permanent water sources.
Wild dogs are possibly denning on the concession which is very exciting. Guests have had wonderful sightings of the dogs hunting impala. We have also witnessed a pack of 18 dogs bring down an adult kudu and devour it in minutes.
African fish-eagles are ever-present along the channel and Meyer’s parrots greet new guests as they arrive in the camp. Guests have been lucky to see an African-barred owlet on the broadwalk at night.
African jacanas and black crakes dart in and out of the reeds at the water’s edge. Pied kingfishers can be seen perched on branches overhanging the water waiting for the opportunity to catch fish. Little bee-eaters are constantly hawking insects along the channel. Green-backed camaroptera dart around from tree to tree with arrow-marked babblers in tow. African openbills roost in the trees around the guest rooms, creating awesome silhouettes.
Managers: Sherie Blakwell, Brett Greenaway, Masthidiso Nthela and Freedom Nxele.
Guides: Letsogile Kamogelo, Llaki Jagile, Goodman Ndlovu and Ompuseditse Gabanakitso.
Compiled by Brett Greenaway