Climate and Landscape
February was a typical summer month at Savuti, especially during the first two weeks. Sun and rain alternated during the day, providing spectacular rainbows and shimmering, rain-soaked bush. After a late start to the rainy season, the Linyanti is now being blessed with excellent amounts of much-needed pula!
All the little waterholes and pans are full and there’s hardly a single square metre of ground without grass, while wild flowers are in bloom everywhere. The second part of the month turned out a bit… differently. A thick blanket of clouds covered the sky pretty much every day, hiding the sun and lowering the temperature. In addition, the threat of rain became a common and predictable sensation. From fine drizzles to heavy downpours, with some very wet guests in the middle, we survived and are hoping to see the sun pop through the clouds again very soon.
Only a safari novice would describe the Linyanti’s peak rainy season as “not a very good time to go on safari”. There isn’t a more beautiful time to come to the bush – everything is green and alive, there are hundreds of birds everywhere, wild flowers of all sizes, colours and shapes abound, healthy animals are seen in huge numbers, and we have absolutely amazing sunsets and thunderstorms. In fact, in an area as rich as the Savute Channel, game is seen all year round.
Elephant have been congregating in the mopane woodlands in herds of several hundreds, and big lone bulls are a constant. Herbivores are seen aplenty and in great variety: impala, waterbuck, red lechwe, steenbok, wildebeest, tsessebe and many more!
The large numbers of giraffe in the area provide a delightful sight for our guests, while even a few lone zebra are still around, although most of them have migrated south to the Makgadigadi Pans on the longest straight migration in Africa.
Hippo are a constant delight as they entertain our guests from their positions in the channel in front of camp and in a few pools in the area. And with this cool weather, they have ventured out to feed during the day on a regular basis.
On the predator side, lions were the big highlight this month. The Savute Pride (two females and five cubs) and the two males from the Channel Coalition were spotted on an almost daily basis, and even “camped” at the airstrip for three or four days: a great welcome for our guests arriving in the amazing Linyanti Concession.
Leopard were shyer, though one of the new young males was seen with a kill a few times.
On the wild dog front, there was lots of action in the concession with the Zib Pack, all 23-strong, coming from the neighbouring area and harassing the local LTC Pack, which is a bit smaller in number.
The Savute Channel is an amazing natural landmark, and its flooding cycles are a mystery. After being completely dry in 2016, and flowing in 2017, we might see it dry up again in 2018 if the rains are short and the watercourses from the northern countries don’t flow this way. However, if that’s the case, we will not despair as we will witness yet another amazing transformation of the local ecosystem, with new species coming into the area, while others will wander off to wetter destinations. We cannot wait to see what will happen!
Staff in Camp
Managers: Kay, Nuno, Mpho, Julia, Moss
Guides: Goodman, Tops, Timmy, Lucky
Compiled by Nuno Cardoso