Savuti Safari Camp Review
On our trip to Botswana I stayed at two camps. The first was Duba Plains located in the Okavango Delta. The second was the Savuti Safari Camp (also spelled Savute and not to be confused with Savuti Elephant Camp) located close to, but not in, Chobe National park. We chose these camps because they offered a different experience primarily due to their location and the impact that location has on the wildlife. This camp was an excellent choice.
We arrived at Savuti in the early afternoon by charter plane from Duba Plains. The airstrip this time around was a little bigger and actually served three camps. There was a jeep waiting for us and had some other staff that had arrived and were awaiting transport to the camp. We got to the camp just past lunch, but before the afternoon safari which was pretty good timing. The camp manager briefed us over a beverage. We learned that the schedule was largely as we expected except the safaris started a half hour earlier in the morning due to there being a little more of a drive at the beginning to get to where the animals typically congregate.
We had enough time to go to our tent before afternoon tea. Like Duba Plains, our tent was basically a hotel suite with canvas walls. This one was a little larger, but otherwise similar. The pathways were actually raised wooden platforms which probably came in handy when it rained, but we were there during the dry season so no issues for us.
After a short rest we headed back to the common area for afternoon tea. One thing we noticed immediately was that Savuti was a little less intimate than Duba Plains. The camp managers and guides knew our names, but the other staff didn't. Most of the staff also stayed in the background. Nothing wrong with this approach, but I thought it'd be good to point out as a difference. Overall the food at Savuti was very good, but not quite as good as Duba Plains. Again not complaining, just comparing.
One very cool thing about Savuti was that our room, being the farthest away from the common area, was regularly visited by elephants. We saw elephants at night not 3 feet away from the tent and a small herd of elephants crossing the channel not too far away from our deck. We also had vervet monkeys visit us on one occasion.
The wildlife viewing was great particularly the elephants of which there were many. Savuti also had more grazing animals like zebra. I'd say there were fewer birds than Duba Plains though. And fewer lions, but that was made up for by having leopards in the area. Our guide, Lets, was great and had a particularly good eye for photography so he always tried to position the jeep to get the best angle with the fewest obstructions as possible. And he always prioritized us over his own desires to get a good shot.
I recommend Savuti Safari Camp. It was a great experience and an excellent complement to Duba Plains.