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Savute (Savuti)

Savute is characterised by its scrub savanna, making for dramatic and wild game viewing. It is home to one of the most abundantly populated wildlife regions in Botswana and is distinguishable by the Savute Channel which intermittently flows down from the Linyanti, running a distance of around 100km.

In Botswana’s BaYei dialect, the word Savute means ‘unclear,’ thought to reference the area’s capricious water supply and it has been the subject of much intrigue and debate, despite being  known about for nearly 200 years. One of the earliest known mentions is by David Livingstone in his journal in 1851, where he refers to Savuti as a “dismal swamp”. From then the channel is thought to have enter a dry period and then remained largely dry until 1957, when it began to flow again and drowned a large number of acacia trees in the area, which can still be seen today. 

In the early 80s the channel dried up again and remained a somewhat harsh arena for the areas predators and prey for nearly the next 30 years, then in 2008 moisture returned and by 2010 the channel flooded once again. Since 2016 the channel has been in a drying phase resulting in some spectacular behavioural adaptations, such as leopards seen fishing for catfish in the muddy pools and large lion prides specialising in hunting elephants. 

During the rainy season Savute is regenerated and sees the annual zebra migration predominantly during December and January, as the herds head south to browse on the nutritious grasses in Naxi Pan. This attracts big game predators to thrill lovers of wildlife and of the African safari experience. Savute is also home to a number of elephant bulls, a large prides of lions, hyena, wild dogs, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe, tsessebe and kudu.

The ancient Baobab tree also grows here, among rocky outcrops upon which you can find one-of-a-kind cave paintings, drawn by Africa’s first ancestors: the San Bushmen. This is one of the most diverse and multifaceted safari areas in southern Africa providing excitement for even the most seasoned safari-goer.

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When To Go

Savute can be visited all year round but the best time to visit is considered to be June- October. However, both the wet and dry seasons offer distinctive experiences. In the dry season, elephants, kudu and impala tend to gather around the water holes. In the wet season, Savute is scattered with rare flocks of birds joining the 300 different species that are already living there.

Namibia month to month weather chart

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