Nestled in the heart of northern Botswana, the Savuti Channel is like nature's own enchanting theatre, showcasing captivating stories of wildlife and breath-taking landscapes. Picture a winding river that, seemingly on a whim, transforms from a tranquil waterway to dry, dusty game-paths, creating an ever-changing setting for some of the most incredible animal performances.
Elephants, lions, and zebras gather to showcase their unique talents in this mesmerising natural auditorium. As the sun sets and paints the sky with hues of orange and pink, the Savuti Channel invites you to embark on a thrilling adventure, where every act in its story unfolds with wonder.
Join me on our Savuti family safari, where we spent four nights exploring Wilderness’ Linyanti Wildlife Reserve in northern Botswana.
Our first stop for two nights was the intimate Wilderness Savuti camp, where the beauty of the Savuti Channel is on your doorstep, ready to unfold its secrets in a truly magical setting.
The experience didn’t start at the camp though. The charter flight from Maun International Airport to the Savuti Airstrip is an experience in itself, flying over the eastern reaches of the Okavango Delta, dotted with elephants and large buffalo herds below. We landed about three hours before sunset, and obviously didn’t want to miss out on any game drive, so we decided not to head to camp, but rather went on our first afternoon game drive instead!
But, how can you do an afternoon game drive without high tea? Not a problem at all for Wilderness Savuti, we will bring high tea to you. About 15 minutes into our drive, adjacent to a beautiful pan in tall mopane woodland, Savuti camp staff had set up a beautiful bush high tea. We also had a short briefing from our guide, Tom, on what to expect over the next couple of days, and what our interests were.
That afternoon, before we even made it to camp, we experienced two lion sightings. The first was of one of the two dominant males in the area. We found him in beautiful afternoon light, where he woke up from his afternoon nap – announcing his awakening with a majestic roaring session! Soon thereafter we located the rest of his pride, the Channel Pride, and they interacted with each other on the beautiful floodplains close to camp.
What I enjoy about Wilderness camps is the fact that they provide a full breakfast before you head out on your morning game drive. That negates the need to rush back for breakfast, providing you with fuel should you feel the need to explore the concession a bit longer, which we always do of course! On our first morning, while enjoying this hearty breakfast, we spotted two male lions right next to camp, patrolling their territory. Wilderness Savuti is right in the centre of their territory, and apparently lions joining you for breakfast isn’t such a rare occasion at all!
With full tummies, we quickly headed out trying to catch up with these two stunning males, which we did successfully. After spending some time with them we moved on to explore the beautiful Savuti Channel, enjoying three more lion sightings in the process. Not a bad start!
The Savuti Channel provides a much needed water source during the dry season, and with the first big rains yet to fall and rising temperatures, we were blessed with numerous sightings of elephants, buffaloes, red lechwe, hippos, reedbuck, zebra, giraffe, and even a quick cheetah sighting. We were also treated to the sight of a relaxed African wild cat, when alarming helmeted guineafowl gave away its presence.
We heard that one of the younger female lions of the Channel Pride had recently given birth to two cubs (only five weeks old). We made it our mission to try and locate the mother and cubs, and were successful on our final morning drive. Arriving at the den site, the small cubs were busy suckling… obviously a serious AAAAWWH moment – for my wife especially, who is a midwife! Instead of rushing off, we decided to spend some time with them, hoping the curiosity of the cubs will get the better of them with this “strange animal” relaxing close to them. The cute furballs did come out to play, and provided us with an unforgettable, intimate experience with them.
An intimate moment shared with a 5-week old lion cub, the first litter for a young female lioness of the “Channel Pride”.
A real treat for us was finding one of the first new-born impalas of the season – hopefully a sign that rain, and the time of plenty, is upon northern Botswana!
As our family adventure in the wilderness at Savuti came to an end, the memories created at Wilderness Savuti will forever hold a special place in our hearts. From the breath-taking sights of lions roaring under the golden African sun to the enchanting moments spent with new-born impalas and lion cubs, every day produced a new act in the unfolding drama of this remarkable place.
Luckily our Savuti Channel explorations didn’t end there! Our next stop was Little DumaTau, a premier camp alongside the Linyanti River, with easy access to the Savuti Channel as well.
Looking forward to sharing Part 2 of our journey soon...
Let’s plan your next journey
When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.