Savuti & Kwai River Valley
The Savuti National Park in Botswana has particularly strong populations of predators and an annual zebra migration, and is the scene for many well-known documentaries and is a prime safari destination in southern Africa.
This famous western corner of Chobe is one of Botswana’s best-known wildlife areas. Savuti covers almost 5,000 square kilometres and includes the Savute Marsh and Channel, the Mababe Depression and Magwikhwe Sand Ridge – each feature fashioned by the tectonic instability of the region.
It’s hard to imagine this area was once at the bottom of an inland sea until one takes a longer look at the desolate landscape. On drying up the lake left the Okavango Delta, the Mababe Depression, Lake Xau, Lake Ngami, Nxai Pan and the Makgadikgadi Pans. The Magwikhwe sand ridge in the north represents the ancient shorelines while the road from Maun to Savute follows the edge of the Mababe Depression of which the deepest part is the Savute Marsh. The dead trees on the marsh are the result of the last flooding (the only part to have filled up in recent history), and the drying up of the Savute Channel.
Savuti is famous for its predators, especially its resident lion and spotted hyena populations. Only 38 kilometers northwest of Savuti and off the main tourist track lies Botswana’s best kept secret: Linyanti and the western reaches of the Savuti Channel.
The Linyanti and upper Savuti areas are among the most beautiful in Botswana. The game-viewing can be exceptional, and the wide variety of activities make this an area not be missed. Linyanti hosts large herds of buffalo, zebra and elephant. Because this area is a private game reserve, the vehicle concentrations are very low and the wilderness experience is one of the best in Africa.
Large secretary birds and kori bustards can be sighted strutting around the Savuti marsh and small redbilledfrancolins is known for its noisiness. Interesting summer migrants and water birds include Abdim’s storks, carmine bee eaters and even fish eagles. Little quelea finches are quite a spectacle as they gather in thousands. They are in abundance in April when a single flock could contain tens of thousands of these small birds.