Tails from the Field - Savute Elephant Camp

Written by Daniel Koopowitz

Grand Africa Safaris > Blogs > Tails from the Field – Savute Elephant Camp

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One of our expert team members had the opportunity to stay at the elegant Savute Elephant Camp on the 6th of November 2022 as part of her ten day educational to Botswana. Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of the property and all of its features.


Large trees close to Savute Elephant Camp.
Chobe National Park beams with natural beauty

Savute Elephant Camp is located in the southern section of Chobe National Park close to the iconic Savute Marsh that has been well documented by National Geographic. The region is well known for its large lion population that is infamous for hunting elephants.

How to get there

Plane stationary near an airstrip
Savute Elephant Camp is accessible by light aircraft

If you’re flying from Cape Town, there is a direct flight from Cape Town International Airport to Maun in Botswana. From there, it is a short MACK Air flight to the Savute airstrip. MACK Air have revised their frequency of departures to maximize on fuller planes, so all arrival flights (from Johannesburg and Cape Town) need to land in Maun before collectively taking off to their respective lodges. It’s also important to note that these departures generally take off from 3pm, so clients may be in for a bit of a wait.

The lodge is close to the main Chobe National Park gate so after a short transfer from the airstrip, clients will need to stop there to be “checked in” by their guide – a short process which takes all of five minutes. From there, it is a 15 minute drive to the lodge’s welcome circle, where the warm staff welcome guests in song.

Property facilities

Natural wood elements form the bulk of the lodge’s design

The 12 tented-suite lodge is contemporary in design and incorporates a lot of natural wood elements. It is open plan with a number of stunning lounge pockets and seating areas where the camp manager conducts a welcome orientation for all new guests. Wi-Fi is accessible in the main lounge and bar area and works well. None of the suites are family or interleading but they are spacious enough to accommodate a rollaway bed for a child.

The dining area is also on an open plan deck and sits above the pool area and elephant hide and has great views of the nearby waterhole and mopani thicket. Within the main area there is a boutique called the Trading Post, while the bar is a lovely space where clients can enjoy the local Sentinel Okavango gin.


One of the lodge’s chic tented suites

Our Grand Africa Safaris team member stayed in tented suite number three, which is located closest to the main lodge and boasts stunning views of the waterhole. All tented suites are accessible along a decked pathway that is built on raised stilts but are not wheelchair accessible. Each suite is air-conditioned, which is a great relief in November when it can get extremely hot. It’s worth noting to clients that are traveling during the summer that Belmond Safaris is one of the safari companies that have air-conditioners in their suites.

There is a beautiful daybed couch on the suite’s deck as well as two chairs and a “grazing station.” The minibar is fully stocked with a wonderful selection of beverages and nibbles. The suite’s excellent attention to detail is well worth a mention. A writer’s desk has a lovely selection of recyclable stationery and postcards. The four-poster bed is draped with a mosquito bed and has charging ports bedside. The bathroom and dressing room is tastefully decorated with copper and double vanity painted ceramic basins with indoor and outdoor showers, however there are no baths.

Property activities

A safari vehicle from Savute Elephant Camp.
Two daily game drives are on offer at the lodge

Two daily game drives are available as part of your client’s stay at the lodge. Our team member’s best game experience during her stay were two separate lion sightings – one with a famous Savute male named Skoti (Stumpy due to his half missing tail) and the other was with a pair of mating lions. It is worth noting that there are no rhinos in Savute.

At the lodge, there is a large swimming pool with loungers for relaxing, a spa on-site, and also a waterhole nearby, which is ideal for birding. Walking safaris, mokoro safaris and community tours are not available.

Who is it suitable for

The spa at Savute Elephant Camp
The on-site spa is perfect for relaxing during the heat of the day

Savute Elephant Camp is ideal for clients who are not accustomed to wild bush experiences and guests who prefer to still have their creature comforts. It is great for first time safari goers, an out of season safari and honeymooners.

Staff feedback

All staff are incredibly professional and caring

Both Maps and Walter are wonderful camp managers and the team working under them are truly fantastic. It is evident that Belmond spends time and money on training their staff as 5-star hoteliers and hospitality professionals. Richard is an incredibly knowledgeable guide with a wonderfully caring and gentle nature.

Quick fire questions

The nearby waterhole is a definite highlight of the property
  • Why do you like it? The lodge is chic and cozy with incredibly professional and welcoming staff. 
  • What do you think could be improved? Wheelchair accessibility would be a great value add.
  • What would you combine with this lodge? The other Belmond properties as a circuit stay.
  • Do they accept kids? Yes, one child can share a suite with their parents, but there are no family or interleading suites.
  • Do the suites have plunge pools? No.
  • Amazing detail that you absolutely loved about the property? The creature comforts as this is unexpected in the wild. Another top highlight is the waterhole nearby and the sightings that it brings.

Get in touch with one of our travel experts at Grand Africa Safaris today to include Savute Elephant Camp in your client’s Botswana itinerary.