Situated in the southern part of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve in northern Botswana, Savuti Camp is built on the banks of the Savute Channel, an elusive waterway that ebbs and flows over the years. This is the heart of a legendary wildlife region best known for its large number of predators, as well as one of Africa’s largest populations of elephants. These are Kalahari elephants, the species’ largest.
Accommodating 14 guests in seven large walk-in tents, Savuti Camp is a small and intimate enclave in an isolated area, far from any crowds. Each elevated tent has its own bathroom with a large indoor shower, twin copper hand basins and a separate flush toilet. Four-poster beds are draped in gauzy mosquito netting and ceiling fans are overhead. Gaze at the riverbed from oversize chairs on your private veranda, or concoct a safari-inspired letter at your writing desk. Each room has a private safe. In the common area, a separate dining room and pub provide relaxing gathering space under reed and thatch, as well as a plunge pool.
The Savute Channel has been in flux in recent decades, creating an ever-shifting habitat for a wide range of wildlife. It stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008, and what was a once hippo-filled river became wide-open grasslands. Curiously, in 2008, the Savute Channel once more became a deep, clear waterway harboring hippos, aquatic life, and myriad water birds. In 2016, the constant shift of the earth’s tectonic plates caused the Savute Channel to again become a dry wilderness. The erratic source of water creates both opportunities and challenges for local wildlife, which have to adapt to a shifting environment. Besides the normal plains game, the area has good concentrations of roan, sable antelope and southern giraffe. All the predators are found in the area—lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and wild dog. Game-viewing activities include day and night drives and walks with an armed guide. There are also a number of hides where guests can view animals quietly and safely away from vehicles.
Linyanti Marsh—Source of the Savute Channel, Botswana
DumaTau (meaning 'roar of the lion') is a 10-room luxury tented camp located within the private 300,000-acre Linyanti Wildlife Reserve that borders the western boundary of Chobe National Park in northern Botswana. The camp rests beneath a shady grove of mangosteen trees overlooking a large hippo-filled lagoon within the Linyanti waterway system. The source of the Savute Channel is close to the camp, and game drives up the channel are a highlight of the area. The thatch-roofed tents, which all enjoy a lagoon view, are elevated from the ground and have canvas walls, allowing guests to enjoy the sounds of the African night from the comfort of their beds. Accommodations include twin beds that can be converted into king-size beds, and two family tents can accommodate groups of four. En suite bathroom facilities have showers, plus double 'his and hers' basins. Additional amenities include fans, mosquito nets, safes and toiletries. A dining room, bar, lounge and plunge pool overlook the lagoon from raised decks; even the guest toilet has a fantastic view! A library and curio shop round out the camp's offerings.
The region's diverse habitat makes it a haven for a multitude of wildlife. Activities are also diverse, allowing guests time on the water and on land, on foot and by safari vehicle. Day and night game drives are conducted in open 4x4 vehicles along the Savute Channel and the banks of Linyanti River. There are many hides in the area where guests can enjoy safe, close-up wildlife viewing away from a vehicle. One of the best is right at the source of the Savute, where many species of game and birdlife congregate. The area is famous for its elephant population—huge herds mass here during the dry months along the waterways and lagoons. During this season, sable and roan antelope traverse the flood plains, along with impala, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, lechwe, tsessebe and other plains game.
Situated in the Selinda Reserve and straddling the Selinda Spillway, the camp overlooks this ephemeral waterway that links the Okavango Delta with the game-rich floodplains of the Linyanti Swamps. The camp's seven Meru-style tents are under thatch with unique en-suite facilities fashioned into the natural vegetation. Open views of the spillway and floodplains, a cool veranda, hot and cold running water, flush toilet and a shower under the open African sky are all features of this camp. The double-tiered main area is under thatch and incorporates the camp's dining, lounge and bar facilities.
The Selinda is characterized by its game-rich floodplains. Game drives are fruitful, and guests frequently see antelope, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo and plenty of elephant. Predator-viewing is exceptional, including the hippo-killing lions of Selinda, leopard, wild dog, and cheetah. Activities include day and night game drives and guided walks.
Kings Pool Camp
Linyanti Reserve, Botswana
Kings Pool Camp enjoys an exclusive location within the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, a private concession in northern Botswana boasting prolific wildlife. Located on the Linyanti River and oxbow Kings Pool Lagoon, the camp takes its name from a Scandinavian monarch who was fond of camping here, long before the camp itself came into existence.
This premier camp features nine luxurious canvas and thatch tents, each with a large bedroom area, lounge, private plunge pool, sala (outdoor covered veranda) and private en suite bathroom with double showers, hand basins and an outdoor shower. Common areas include a lounge, dining room, pub, open air kgotia for outdoor dining, and a swimming pool – all located on raised wooden decks.
The Linyanti region is renowned for its wide variety of game species, but it is most famous for its large elephant population, which reaches enormous densities during the dry winter months. Impala, lechwe, kudu, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and bushbuck, and their predators - lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyena – are often observed within the reserve. Rare sable and roan antelope also find shelter in Linyanti’s woodlands during the dry season. Diverse birdlife is also attracted to the reed and papyrus swamps throughout the area.
Activities at Kings Pool center around day and night game drives and walks, while boat cruises along the Linyanti River (water levels permitting) offer spectacular viewing from a different perspective. A highlight for many guests is a visit to one or both of Kings Pool hides, where eye-level game viewing offers thrilling wildlife encounters.
As a consummate safari camp, Zarafa has few peers in Africa. Blessed with an extraordinary location, the camp is shaded by a canopy of jackalberry and red ivory tree as it overlooks the patchwork of savannas and floodplains of Zibadianja Lagoon, a regular water source for the reserve’s immense elephant herds. Uninterrupted views stretch for miles, providing steady sightings of the region’s prolific wildlife.
Zarafa, named by National Geographic Adventure as one of the top 50 eco-lodges in the world, was completely redesigned in 2008 with an eye to offering the greatest luxury with the least environmental impact. Every detail of the camp was designed to fit this mandate. Just four tents provide extravagant accommodation in such a remote sector of the bush. They are designed to maximize exclusivity and privacy while enhancing every conceivable aspect of guests’ comfort. Each 1000-square-foot tent is appointed with custom furniture made from recycled native hardwood, a leather sofa, king-size bed, indoor fireplace, personal bar and personal Canon camera with zoom lens. The en-suite bathrooms have a copper tub and shower, double sinks, private toilet, as well as an outdoor shower. A private veranda runs the length of the front of each tent, offering an individual plunge pool, outdoor lounge area and a full view of the lagoon. The camp’s main area has a dining room and lounge area, well-appointed bar and extensive library.
Selinda Reserve is characterized by its game-rich floodplains. Game drives are fruitful, and guests frequently see antelope, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo and plenty of elephant. Predator viewing is exceptional, including the hippo-killing lions of Selinda, leopard, wild dog, and cheetah. Activities include day and night game drives, guided walks, boating and floats on the HMS Zib (the pontoon boat).
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