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22 Jan 2018
Belmond reveals 'The List' and raises a toast to its beautiful new hotel openings, pioneering rail experiences and once-in-a-lifetime adventures on the horizon in 2018.
Through Botswana’s Chobe National Park flows a mysterious channel—a ghost river that appears intermittently, regardless of rainfall, and whose water can change direction. On its banks, here in the elephant capital of the world, lies Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge.
The heart of the most biologically diverse game reserve in Botswana, the Savute is where the BBC and National Geographic have captured some of their best wildlife documentary footage and where guests can watch the live wildlife show every day and night.
Whereas some African nations are seeing elephant populations decline, in Botswana their numbers are on the rise and it’s now believed around 200,000 elephants can be found in the country.
At Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge guests can go out on safari every morning and afternoon, but one of the most memorable experiences comes from simply sitting on the private deck of their tented room as a parade of elephants walks by, mere metres away. Along with the peaceful pachyderms guests can experience encounters with leopards, lions, cheetahs, zebra, giraffes, wild dogs, hyenas and more, and can watch as a dust storm on the horizon reveals itself to be a herd of buffalo.
There is only one way to travel to Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge and that is on a light plane from Maun or Kasane, a 45-minute flight offering spectacular views of the landscape and animals below. After buzzing the landing strip twice to ensure no wildlife is in harm’s way guests are transferred to 4WDs for the 20-minute drive to their luxury accommodation.
The 12 tented rooms are shaded by traditional thatched roofs and built on raised wooden platforms for better viewing over the Savute. Each one has a large private deck with day beds along with a table and chairs where private dinners can be served.
The interiors include polished wooden floorboards, a four poster bed with mosquito netting, comfortable chairs and a writing desk, a bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers, and a dressing room with robes and slippers. To cool down guests can either opt for the large ceiling fan or air conditioning, and there is also a radiator for those nights when temperatures drop below freezing.
The fully stocked mini bar is complimentary, and stays are all-inclusive, covering all meals and drinks including alcohol, (apart from certain premium brands and imported champagnes). As it’s a good idea to pack light when going on safari guests are also offered same day complimentary laundry service.
At the heart of the lodge is a dining area, bar and lounge under a large canvas roof with open sides for waterhole viewing. A shop supports local artisans by selling mostly locally made gifts and souvenirs, and a small reference library offers books and videos. The 20-metre pool is a popular place to relax and the traditional Boma meeting space provides an atmospheric setting for a barbecue dinner and music performance by local teenagers.
But it is the lodge’s position in the reserve that makes it so extraordinary. Animals roam freely apart the discreet fencing to discourage elephants from joining guests in the lodge pool.
This is where wildlife is seen in its pristine habitat, where there is no human interference in animals’ lives. When an elephant dies park rangers remove its tusks to discourage poachers, but leave the rest for hyenas, vultures and lions to feed on. Years later skulls can still be seen at the spot where the elephant fell. Nature is left to run its course, while humans merely watch.
For the full Botswana safari experience Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge can be combined with stays at Belmond’s other luxury Botswana lodges: Belmond Eagle Island Lodge on a private island in the Okavango Delta and Belmond Khwai River Lodge in the Moremi Wildlife Reserve.
Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge is located in the Chobe National Park - the Elephant Capital of the World. Perched on the banks of the Savute Channel, the lodge offers a spectacular birds eye view of elephants in their natural habitat. Savute is a bird lovers haven with over 250 bird species, and most native to this area.
Offering two safari drives per day in different areas of the Savute area in which you may encounter lions, wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, as well as rare species of animals such as roan and sable antelope.
Belmond owns and operates three luxury safari lodges in Botswana each situated in a unique location and eco-system, which gives guests the opportunity to experience a variety of safari experiences within one complete itinerary.Download Factsheet