The Savute Boma is where you can enjoy a relaxed meal overlooking the stunning Savute Channel in the raised restaurant. Throughout the day you will have the opportunity to relax in the quiet atmosphere of the lounge taking in the remote landscape. A dining experience second to none in a traditional Boma, best translated as a traditional meeting place, where senior tribe/community members would get together for the ‘Kgotla’ or meeting. Typically traditional food dishes would be served during or after these get-togethers in the Boma.
The Boma has two entrances, one more hidden than the other to ensure the safe passage of tribe elders or the chief should any threat arise. The Boma offers spectacular vistas of the African night skies, through the silhouettes of Camel Thorn trees and Acacia nigrescens, which have been incorporated into the design. Dining in the Savute Boma will, without a doubt, bring you closer to nature within the heart of a true bush environment.
Early morning and late afternoon game drives take you out and among Africa’s largest populations of elephants. Big cats are on the prowl, from leopards to lions. Depending on the season you will also experience the great migrations such as zebra and antelope. Rare sightings might include the endangered wild dog, rock-climbing klipspringers and the elegant roan antelope. Equally atmospheric and exciting are evening drives, as the shadows lengthen and the sky turns red. Animals and birds emerge from their siesta, and suddenly the bush is alive with sights and sounds.
Game viewing vehicles seat up to only 6 guests, allowing all on board to enjoy the wildlife from a window seat.
It is a fascinating time to spot birds at Savute as the intermittent Savute Channel, dry for 30 years, is flowing past the camp again. With it has come a host of new bird species. Dry land birds such as bustards and secretary birds have suddenly been joined by more aquatic varieties. Simply sit out on your terrace and watch the show, especially at dawn and sunset, as they come to splash and drink right in front of your eyes.
Keen birders should also take note of the seasons. At certain times of year you may encounter annual migrations such as flocks of carmine bee-eaters on the move. Some ride on the backs of kori bustards—an amazing sight.
Bushmen Paintings and Baobab Trees: Out in the bush, where rocks rear up among stony hills you will find a collection of paintings that take your breath away. These works by Bushmen are thought to be more than 1,500 years old—beautiful images of elephants, giraffe, sable and eland antelope. Normally these types of painting might be found hidden in caves, but here, unusually, they are out in the wide, open landscape. No-one knows what materials the bushmen used, but the paint is thought to be a mixture of snake venom, blood and plant juices.
After viewing these paintings, continue to the amazing baobab grove—a cathedral-like cluster of 13 giant trees that rival the Bushmen’s paintings in age. Stand among these towering columns at sunset, as the evening light bathes them in a russet glow and wonder at this ancient land.
Star Gazing: The open skies around Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge make it the perfect place to experience the vast, dark dome of the African night sky. “A jewel box” is how one of our guides describes it, and certainly it is a wealth of riches from the Milky Way to Orion and Venus. Discover how Bushmen used the stars to locate the true south. And, using a powerful telescope, gaze on constellations that visitors from the northern hemisphere may never have seen before, including the Southern Cross.