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“Fantastic Safari Experience!”

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Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
New England
Level Contributor
51 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Fantastic Safari Experience!”
Reviewed 10 October 2013

On arrival at the tiny Savuti Airstrip we were met by our guide to be (Mighty) and transported on roads of deep sand to the Savuti Elephant Camp in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Arrival arrangements went like clockwork and we were greeted by Baker and his wife, Vasco, the camp managers who explained the every-day routine to us and spoilt us with food, drink and hospitality while our luggage was carried to our luxury tent.

All tents overlook the Savuti 'Channel' (river) and are exceptionally well appointed with full en suite bathrooms plus an additional double outdoor shower and a verandah facing the channel.

This camp is run by Orient Express and everything is accordingly top quality. The game viewing is superb and we saw four of the 'big five' every day. The exception being rhino thanks to poachers driving the species to extinction in the country
.
The food is excellent and so is the tented accommodation (see pics).

Service is definitely 5 star and the camp even has an internet lounge and small library! The internet access and computer facilites are free of charge. Most US Hotels and resorts could learn from the way this vacation establishment is run and managed.

We were sorry to leave this camp in the middle of nowhere and will return just as soon as circumstances permit.

Room Tip: All the rooms face the river ('Savuti Channel'.) and all are indentically well situated for...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Having been on a few Safari's in South Africa and Zambia, I had an idea of what I would see here but my expectations were greatly exceeded. Getting here was complicated - London to Johannesburg overnight, then to Livingstone in Zambia for a night by the Victoria Falls. Picked up by the Tour Operator and driven to the Zambia / Botswana / Zimbabwe / Namibia border where we crossed the Zambezi. To Kasane Airport and flown by light aircraft to the Savute Camp. Couple of top tips here - DO NOT leave anything vaguely electrical or valuable in your baggage as it will mysteriously disappear at Johannesburg Airport. You will also $50 per person to get through Customs if you go via Zambia. Don't take suitcases or anything with a frame or wheels as they wont be able to get it on the light aircraft. a 120l Gelert cargo bag from Amazon will easily cope with your 20kg, you just have to carry it occasionally (although most of the travel staff will help when necessary). So - Savute - The wildlife starts as soon as you set off from the air strip to the camp, incredible birds, Elephants and Impala. The camp itself is total luxury. The tents are huge with massive beds, a large bathroom area and even an outside shower! All the staff are extremely friendly, its all inclusive so no issues there. Our guide was Robert who looked after us, not only on the Safari's but also around the camp. As a guide he was phenomenal - There are no Rhino left in Botswana but we saw every other animal we could think of including the leopard that had eluded us on previous safaris. Loads of Lions, Elephants, Giraffe, Zebra, Buffalo, Hippo and many many different birds. Robert knew his area like the back of his hand and we spent an amazing afternoon tracking a pride of lions. I could go on but if you want a safari - Go Here! We went from here to the other Orient Express camps at Khwai River and Eagle Island - but this one was the best!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank blackmetal41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2013

On safari in Savuti, Botswana, we were watching two lionesses preparing to hunt a warthog having left their tiny cubs safely on the other side of a sand road. The hunt was ruined at the critical moment by another safari vehicle driving up and spooking the warthog. The lionesses then called the cubs and they began to cross the road, at which point an Orient Express vehicle drove up at speed without any sensitivity to the wildlife or regard for the situation. We looked on in horror as the Orient Express vehicle from the nearby Savute Elephant Camp nearly ran over the cubs. We yelled and then drove up alongside to tell off the driver and his guests. He just laughed as if he'd done nothing wrong, the guests stared at us blankly. Having ticked lions off their list, we later saw the same vehicle racing at a ridiculous speed along the sand road to get the guests back to camp in time for a sundowner, which is apparently the priority. We were appalled. Attached is a picture of the cubs that were nearly run over.

Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank Robbo100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LouisePheiffer, Manager at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, responded to this review, 28 August 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your post on Trip Advisor regarding your recent visit to our camps in Botswana.

We were concerned to hear of the incident you mentioned at one of the camps and have been in touch with the General Manager of our Safaris, Warren Stone, who reverted back immediately.

We annually train our guides both externally and internally in guest etiquette, upholding basic wildlife principles and to be custodians of the bush. However, it seems in this instance we have fallen short of these principles, for which we would like to apologise.

I would like to assure you that Mr Stone and his team have acted constructively to this information and have held a meeting with all of the guides to remind them that they are ambassadors for the wildlife and should be following the game drive protocols which at all times is to respect the animals, especially at sensitive sightings and to ensure the comfort and well being of our guests.

We have taken this feedback very seriously and appropriate procedures have been followed with the member of staff concerned.

Thank you once again and I hope this incident did not impair too heavily on your overall experience.

Kind regards,

Jastine Leberl
PA to Filip Boyen
Chief Operating Officer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2013

Tis isn't my first time here, but this one cost was so special,. Firstly, had incredible elephants in front of camp when we arrived, over 40 at the drinking hole. Then next morning, e Savute channel started to run again, and when we awake, there was a river in front of us. First time I had seen that, as it only started running in 2010 after decades of not running Then an incredible leopard sight sighting - we watched as stalked the cat fish in the water not to be disturbed by another. Leopard who she chased away. The team here at Savute are wonderful, warm and friendly and can't do enough for you. The tents exactly what they should be and very comfortable. This is a perfect place to seem close up in a very relaxed setting.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AussieIan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2013

We stayed at Savute Elephant Camp for 3 days on a family safari and loved every minute. The guides were wonderful—management and staff fantastic. We loved going out on 2 game drives a day, with sightings of leopard, lions, Hippos, Giraffe and more! The camp has a watering hole right outside the pool where the elephants love to hang out all day—it was great to watch. One of the best things was the cuisine. We found it to be the best of any camp we visited, and loved the "tapas" lunch. The rooms were as luxurious as expected. We'll be back!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank elle d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 June 2013

This camp has everything you would expect from a luxury safari camp: comfortable tents, delicious food, excellent service and, most importantly, very good wildlife sightings. We actually saw a wild dog feasting on a kill (which is a rare sighting at the best of times) from the comfort of our own veranda. However, what really set this camp apart for my wife and me was the enthusiasim of the manager, Isbjoern, who got visibly excited every time we told him about the wildlife we saw during our day.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank andreaki200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 11 June 2013

We stayed with my boyfriend for 2 nights in each of the OE camps and we liked the Savute camp the most - it is smaller than the other camps, the setting is beautiful, the drives were probably the most eventful here and the relief management couple (Isbjorn and Charlotte) certainly the best of all - very dedicated to the job and really attentive to each guest.Our guide was Mighty who showed us some incredible wildlife. Bravo!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LaraZZZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge

Property: Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge
Address: Savute Channel, Chobe National Park, Botswana
Phone Number:
Region: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Chobe National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated at the very heart of a wildlife reserve, Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge is authentic and truly wild - the perfect place to feel the pulse of Botswana. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Savute Elephant Camp By Orient-Express Hotel Chobe National Park

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