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“Outstanding Safari Experience”

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Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 12, 2013

Savute Elephant Camp was a great experience, from the setting, to the wide variety of animals, the staff and the guides.
Upon arrival the staff is out front greeting you and from then on its personal service until you leave.
Our guide was outstanding and knew where the animals were, what they were doing, and where they were going. One example was first locating a leopard, anticipating where it would be headed and then arriving there before she did. Great photo opportunities. But more than that was gaining an understanding of the behavior of the animals and their routines. We saw lions at a kill, defending it from other predators. We saw elephants bathing in a waterway. And we almost had an elephant join us for a sundowner one evening.
The tents are well equipped and very comfortable including air conditioning - a necessity because the temperatures were above 100 F while we were there.
The food was very good and the service excellent.

Room Tip: All tents are the same, with both indoor and outdoor showers. A nice treat.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ratch37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 - 70 of 130 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2013

As I showered in our outdoor shower, I watched elephants go by to also shower and drink from the Savute Channel, where else could you see this?This was just the beginning of what we would see here, our guide was great, he tracked a lion pride stalking wart hogs (they missed), we discovered lion's devouring a recent elephant kill, leopards eatin a freshly killed catfish and many more animal sitings. We watched from our porch as wild African dogs with their pups killed an impala and then a leopard and her cub steal the kill and place it high in a tree. We witnessed the remoteness and the wildness of this camp and enjoyed every moment. The staff was friendly, accomodating and provided excellent service. Thank you for these experiences.

Room Tip: You can't get a bad room, we were halfway from the dining room to the last tent. We had great...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank steviern1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

The experience of two nights at Savute Elephant Camp can't be beat. The staff is wonderful and the game drives unbelievable. The "tents" are spacious, well equpped and air conditioned.There is even an outdoor shower that affords fabulous views.

Room Tip: Rooms are all the same...some are closer to main area than others but that's the only difference...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Sue F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 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
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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, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 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, traveled with family
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2  Thank blackmetal41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 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, traveled as a couple
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 reviewResponded August 28, 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.
Reviewed July 7, 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, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AussieIan
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

Address: Savute Channel, Chobe National Park, Botswana
Phone Number:
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Chobe National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Chobe National Park
Price Range: $665 - $2,788 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge 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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