Savute is famous for its mysterious and fascinating channel. It runs a distance of 100 km (62 mi) from the Chobe River, through a gap in the sand ridge, to the Mababe Depression, which flows and dries up seemingly unrelated to the rainfall. Dry and arid for almost 30 years, animals in the area were sustained by artificial waterholes. With the Savute Channel flowing again in recent years, the region has undergone a startling transformation, reverting to its natural lush and marshy state. Large numbers of wildlife have been attracted to this rejuvenated wilderness haven.
Sizable numbers of elephant bulls are invariably present. During the dry years, when prey was hard to find, many of Savute’s lion became notorious for hunting elephant. With the recent transformation of the region, prey has become more abundant and the large lion prides have split up into smaller family groups, allowing a greater variety of predators to flourish in the area. Savute is also a famous battleground for lion and spotted hyena. With grazing now plentiful, the area is also popular with zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe, tsessebe and kudu.
The birds of Savute are an attraction all by themselves. Africa’s heaviest flying bird, the kori bustards prey on snakes and rodents found amongst the grass. Other birding attractions include the endangered ground hornbill, which can be seen meandering through the grasslands. Raptors are ever-present, including the iconic Bateleur eagle. Pin tailed whydahs glide across the grass in awkward swoops. Korhans give out their mating cries while flipping themselves into the air to attract attention from a potential mate.