The famous dryland area of Savute has now turned into a wonderland of birds, especially the species that are water dependent because the Savute River is flowing again.This historic river which has a record of being dry for some time and then starts flowing again. This still remains a mystery.The river dried out in 1982 and started flowing again in 2010. The reasons why it dried out are attributed to tectonic plate movement and a possible drop in the amount of water in the catchment area.
There are some spectacular sightings of breeding herds of elephants going towards the river to drink. Normally in the dry season the breeding herds migrate towards Linyanti and the Chobe river respectively because they are perennial. Moreover,sightings of hippos, buffaloes, gnus, waterbuck, kudus,etc are common in Savute.
On the afternoon drive we saw three female roan antelopes and three juveniles drinking. When we were driving along Matsebi island we saw a male leopard resting in the shade. Shortly after,a bull elephant crossed into the island and started shaking the acacia erioloba tree to get the pods. Surprisingly the male leopard decided to climb the same acacia tree and he was lucky that the bull left and moved on.
We also watched sunset while still watching a male leopard up a tree and the sun setting over a breeding herd of elephants that was crossing. The following morning we spent over an hour watching a female leopard hunting impalas close to Sable hill, although she was unsuccessful. The impalas changed their route and smelled her. The alarm snort of baffled impalas was amazing. They were so cautious in every step they took. South of the marsh next to Marabou pan lay a coalition of four male lions. During the evening they stood up and roared while moving at the same time. Their calls enveloped the whole Marabou area and thereafter went into the mopane woodland.
Posted: Savute Under Canvas by Keiditsemang Jeremiah Gabogolelwe, Date: 19 June 2012