The lions of Savuti


It is really wonderful wake up at the roar of lions at night in a mobile camp, without fences of any kind, in the heart of Savuti that provides direct contact with the nature that surrounds us. It is the males of different herds that mark their territory. Something like ... what am I here! Do not dare to approach the pond. Are the lions of Savuti in Chobe and this is his story

Yesterday we found them in different areas, but the scene between elephants and lions that we live in the pond of the three lionesses motivates us the early morning sunrise.

The lions of the Savuti pond

What would be the domain of the pond? Will the wildebeest that had still hunted without eating continue or would hyenas, jackals or other scavengers appear to take advantage of the feast? Will the lionesses have recovered the territory? Would the male lions return to help?

Savuti National Park or Savuti Area in Chobe National Park? There is widespread use of calling Savuti as a National Park or even Chobe & Savuti National Park. Strictly speaking Savuti is a region of Chobe National Park (So ‚Äč‚Äčthere is no doubt) Although in the face of a travel story where we tell experiences, we may use it interchangeably.

The roars between rival herds have come and gone all night, interrupted by some lost hyena, but we have only needed the reflection of the first rays of light in the pond to know who the kings were one more day ...

Lionesses now rest peacefully on the banks of the water of the pond without elephants or other animals that disturb them. What we do not see is the wildebeest that died dead yesterday in this same place

Willie moves the car until we find her. Well, it's a saying, what's left of it. The male lions have arrived tonight at the most famous water concentration in the Savuti area, that which everyone wants, and as one would say in other contexts ... they have not left even the scratches!

Just a few small pieces of the wildebeest and the inedible horns, which still take the opportunity to "tongue" as if it were a ham bone, a morning lunch that seems to have satiated all the members of the pack that already rest peacefully

We leave the place (everything indicates that it will remain calm today) and we enter the dry Savuti canal where the water shines by its absence beyond small mud puddles where a fish barely survives praying for the rainy season. Then Willie sees footprints. Are from cheetahs, the only one missing these days of the safari, and they have been walking for a long time along the riverbank

We search and search but there is no way. The "cheetah" seems to be the only predator that is not seen in the nature of Botswana, and that in other parks such as Masai Mara It is relatively easy to see. Willie tells us that they are 2 and that they have been looking for water along the entire route. What has become of them?

The rival pack where only the male lion eats

What do we see among the trees? Have we walked so much? Indeed we have gone to the other end of the Savuti National Park and what yesterday was a great pack sleeping under a tree placidly today is a more rowdy group

We manage to see two mane, one in the foreground that eats what it seems a small impala that have hunted not too long ago. They are not as lucky as their rival band and only male lions eat!

It is an incredible scene that gives a real perspective of the power that a male lion has in this pyramid of animals, included within its own pack of lionesses that will surely be the ones that have hunted the piece. Now they have to wait their turn. Even "some" earns some hard roar when "starving" tries to put his claw on the dead animal

We wait patiently (just the opposite of the lionesses, who are increasingly altered and impatient) for the lion to feel satiated and so it is. Imposing ... majestic ... the lion leaves the room and he retires behind our car, surely looking for a place where he will rest the rest of the day

Do you have to eat the lionesses? Well, it seems not! The other lion removes the largest part of the impalaand takes her away from the rest of the pack. He doesn't want anyone to bother him and it seems that he will be. What a respect!

Lionesses and offspring barely suck the remains that remain on the dry grass. It seems that they will have to make an effort to eat today, but it will not be this small and unfortunate impala

We must recognize that the Savuti National Park or Savuti region in Chobe is an enigmatic place, even exaggeratedly strange at times when an imposing babopap stands out above the rest. Someone who goes without guides could spend hours without seeing anything thinking that there is no life here and yet it is the place where we have found the most, including nice little herbivores, bustards and all kinds of animals that are rarely seen

What are they up to? Where is the water? Not only can there be these little ponds

The Savuti Canal ... with water!

It has been almost by chance but looking for more remains of our cheetah friends we have moved far from the mobile camp area where the expensive and exclusive Savuti Safari Lodge and Savuti Elephant Camp are also located ... And we found the water!

To the south is the Savuti swamp, now a mere desert that we crossed the day we came from the Okavango Delta and Moremi enjoying "the elephants of the Khwai River", to the north Linyanti. We are in the middle of nowhere, but we don't see animals either.

Water circulates fluently. The drought is the majority in the whole territory but finding this channel gives a magnitude of what this should be in the rainy season, a paradise of life and vegetation

It's almost 1 in the afternoon when we start our return to camp. The sun hits more than ever, it is very hot, and there are hardly any animals left. We do it again for the dry part of the Savuti Canal.

And then we see it ... It's an old and lonely buffalo, possibly separated from a pack, with little life left ahead. Find the soda from a small mud pond. His loneliness also conveys a certain degree of vulnerability.

We were not wrong. On September 10, 2015 it may have been one of those moments, of those surprises, that life holds for you ... but for you to tell it, you will have to wait. You already have what happened here in DAY 10 (II): "Lions hunting a buffalo in Botswana"

Gigi already has everything ready. Is there hunger?

Today we have arrived VERY late for good reasons.

The leopard returned with his mom

I know that many were left wanting to know more about what would happen with that lost leopard that we saw yesterday in Savuti. On a day of intense emotions where scene after scene was impossible to decide, there was also time to return to the Damagosera Hills where we found him yesterday.

THE SERIES "JOURNEY TO BOTSWANA" NOW IN YOUTUBE: After the experience in Greenland Many had asked us for the best AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCE for this trip and we have listened to you! In our Youtube channel you can see the COMPLETE SERIES and then the chapter of this day without leaving the article you are reading (The Lions of Savuti) ...

Willie sees the tracks and tracks the path. First they are of the leopard in one direction and finally they see smaller ones going out with her in another and with everything reconstructs the scene in their head and tells us. The leopard's mother, with or without food, surely returned last night for him. Both are still alive but finding them will be impossible already at this time of the afternoon. The prints are from quite some time ago.

The late falls fast today about us Although we are not close to the line of Ecuador, I am still surprised that the sun quickly says goodbye to us at the moment it becomes reddish.

The giraffes complete their diet, outside the domain of lions, although they are able to hunt them do not seem to be their favorite prey

Is elephant time, beautiful and even friendly as always, although today with less prominence. They continue to transmit that peace and tranquility as few animals do, even the smallest with their clumsy trunk movements

The afternoon beer not missing today. We have also deserved it more than ever. What if! !What's the true! Hahaha

The moral that leaves us the day, one more in an impressive safari, is that leopard (my favorite animal), hyenas, jackals, buffalo, hippos and even elephants (which we saw yesterday who dare to face) can promptly stand up to the " king of the jungle "but The lion remains the dominant emperor of wildlife in Africa.

Useful information for the traveler:

One question we all usually have before leaving for Botswana is "Are there many mosquitoes?" The answer is that it is highly recommended to bring repellent, especially for the night, but at the time we have come we have found almost none. Eye! In the rainy season, everything will surely change

What awaited us at the camp tonight I will not reveal. I can only say that I will miss the feeling of nature, the mobile camp, the isolation of civilization, the roar of lions or the scream of hyenas, the roar of the branches by some nearby elephant, the fire burning beneath the stars, from the glass of dinner wine with laughter and an exceptional group ... Tomorrow we head to Kasane, the well-known PNChobe, but if Moremi managed to "hook" our hearts, The Savuti area in Chobe National Park is already part of a privileged place in this traveling life ...

Isaac from Savuti (Botswana)