What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Not what I expected
Cool that they have an elephant waterhole right in front of their property where guests could enjoy viewing them while sipping their drinks. However, besides that we weren't too impressed of the how the lodge was run. You have the staff (from kitchen etc) hanging at the bar area having a conversation and having drinks too made it a little awkward for the rest of us around the lounge area. Food too could really use a lot of improvement. Hard after coming from Mombo Camp to this.
Amazing Honeymoon with the team at Savute Elephant Lodge!
My husband and I had the opportunity to visit this lodge at start of our 2-week African honeymoon. We stayed 4 nights and had the most amazing experience. The staff were warm, friendly and incredibly attentive. We felt at home. Our guide, DK, was a joy to spend time with every day and even drove us on a huge adventure to another lodge so we could see some hippos. She was incredible! The rooms were beautiful and well appointed, clean and felt luxurious. The dining spaces and bar were luxurious. The only reason for the 4 and not a 5 is the food. The food was fine, but not great. Plus - get some yummy coffee!!
What an amazing time!
I couldnt believe it - we overlooked a watering hole with elephants just in front of our lodge! The first time in Botswana and not the last! An air conditioned tent with all facilities; wonderful staff; an amazing guide - thank you JR - and a really great and fun atsmosphere there. We had an amazing time and saw lots of animals and learned a lot!
Would give a zero if I could
This lodge offers, by no extent of the imagination, a five-star experience. We asked to depart one day early. This was my third safari in Africa so I know what a quality safari experience should be. I shared the below summary with the lodge and received a small refund, which was wholly inadequate given we wasted 2 precious days of safari time and 2 days of our vacation at this property. 1. After traveling nearly 30 hours to Botswana, no one from Savute was waiting at the airstrip for us. The plane landed, we waited on the airstrip for 10 minutes in an unairconditioned/turned off plane with no one arriving to retrieve us. We then had to lift off again so the pilot did a "fly by" to the lodge to remind them that they had guests to be picked up. After traveling this far and long, you can imagine our frustration. 2. As with many lodges, they require you to be walked to and from your room at night for safety. However, the first night the cell service went down and as a result the phone in our room was inoperable. Given that we had no way of contacting them to retrieve us for dinner, we decided to walk by ourselves. We learned at dinner that management/staff were fully aware of the issue yet the did not send anyone to knock on our door to tell us why our phone wasn't working or how to get to dinner safely. 3. The food was inedible. I'm used to the sophistication of the menus, beautiful presentation of the food, and quality of ingredients of other truly 5-star safari properties. The food at Savute was poorly cooked and poorly plated. The first night's dinner was so inedible that we went to bed without having eaten. I wish I had taken a picture of the fruit plate we ordered for dessert - it was a bunch of fruit hacked up and thrown on plate. I would have sliced and plated fruit better had I made it for myself at home. The coffee was undrinkable. The dining area and food was covered in flies at all times despite it having a netted closure with zippers. 4. The entire first night there was a zapping sound that fired every other minute, which resulted in us getting no sleep after traveling nearly 30 hours to Africa. It sounded like an electric bug zapper. When we asked about it the following morning, it was clear that management was aware of the issue -- it turned out it was wet grass blowing int their electric fence -- yet they did nothing to remedy the issue. We got no sleep the first night of our stay. All they said was "I hope it didn't disturb you." Of course it disturbed me, which is why I asked you what it was so you can ensure it doesn't happen again! 5. The quality of the rangers, game viewing and vehicles was inferior to other lodges/outfitters. While we recognize that game viewing experience is variable, the lodge does not provide both a ranger and a tracker/spotter. Having a spotter is a highly valuable asset to the game viewing experience and improves your chances of seeing wildlife. In addition, the ranger we had lacked any sense of passion for his work or providing us with a special experience. The quality of the jeep was poor - it was older and less comfortable - it was a very bumpy ride. They did not provide us with water or blankets during our game drives. There were no sundowners provided. They did provide one tea service on a morning drive, but it was unimpressive in terms of quality and sophistication. There was no effort placed on creating an "experience" for the guests. On a side note, we much prefer a private concession and unfenced property - Savute is fenced and has a manmade watering hole, which creates a zoo-like experience rather than a true wildlife safari. And it leverages a national park vs a private concession, which results in many vehicles surrounding any kind of worthwhile wildlife spotting and made photography (one of the key purposes of my trip) very difficult. 6. Not one member of the Savute service team knew our names nor did we feel like anyone made an effort to get to know us to personalize the experience. There was zero connectivity with any of the staff. No one from management engaged with us until the point at which we had arranged with Discover Africa to leave the Belmond property early - I could not waste one more day/night of our vacation there. And even then, we had to reach out to management to confirm they were aware of our change in plans - they did not come to us to discuss it. At every meal in other properties, someone from lodge management visited with us. 7. They screwed up our laundry - they returned our laundry to another room and had no idea that there was a mix-up until we alerted them to it. After we left Savute and arrived at another lodge, we realized that they had lost some of our things (one shirt of mine; and one of boyfriend's shirts and a pair of underwear). Approx. $150 of clothing lost. 8. The caliber and sophistication of the guests at the lodge is not on par with safari lodges. The guests at Savute were not seasoned, sophisticated and experienced travelers like you meet elsewhere.
Safari as it should be . No fenced estate but wide open spaces through with animals are able to migrate . No vets on hand just Mother Nature. Elephants and Lions in abundance Great Guide _ Mr Watch. excellent accommodation and reasonable food.
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