Over 460 bird species have been recorded in the park, making it one of Africa’s premier venues for bird safaris. Common species to be seen include the Sacred Ibis, Egyptian Geese, the ubiquitous cormorants and darters, Spur-winged Geese, the rare Pel’s Fishing Owl, Carmine Bee-eaters in season, most members of the kingfisher family, all the rollers, the unmistakable Fish Eagle, the Martial Eagle, and many members of the stork family.
At the heart of the park, Savute boasts most of the species to be found in Chobe. This area is best known for its predators, particularly lion, cheetah and hyena, of which there are large resident populations. The Savute channel flows from the Linyanti River for about 100 kilometers, carrying water away from the river and releasing it into a vast swampland called the Savute Marsh, and further south onto the Mababe Depression, which is also fed by the Ngwezumba River from the northeast. The Mababe – immense and flat and fringed by thickets of trees – was once part of the Makgadikgadi super-lake. When filled with water, it becomes the venue for thousands of migratory birds and animals, particularly large herds of zebra.
Geographically, Savute is an area of many curiosities. One of its greatest mysteries is the Savute channel itself, which has over the past 100 year inexplicably dried up and recommenced its flow several times. This irregular water flow explains the numerous dead trees that line the channel, for they have germinated and grown when the channel was dry and drowned when the channel flowed again.