Located in a pristine sector of ferocious wilderness in the mysterious Savute sector of the Chobe National Park, lies the inimitable Camp Savuti. A rugged and comfortable camp, the charming Camp Savuti never fails to impress. The camp rests on the edge of the erratic and largely misunderstood Savuti channel, which has been bone-dry since 2014. We don’t know when the channel will flow again, but one thing’s for certain – despite the lack of water, there is still plenty of predator action at Camp Savuti. Em Gatland’s photos are visual proof that the vast region is rife with predator action. It turns out that some of Em’s most epic predator photos were taken in the Savute region while she was staying at Camp Savuti. Needless to say, she was humbled by the intense and immense sightings of leopards, leopard cubs, the Marsh Pride of lions on a kill, and some very young lion cubs.
Famed for being the home of the elephant-killing Marsh pride of lions (click here to read about Em’s Marsh Pride of Lions sighting) , the bloodline is still evident in the area. Stumbling across any pride of lions in the area is likely to be breakaways of the Marsh Pride or the pride itself. To be in the company of the most well-documented lion lineage and to observe their sheer power, is quite amazing. These lions are used to having to adapt and survive; and are therefore extremely dominant and powerful. They learnt to take down a variety of prey and certainly don’t eliminate the looming terrestrial giants as possible sources of prey.
Em was lucky enough to see the Marsh Pride prowess in action and witness the ruthless pride tucking into a massive giraffe kill! It really is a case of adapt and survive in this brutal environment surrounding Camp Savuti. The size of the kill itself clearly shows us the grit and determination of this pride, and evidence that the Marsh Pride are still as strong as ever. When the channel eventually flows again, it will bring with it a complete change in habitat and draw in the herbivores, general game and jumbos. When there’s abundance of prey like that, the notorious pride will probably settle for smaller prey (like most lions do!).
It wasn’t only the sightings of the Marsh Pride that left Em humbled by nature’s natural gifts. Seeing a nurturing leopardess with its cub very swiftly outshone the Marsh Pride sighting. Leopards make excellent mothers and will ensure their young are carefully stashed away in a safe den area before revealing them. Leopards need to make sure their young are old enough to face the perils of the wild. Mother’s will stay with their cubs for up to 2 years and teach them how to hunt and fend for themselves. In this case, the cub was still very young an stayed glued to its mother’s side. An absolute historical moment just observing two elusive leopards practicing their climbing techniques.
Of course, these are just her moments shared with the predators. There are astounding moments with elephants, birds and other animals which we’ll release in due course.
In the meantime, enjoy this portfolio of predator action images – we certainly have!