Savuti's campsite (GPS: SAVUTE) has moved over the years, and now is more central and has better infrastructure than ever. Previously it had just a few taps that had been ingeniously encased in concrete to prevent elephants from pulling the pipes to access the clean water (they would often make such an effort for clean water, rather than drinking from the dirty waterhole!) whilst showers and toilets were almost non-existent. An electric fence was even erected at one stage – but was swiftly broken and trampled by the elephants.
Now, moved to a place nearby, the new public campsite has a relatively new ablution block, surrounded by an ingenious circular wall. This has been designed to be elephant-proof, and also so that smaller animals like cats can easily get out over the wall, but not easily get in. The toilets and showers (with hot water) are relatively clean and in good order. The idea of a fence around the whole site has been abandoned, though the site now has an impressive office and entrance gate.
Savuti remains a wonderful place to camp. It's speciality has always been spotted hyenas and, of course, elephants. Like the area's private camps, it has nightly visits from spotted hyenas which, I once discovered, can carry away a full rucksack at high speed, despite being pursued. They will steal and eat anything from a camera lens to a bar of soap, so leave nothing outside.
The camping pitches (eight at last count) are separated and marked, albeit not always clearly. Many sit under old camelthorn trees, with site number one being particularly good. The size of the site, and the distance between the pitches, is such that some campers even drive to the ablution block after dark. Visibility is good, with not too much undergrowth around, though there's often the low whine of a water pump or a generator in the background.
Sit back after dinner. Turn off your lights, and shield your eyes from the fire. Now, when your vision has adjusted to the dark, shine around a powerful torch. With a little patience you should be able to pick out the ghostly green eyes of hyena, just beyond your firelight. (Torches are useful for this, but beware of shining one accidentally at a passing elephant. They don't like this at all!) If you do have any hyena problems, remember that they will push their luck, but are essentially cowardly animals. Chase them and they will always run, sometimes dropping their spoils. Just be very careful of what else you might run into during the chase!