Savé (pronounced “Sarvee”) Valley Conservancy - in the low-lying, hot south-east of Zimbabwe gets its name from the magnificent Savé River (pronounced Sarvee) which marks its eastern boundary while Gonarezhou National Park forms it's southern border. Prior to June 1991 this was cattle ranching country, but the severe drought in 1991/1992 proved that the climate was inhospitable for domestic stock. "Why not revert to the original inhabitants, (wild animals) already adapted to the harsh climate and habitat?" ranchers asked themselves.
The Savé Valley Conservancy came into being when 21 cattle ranchers took down dividing fences, replacing them with a double game fence surrounding all their land. A ground-breaking constitution was formulated when members of the Conservancy made a commitment to long term conservation ethics. The result, a large tract of beautiful and very diverse African bush, host to an abundance of wild animals and birds where you could enjoy the contrast of luxury of 5-star lodges, with lush, green lawns giving way to the wild of Africa.
Grazers, browsers and predators are all there. Antelope include Eland, Sable, Nyala, Waterbuck, Duiker, Impala, Klipspringer, Kudu and Sharples Gysbok. All the Zimbabwean cats are there, lion, leopard, cheetah, wildcat, caracal, civet serval and genet. Specially protected animals are Black and White Rhino Wild Dog and Brown Hyena.
From your list you would be able to tick off many bird species while raptors merit special mention. The Conservancy is hunting ground for the majestic Black and Bateleur Eagles.
Birchenough Bridge crossing over the Savé River marks the beginning of the Lowveld. It is a single arch bridge designed to span the shifting, silting sand bed of the river and cope with flash floods which can rise as much as seven metres. In all but size it is an exact replica of Sydney Harbour Bridge, in Australia. It is more than 330 m long and hangs some 18 m above the river.
A copper plaque affixed to the bridge commemorates Sir Henry Birchenough, President of the British South Africa Company at the time. Whilst Birchenough Bridge is an attraction in itself, the Conservancy adds to its appeal by taking visitors there to see the handcrafts made by local villagers.