10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A real safari with no fences
"Excellent food, reasonable accomodation, superb environment with animals grazing around the camp and of an evening and early morning the animals get very close to the tents. I took my mum for her 60th birthday and she was blown away by the experience, if you are travelling to Mombasa and want to experience a safari then this is the place and if booked via Gamewatchers excellent value for money. The travelling to and from the camp was also very good with air conditioned vehicles all the way."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of December 2008
"We had booked a night here through our travel agent in the uk, and were looking forward to a camp experience. Nothing could of prepared us for just how special this place is. The tents are fantastic, and the view from your balcony over the waterhole is phenominal. I would highly recommend staying here for a truely magical experience.
The experience of the bucket shower is worthy of staying for alone, let alone waking up to herds of elephants, zebra, hippos, monkeys and antelop outside your door. We were truely lucky to see lions at the waterhole, and are planning our next trip back for longer next time.
Thank you to all at Satao Camp."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of November 2008
The best safari camp ever
"We have just returned from a week in Mombasa and i have to say the real highlight was our stay in the tented camp of Satao. Tent would probably be pushing it as this was basically a hotel room with a zip up door.
We had booked the trip from home. We were met at our hotel on time by our driver for the weekend Andrew. He was brilliant. On the journey to Tsavo he explained to us the different parts and people of Kenya as we passed them and made an effort to get to know us all.
We had paid for the upgrade which meant we had a 4 wheel drive to ourselves (we were a party of 4), we were upgraded to the best tents in the camp AND all soft drinks and beer was all inclusive. This was a brilliant deal and well worth it - i am convinced we saved money on the drinks alone from the sheer amount of coca cola drunk in the dry heat.
Our tents were large and spacious and opposite the water hole. There are no fences at Satao so on our way to our "rooms" we passed impala casually grazing. We could enjoy the large balcony with a free view the the elephants drinking and bathing. And to our delight on both nights lions visited the water hole. We even got to see a hippo chasing a lion away - something to remember forever. On the second night were were awoken by much roaring. It is both a brilliant and terrifying experience. The lions were very close by and we enjoyed watching them from our balcony. Do not worry you are safe i am sure. As soon as the nigh wathman spotted us he came to keep us company, explaining about the lions and also checking our safety.
On this day our driver awoke early (that is earlier than the 6.30 drive) to find the lions and their kill. That morning we were lucky enough to go straight to watch a pride of lions eating an elephant! It was amazing. Sad that it is an elephant but also amazing and nature at its finest.
I should mention that the showever is a bucket and only has hot - well warm water once a day - but believe me it is so worth it.
Just a quick word about the restaurant - all meals were fantastic. On the first night they prepared kebabs and we cooked them on our own table on mini bbq's. All staff are attentive and friendly.
And a special note to our driver Andrew who was brilliant. He had eagle eyes and brilliant knowledge to go with it.
I would recommend this camp to anyone and everyone. It is an experiene of a lifetime and if you are planning a trip to mombasa or Tsavo then do look them up - you will not be dissapointed."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of July 2008
"This was perfect in every way, because I spent the whole of our 2 hour dinner, watching the Elephants come and go at the watering hole. The tents are of a high standard - there were only 3 or 4 being used when we were there. The afternoon safari was excellent, and the guide was knowledgeable. The lunchtime and early morning safari was a bit pointless because we didn't see anything. Food was good and the staff in the bar area were very friendly. We loved the fact that there was no fencing - just signs to say "Don't walk past this point". Whilst we were there, there was some thunder, so the Impala came right up to the tents to shelter under the trees. I didn't see any armed guards there, although we were escorted to an from dinner, I didn't feel threatened by the prescence of any of the animals at close proximity."
- Travel date: Tue 8th of April 2008
"Satao was pure luxury with amazing food great views of the watering hole and great wines.
We hired the best tent which was closest to the watering hole and it was fully equiped and had an extra large bed that faced out onto the watering hole.
We treated ourselves to a sundowner, a journey into the wilderness to a beautiful spot to watch the sun come down in front of a specialy built fire.
We were greated with drinks, cocktails and champagne and fantastic food cooked in front of us.
I will never forget that as you can see Impala and antelope running around you as well as a lion or two!
You are well protected as there are armed guides watching for any any danger. This adds to the excitement tho.
I really reccommned this Tented camp in Tsavo and will try to visit again on my next visit to Kenya."
- Travel date: Sun 23rd of March 2008
"Update - I just completed another nine days at Satao, having stayed from 8/6 - 8/14/07. This was my 12th trip to Satao.
The wildlife experience was the best ever. Tsavo was in the midst of their dry season and Aruba Dam had almost completely dried up. Thus there were hundreds of elephants at the Satao waterhole every day. Indeed one day at lunch we had over 400 elephants at the waterholes (there are two waterholes separated by a spit of land).
The impala herd had greatly increased and one evening I counted 15 new babies. There were around 90 impalas making Satao their home. They go out into the bush during the day to feed, but return to camp early evening for protection from lions and cheetahs. In the past there were only a few waterbuck at the waterhole - but this time I counted over 40.
One evening I heard a loud splash from the waterhole and told Bobby (the manager) about it the next morning. The splash was one of the hippos that had arrived from Aruba Dam! The next day the Mama and two babies arrived .
There were several exciting events while I was there. On one occasion I was sitting on the veranda enjoying the elephants at the waterhole when I saw movement to my left. I swung around with my video camera and managed to capture an elephant mating right beside my tent - when lo and behold another bull ran up, took his trunk and pushed the mating bull off the female.! This can be seen on youtube under "elephant mating interrupted".
On another occasion a nice British gentleman approached me at lunch to tell me while in the watch tower he thought he had seen a young elephant with a snare around its neck. I notified the camp manager who confirmed it and then called in the veterinarian. About an hour later the vet. arrived, darted the 8 year old bull, removed the snare, treated the injury and then gave the antidote to allow the bull to get up and walk away. Great stuff.
There were lions around camp again, but strangely enough they were quiet this time (in January they were roaring each and every night). They passed my tent several nights on their way to the waterhole.
The camp is as great as always. They have now completed raising all the tents on stone verandas and completed putting new makuti roofs over several of the tents.
The food is great as always. I never eat vegetables at home because they have no flavor. However, in Kenya and at Satao I
am eating salads and veggies all the time - extremely fresh.
Paka ,the genet cat and her babies, still are present in the tree in the middle of the bar and often in the early evening she can be seen on the limbs of the tree. On two occasions she joined me at my tent while she checked out the surroundings. This is not a tame cat - totally wild so don't try to trouch!
The askaris do a great job assisting you to and from dinner after dark. It is necessary because wildlife is indeed very close to some of the tents. I've had elephants and lions right behind my tent.
One word of warning - please keep to the paths and DO NOT wander off your veranda toward the waterholes for a better picture. This is extremely dangerous. I saw it happen twice when I was there, and it was lucky the individuals involved were not killed. The elephants often approach the waterhole from behind the tent where this occurred, and had they seen a person half way to the waterhole they could have charged and killed that person.,"
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of October 2007
Satao Camp and Satao Rock Camp
"We have recently returned from an amazing two weeks at a Diani Beach resort. The highlight of our trip must surely be the three day/two night safari to Tsavo East booked with Southern Cross Safaris over the net prior to our trip.
Our first night was spent at the Satao tented camp within the national park. The locality and quality of our stay was top class, there are around 20 tents around the waterhole with just a short distance between the accommodation and the resident herd of elephants, antelopes and baboons and goodness knows what else. We felt quite safe at the camp despite the closeness of wildlife, and the need to be escorted by security during the dark hours added to the excitement. On the first day my husband and son took the early morning game drive whilst I stayed at camp, from the verandah I observed a lioness and her cub drinking from the waterhole, this spooked the antelopes which set the elephants into a charge, all dramatic stuff at 7 a.m., I wish my husband had left his video camera behind!
We had a brilliant driver called Yusef who was able to give us a tremendous amount of information on each animal and bird we encountered. If you donât mind being a bit windblown try to get an open sided land rover rather than a people carrier, I am sure it is more helpful for spotting wildlife.
Our second night was spent at the sister camp of Satao Rock, this is a private reserve on the other side of the main highway. This is even more exclusive with just 8 tents perched on the side of a rocky outcrop, so those with mobility problems may find the pathways challenging, and the road is more than a little bumpy up to the camp. The view from the top is fantastic with views across the valley to the Taita Hills. We took another couple of game drives and we were lucky enough to come eye to eye with a cheetah who strolled across the track in front of the vehicle and also a herd of giraffe who quite rightly staked their claim to remain on the track and let us wait for them to move off before we proceeded, quite magical moments.
To sum up, both camps offer a different experience, but are consistent in their quality service, food and drink and delightful staff. Our only regret is that we did not book at least two nights in each camp, there is so much to see, and as the drives can be tiring we passed up the opportunity for the night-time drive at Satao Rock and the armed guard walking safari, in order to get some sleep!"
- Travel date: Sun 12th of August 2007
"We stayed here for 2 nights in June as part of our honeymoon, it was magical, everything you expect from a safari. It was great being near the watering hole and watching all the elephants just wander past our tent. there was a lion chasing water buck one afternoon and we saw it all from the balcony of our tent!
The food is gorgeous.
Our guide Henry was fab, he has eyes that can spot a lion from a mile away! Saw a wide variety of animals, no cheetahs although i'm sure we'll see one next time!
The tents are huge, with a massive comfy bed!"
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of July 2007
what a great experience
"we wasnt sure what to expect as we would be staying in tents, we were pleasantly suprised how spacious they were as well as your own bathroom with a shower that they bring hot water every evening after you have been on safari, which was great fun. the only mistake we made was leaving the light on one night when we went for food. in which all the bugs had stuck to the tent not nice if you are a bit squeamish, we did hence get bitten a lot that night (not by mosquitos). The food was lovely considering you were in the middle of a national park and we would much rather stay somewhere like this where you are closer to the animals, impalas wandering around in the day and night lovely! we would spend hours up the watch tower looking for animals. so relaxing. wouldn't hesitate to go again, but would prefer it if there were mosquito nets around the bed."
- Travel date: Wed 17th of January 2007
"What can one say about Satao Tented Camp?
AMAZING, FABULOUS, are just a couple of words that spring to mind.
My wife and myself spent two amazing nights in February there.
The food and service was excellent.
The accommodation, Brilliant. Having views of the waterhole you could watch the wildlife 24 hours a day, and with its own resident warthogs, Gazelle, Impala and pride of lions you don't need to move from your veranda.
We were even treated to the local entertainment, the lion pride thought they would come looking for their dinner and chase a few of the many resident Impala & Gazelles."
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of March 2006
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