We had the pleasure of staying in Satara Rest Camp for 2 nights in early January, 2012. It wasn’t originally our first choice of camp – in fact, we’d booked originally to stay at Mopani, but after speaking to the locals, they advised us to spend as much time in the game rich central area of Kruger as possible (as we had already spent 4 nights in Northern Kruger). Heeding this advice, we took the decision to switch accommodation less than 24 hours before we were due to arrive at Mopani. The receptionist at Shingwednzi assisted us in this matter and there was no extra cost for the change. It was a decision well made.
Not that we have anything against Mopani. In fact, we stopped off to review the camp en route to Satara and I fell in love with it. It has more of a lodge feel than a camp feel, and the surrounding views over the damn and mopane vegetation was simply breathtaking. There was also a very well stocked shop, an on site nature trail and what looked to be a very comfortable bar overlooking the water. There was lots of outside seating space and a large eating area. However, we felt that we had exhausted a lot of the drives around Northern Kruger and therefore pressed on toward Satara where there are lots of choices of game drives right on the camp’s doorstep.
Satara is a lovely camp – the largest we stayed in. It was clean, extremely comfortable and modern. It had a well stocked shop (that gets very busy in the last half hour of trading), a refreshing swimming pool and a covered bar and restaurant. All sides of the camp are surrounded with an electrified wire fence to keep the game out – however, this provides great opportunities for game viewing from the comfort of camp. Each day an elephant wandered right by the communal areas, and at evening Hyhena prowled the fence.
Satara also has an outdoor auditorium which screen wildlife and nature documentaries Mon to Sat evenings.
We stayed in a bungalow with a kitchenette and it far exceeded my expectations. The hut was spotlessly clean, as was the kitchen and braai area. Each hut has privacy via wooden screens which surround your private braai area which is equipped with its own outside light for cooking. The kitchenette was well stocked with cutlery, plates, glasses, hotplate, full sized fridge freezer, kettle, toaster etc.
You enter the hut by sliding glass doors to the well sized bedroom (with seperate insect screen), and there is a clean and powerful en suite shower and toilet. An electronic safe is also provided in the wardrobe. There is also a powerful A/C system (so powerful we had to turn it down) and a ceiling fan.
Outside the bedroom is a covered seating area with a wooden table and chairs and its own outside light. We found Satara to be remarkably bug free – especially compared to the previous camps we had stayed in (Shingwedzi and Punda Maria).It was very pleasent to spend a bug free evening sitting outside after your braai – especially because you could easily spot nocturnal game patrolling the camp fences by torchlight.
It’s a truly fabulous place to stay. For more information, visit the SANParks website.
Photos from our South African safari are available in our Taraji Blue South African photo gallery.