Satao Camp, Tsavo East
Taita Taveta, Kenya
Satao is a low-key camp facing onto its own watering hole, and offering some of the best elephant viewing in the park, and all of it from a tent.
Starts from Ksh 5,500 pp, sharing, full-board. A game drive package starts from Ksh 9,500 pp, sharing.
In the dry season particularly, the elephant viewing here is unparallelled. On any given day, you might see literally hundreds of elephants congregate around the watering hole, separated from guests by just a few hundred metres of bush.
Apart from watching the wildlife dance take place in front of you, there’s not a whole lot to do here in between game drives, making it perhaps less appealing for parents with young children.
Style & Character
Unassuming camp distinguished by the wildlife that wanders at will through the camp. Satao is not particularly smart or upmarket, but a comfortable and welcoming place that feels at one with its environment.
The camp is about an hour’s drive from the Voi gate on a very good dirt road. It’s about a 15-minute drive from the Aruba Dam, and its location around a watering hole popular with elephants is superb.
Service & Facilities
Guests are welcomed to Satao with a cold drink and scented towel, and service is warm and welcoming. Amenities are limited, with wifi a little patchy, and available only in the main lounge and dining area. There is no pool.
Tented rooms are spacious and furnished in a classic safari, if simple, style. Each has its own large veranda with chairs and sunbeds, a perfect viewing spot for the wildlife show playing out in front of the camp. For hot nights – which in Tsavo is much of the hot season – a standing fan provides relief. There is a continuous supply of electricity.
Food & Drink
The convivial bar is a good place to chat to fellow guests. Food appears to be a strong suit at the camp. The night we stayed, dinner comprised of mixed marinated kebabs grilled in front of you at the table with various sauces to accompany them. Breakfast is buffet-style with eggs to order.
For the smallest of children, Satao is probably not the ideal camp at which to stay, not least because of entertainment between game drives. Kids might particularly miss a pool in which to cool off, but parents might also be wary of the (fairly tame) wildlife wandering around.
Value for money?
At roughly half the price of comparable camps, we believe Satao is excellent value for money. It has one of the best game-viewing spots in the park, and is easily accessible from the main gate at Voi.
Reviewed by Catrina Stewart. Stayed February 2018.