TSAVO EAST – Satao Tented Camp
Tsavo East and West National Parks occupy 21,000 km², with the Tsavo East Park being a total of 11,747 km². It is one of Kenya’s oldest and largest national parks, covering approximately 40% of the total area of all Kenya’s national parks. Its beautiful landscape and proximity to the coast make it a popular safari destination. It is credited as one of the world’s leading biodiversity strongholds, with endless bush grassland and open plains alternating with Semi–arid Acacia scrub and woodlands, and the Galana riverbanks give rise to lush vegetation.
There is a wide variety of animals to be seen in Tsavo East National Park: lion, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, serval cats, antelopes, kongoni, oryx, lesser kudu, impala, striped hyena, gazelles, buffalos and elephants. Some 500 bird species have been recorded in the area. Tsavo East is also home to some of the largest herds of elephant in Kenya. The elephants glow red after dust baths, blowing the vivid red dust through their trunks and over their bodies. In any 24-hour period, between 300 and 1,300 elephants visit the Satao waterhole. Large prides of lion are sighted regularly and another great sight is the spectacular herds of up to 1,000 buffalo.
Satao Tented Camp is nestled amongst trees and surrounding a central waterhole. The semi-circular layout of the camp provides an excellent viewing point for each guest. Satao Camp has 20 tents, all with ensuite, thoughtfully positioned to ensure a full view of the camp’s own watering hole. Each tent is constructed of sisal and boriti poles topped with a Makuti roof. Only the front of the tent is visible, as each tent has its own patio with table and chairs.
The tents are exquisite; all are attractively furnished with locally made beds and unique African designs. Each spacious tent has a private bathroom with running water. While some tents have solar heating, a number of tents have a shower that is in the true African style, whereby the camp staff bring hot water in the evening. The bathrooms are very spacious, their slate floors and walls with stunning wooden framework, the washbasins sunken into the structure, all fitted with flushing toilet. Power outlets in the tents enable battery charging.
A typical day at Satao Camp starts with an early morning game drive; you are woken up at 6.00 am to coffee and tea in the restaurant. At 6:30 am you set off in search of the big cats – Lion, Leopard, Cheetah – or your other favourite flora and fauna, perhaps. Upon return to the camp at approximately 8:30 am, you will find a large buffet of Full English and Continental breakfasts waiting for you, along with a selection of fresh seasonal fruits.
During the day you may relax in your tent or go up to the observation tower and study the animals who have wandered into camp as you await lunch, served under a 200-year-old tamarind tree. Another game drive follows at 3.30 pm till sunset, just when the animals are coming out, after the heat of the midday sun. Have a ‘bush shower’ in your tent and relax at the bar, or swap stories of your day’s adventure round the camp fire, or watch the animals by night from the observation tower.
Although Satao Tented Camp is unfenced, the predators and elephants rarely come into camp. Gazelle, impala and bush buck are a common sight, especially in the evenings when they come in to graze on the sweet irrigated grass. Guests are asked not to walk unescorted about the camp after dark, but rather to flash a torch from their tent balcony to alert an askari to come and assist. A feature of the camp is an observation tower which offers an elevated view of the waterhole and the visiting animals. The waterhole is floodlit at night.