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“Run-down and dirty” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Satara Rest Camp

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Satara Rest Camp
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2.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   48 km from Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Beauvais, France
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Run-down and dirty”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

It is unfortunate that I feel the need to give Satara a poor rating, since this restcamp is actually ideally situated for game-viewing. On the evening of our arrival, during a sunset game-drive (with ranger) we came across a lion devouring a recently killed buffalo - right on the roadside - whilst another exhausted male recovered nearby. The following morning, during our sunrise drive, we saw several hyena at the kill-site, another lion pride at a different site also close to the road, followed by yet another lion further off in the distance - all on the loop drive around Satara Camp.

First stayed at Satara with my wife in November 2002 and we found the location to be good but the camp infrastructure a bit dated. Clearly there has been no renovation during the intervening nine years. Our unit was pretty dilapidated, the mosquito window-screens were rusted and did not open or close properly. The airconditioner was old and very noisy and was barely able to combat the high ambient temperatures. The smell of the bed-linen gave us to suspect that the sheets had not been changed since the previous occupant had checked out. Either that, or the pillows etc were in urgent need of laundering. Not sure that they clean the units properly or regularly - an unpleasant odour and small droppings in the bathroom suggested that a family of rodents had taken up residence - although we never saw any of the little critters. Satara is in a great location and has a lot of potential, but is in urgent need of a make-over. Should note that we expressed our dissatisfaction when they emailed us a customer's satisfaction survey, but we never received a reply....

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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268 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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Mumbai
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

This is a rest camp in middle of the jungle and a govt run property- for the price charged (compared to the private game-parks) we were more than satisfied with the experience. We stayed in the Guest cottage. Cottage had split AC in both bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, separate dining area. The cottage however has fairly average looking exteriors and parking is messy. Also some of the kitchen equipment need a overhaul (hob and chimney need a comprehensive cleaning). There is a small supermarket in the camp that has adequate stock of fresh vegetables, meat and packaged food. The restaurant however is average with highly limited option for vegetarians. At the petrol, pump air compressor was not working, with nothing around for 50 kms, we were surprised that the same was not repaired during our entire stay period.

That said Game near the camp is excellent, we saw a herd of Elephants and a lion cross the road next to the camp. Plenty of herbivores - Zebras, Giraffe, Impala and Kudu's. Morning safari is good with knowledgeable guides, however night drive is not worth the effort or price.

We also stayed at Berg-en Dal and this rest camp was far superior in terms of game sighting and facilities.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Satara restcamp is very well situated for watching animals, we left early and 1 km out of the gate we had close encouter with 10 lions! Half an our later we've seen 10 different species! The cabin is very basic, kitchenette seperated from the bedroom and very small shower (didn't use it...) Every window is musquito proof. Because of strike there was a limited offer on food, no comments here.

Room Tip: Ask for cabin in D section. Location on the fence of the restcamp.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

This is a big camp, but it feels very remote and doesn't have the tourist atmosphere of the other main camps. There's a lot of game in this area! We went on a sunset game drive and saw the big 5 in just 2 hours.

The room is very clean and comfortable, and the camp is the most relaxing of the bigger rest camps. The staff are lovely!

Room Tip: All the rooms are the pretty much the same, so anywhere is good. It's nice to be close to the fe...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We stayed for two nights in one of the chalets/huts. The camp is sufficiently large that you may need a map.

This is a large state-sector rest camp which offers fairly simple accommodation, although clean and functional. There was a room safe but in such a dark corner of the cupboard and without instructions that I succeeded in locking it permanently – fortunately on a ‘trial run’ and not with our possessions inside.

The restaurant has a limited menu (and same menu at the take away), not much above a fast food establishment. Evening meals were not great and didn’t always deliver what the menu suggested. However, the ‘health breakfast’ was very nice: a large bowl of fruit, muesli and yogurt being the basis, but it comes 'assembled' whereas a buffet where you can choose your favoured options is preferable.

There is a reasonable large camp shop selling books, clothing, souvenirs etc.

The large swimming pool looked nice but our itinerary did not include time for a dip!

As the gates close from 6pm to 6am, you have to take a camp night drive to get a chance of the nocturnal animals. It was not very expensive, but also quite poor compared to night drives we have taken at various private establishments in Africa. The driver said he could only promise “grass and trees” and I think he meant it. Spot lights were given to two passengers on either side and the driver drove a route very quickly, only stopping if one of the passengers shouted ‘stop’. Most night drives have a dedicated spotter/tracker watching for animals. We did see leopard and genet, as well as a white-faced owl which we spotted. Of course, some of the common diurnal antelopes etc were present as well but you are asked not to shine spotlights on them, as it affects their eyesight.

Our hut was near the perimeter fence and there was a bench to sit on facing the fence. I sat there quite late at night for the atmosphere and was just checking something on my phone when a noise at the fence made me look up. A spotted hyena was brushing the fence no more that 2m away. The hyenas patrol the fence because they are (wrongly) fed by some of the campers. They can often be seen at the waterhole at night as well.

Giving an overall grade to somewhere like this is hard. It offers acceptable accommodation in a great area for game and bird viewing. But you won’t love it for itself. Compared to other accommodations, I rate it as ‘average’.

Room Tip: Perimeter fence may be a good option - we were in circle A and liked it.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Naracoorte
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

There is no doubt that Satara is in a great game viewing area of Kruger National Park.
This is why the camp is so popular but Satara looks a bit loved to death. Although a slow refurbishment of bungalows is taking place the general look of the camp is a bit shabby. There is a disused large building in the centre with the back surrounding area full of junk and rubbish on view to guests. Although ground staff were evident the gardens need more TLC.
The restaurant needs a complete shake up. Why one cannot be served at one's table like all other KNP restaurants I've been to I do not know? Just to get ice with my drink was a mission!
The toilets at the restaurant are always messy and not clean enough.
Whilst the staff at reception are efficient I wouldn't call their service friendly or welcoming.
As for shop staff - I regularly counted about ten or more staff of whom about 2 were actually doing any meaningful work. One staff member pushed in front of guests lined up at the counter to complete his own transaction! As their card facility regularly seems to be down they put a sign up to enlighten customers, except that when the card facility IS working they never take the sign down and when I enquired of the manager who happened to be behind the counter if the card system was working I was met with a look of pure disdain....

Generally disappointing.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Berlin, Germany
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

The unit we stayed in was ok, but not that great ... we noticed that most restcamps in Kruger are a bit old and really need maintenance. It's a bit pricey for what you got, but well, you are in kruger! The communal kitchen facilities are not really great.
The location, however, is amazing- lots of lions & animals around.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Satara Rest Camp

Address: 48 km from Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #122 of 142 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Satara Rest Camp 2*
Also Known As:
Satara Restcamp Hotel Kruger National Park

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