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“One of our first Kruger (larger) Restcamp experiences.” 4 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
Gauteng
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“One of our first Kruger (larger) Restcamp experiences.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Our 2 night stay was very enjoyable. This was the last stop of a 6 day total safari through the Kruger. For us this was the pick out of 2 larger camps we stayed at. Our "semi-luxury" bungalow was quite basic but clean, comfortable & serviced daily. We are also getting the idea that these bush / rest camps are not about "luxury" as such, but more about what facilities you prefer close at hand. What is most important to us is cleanliness and ease of access to that which we may need to use. This we were more than happy with. We preferred the layout both inside and out of the bungalows at Satara. They were also grouped in a far more thoughtful way that allowed better view / privacy. That is each one looking into the centre which consisted of a very large grassy treed area, and not into each other. This part of the Kruger park is also where we saw the big five. And we enjoyed the more open savannah landscape that was not so evident down south. We loved the evening film they put on in the open amphitheater, brought back memories of the old Drive-In. The shop has everything you need, but I would not rely on the restaurant for good food. My lunch was ok, but buffet dinner was very poor. Best option is to take own food or get from shop and use kitchen / Brai facilities. Each bungalow has a simple outdoor Brai. If you wish / expect to have more luxury and great restaurant food (nothing wrong with that either) then one should consider the more expensive lodges. Myself I actually enjoy the simple rustic experience that these rest camps offer, and importantly at an affordable price. It's where the locals go. I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Ensure you look closely at what each level of bungalow offers, and choose the right one for you. Our...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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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Johannesburg
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights at Skukuza Restcamp, then 3 nights in Satara Restcamp.
Satara's bungalows are much nicer and better equipped (with locks on the fridge to keep the monkeys away), staff more friendly, and the service much better.
And we had excellent game sightings.

Room Tip: There are bungalows for handicapped, bungalows for families, etc. We were in Circle A which was near...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

If you want to see the Big Five, Satara is the place to stay. Due to this, it remains the most popular (or let's say most booked) Rest Camp inside the Kruger. I suggest you book for at least 2 consecutive nights, to allow yourself to unpack and enjoy and investigate area properly. If you book for only one night, you cannot check in before 2pm and then have to leave the camp by 10am the next morning.
Lots have been said about the Kruger park accommodation, and Satara falls in line with the rest. If you read the reviews and know what to expect, there will be no surprises or disappointments. I have been to the Kruger often since childhood and nothing has changed, thus the cottages (rondavels) are old yes, but well maintained. The interiors are basic but the matrasses are comfortable, the blankets warm, the aircon and small fridge in working order. It looks like no "revamping" has been done over the years, rather just a replacement of items if and when needed. But who cares? You are here to experience wealth of wildlife and birds, you not paying for, or on, a 5 star visit.
We flew to Johannesburg, where we rented a small air conditioned car for our visit to the Kruger Park. Prior to entering the Park we purchased, at a supermarket along the way, some plastic plates, cheap cutlery, mugs, a sharp knife and a cheap kettle as well as basic breakfast and snack items (the latter you can buy at the camp shop). This enabled us to enjoy a good breakfast on the veranda of the rondavel. You can also consider buying or bringing along a cooler bag and thermos flask for coffee. Our main meals we took at the restaurants of the Rest Camps where we stayed - nothing to write home about but we found the "special of the day" often to be surprisingly good.
After much indecision, we decided to do the "sunset safari" offered at Satara after having seen just about nothing on our afternoon drive. It was money well spent and the leopard was the only one of the big five not showing up. Half of the time was spend in daylight and about an hour and half in the dark. Much better than the night drive which is all in the dark.
For booking I suggest you phone the Sanparks number, its far more efficient than the website which is continuously out of order. The ladies are extremely friendly and can tell you within seconds which accommodation is available to you on your preferred dates, you can book immediately and they then email you the booking and payment info and you have quite a while before payment is due.
Go with the right frame of mind and you will have an enjoyable time at Sarata.

Room Tip: Ask not to be next campsite or staff quaters
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We used this camp as a stop-over to our dream destination: Biyamiti bush camp. We like Satara's location because of the superb game viewing in the surrounding open savannah. Because of this reason we stayed here many times over the last 40 years. the camp itself is not in a good condition. We stayed in a bungalow. I feel it is overpriced for the overall low quality standard.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stayed in the Well's Guest house. It was simply perfect! The rooms were spacious. More than enough linen and towels and the whole house was very clean. The kitchen was well equiped with every utensil needed! The cleaning service did a great job. Staff were friendly and efficient and the shop was stocked up with absolutely everything!! Would highly recommend this camp.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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Campinas, SP
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

The hotel is in the best location inside Kruger National Park. Since it's right in the middle of the park, furhter from the fences, there are many animals to be seen and, if you want to observe the Big Five, go no further. On the other hand, our room was very poor. Safe didn't work, sheets were stinking, everything needs an update. Moreover, food is horrible everywhere in the Camp, either in the restaurant or in the deli. Of course I know it's a camp and, if I wanted luxury, I should have booked a Logde. But a rustic simple place is way differente than a dirty one. In the and, this the price to pay for staying in the best spot for the Game Drives.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Oakdale, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

I've read the reviews of this Rest Camp and can tell you that I found the camp to be run down, the fencing in poor condition, the food not good at all, the huts bare minimum, etc. We arrived for a two night stay in September, on our way from Jock Safari Lodge to Mala Mala Game Preserve.

A reviewer who stated that the rest camp isn't what western travelers would expect was understating, but that statement is also misleading. During our travels in Kruger, we stopped at Skukuza also and found the huts to be newer, better maintained, and the food much better. It seems to me that Kruger needs to put some money into Satara to upgrade the facilities.

Monkeys run freely through the camp and after returning to the hut from eating breakfast at the camp's restaurant, we found all of our outdoor kitchen covered in monkey urine. I'm not impressed and found that to be unhealthy and unsanitary. My traveling companion insisted that he wanted to stay here, since he'd never been this far north in the park. I feel his judgment was in error and remember our stay there as something I wanted to have end very soon.

In their defense, their location for game spotting is wonderful and our day-drive from Satara further north was a wonderful one. Two nearly-newborn lions in a bush with Mom sleeping underneath in the shade was priceless. We found the employees in the morning to be friendly, but we also saw employee-theft in the gift shop. They would ring up all but one item, total it, collect the money, then say, oh we forgot this item, its $XXX. That money never ended up in the register, and it happened to both of us on two different occasions.

Overall, I would stay at Skukuza or a camp farther north the nest time I visit, which will be in May of 2013.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the newer huts, which appear to be more in the center of the camp. If you wish to be...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 #116 of 141 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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