Satara Rest Camp - Kruger National Park
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Satara is a busy camp, and not without reason. It's situated in an excellent game viewing area, with the bush relatively open and the animals plentiful and diverse. The camp itself has a rustic charm, with the bulk of the accommodation set out in a series of circles. The camp is well wooded and the bird-life is prolific. At night the clink of fruit bats is fused with the chirping of cicadas and crickets. The calls of owls and nightjars add to the symphony that is punctuated intermittently by the whoop of hyena, the screech of jackal and the pout of lion.
Climate: Kruger is in a summer rainfall area. Such precipitation is usually convectional and can result in heavy downpours. The summer months (October to April) are hot and often balmy. Winters are warm and mild, although visitors going on night-drives will require warm clothing.
Day Visitors: Satara has a designated day visitor area where day visitors and visitors fro other camps can braai (barbecue) and picnic. As one enters the gate, it is reached by turning to the left.
AREAS OF SPECIAL INTEREST
LLOYD’S GRAVE: The grave of one of the first Satara rangers is located in camp. Visitors who would like to visit this site should enquire at camp reception.
NHUTHWA RESTAURANT: Like the Shangaan namesake, the giraffe, this restaurant is peaceful and tranquil allowing for 55 seats on our patio and 88 seats in the restaurant itself. Our ‘African” ambiance begins with lighting mounted on kudu horns & enclosed in ostrich eggs providing a subtle, soft tone of light, broken only by the flicker of the lamps on each table. Crisp linen and neat cutlery dresses our tables, with Livingstone’s African safari chairs, allowing one to sit in peace and comfort as the meal begins… No pleasure is spared as the chefs talk you through the seven wonders of our “African pots”.
Out of camp:
• Sweni Bird Hide
• N’wanetsi Picnic Site and Lookout Point
• Timbavati Picnic Site
• Ratel Pan Bird Hide
• Tshokwane Picnic Site
• Muzadzeni Picnic Site
• Nhlanguleni Picnic Site
FLORA AND FAUNA
Satara is regarded as one of the best game viewing areas in the park and is particularly noted for the big cats, with lion, leopard and cheetah recorded regularly. General game includes blue wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, giraffe and the ubiquitous impala. Rhino buffalo and elephant are also easily seen. Of the smaller animals, the honey badger is something to look out for. At night spotted hyena regularly whoop from the camp’s perimeter while the repetitive sonar chink of fruit bats blends with the chirp of cicada and cricket.
Satara, like other camps, has a plethora of resident birds. Particularly prominent are redbilled buffalo weaver, glossy, greater blue-eared and Burchell’s starling and mourning dove. At night, giant eagle, barn, scops and pearlspotted owls can be seen and heard in camp. The open plains to the north of the camp are a good place to record Montagu’s and pallid harrier. The N’wanedzi Picnic Site (24 km from Satara) is worth visiting. Violeteared waxbill, yellowbellied bulbul and mocking chat are regulars here, while shafttailed whydah has been seen nearby. There is also a viewing platform that provides an elevated view down on the N’wanedzi River. About 2km from N’wanedzi on the 537 Road, the Sweni Bird Hide is well worth stopping at. In winter, when water levels are low, and rocks, mud-banks and reeds are exposed, the site is exceptionally active bird-wise, with many passerines coming to drink and joining the ubiquitous hammerkop, greenbacked heron and great white and little egrets. In summer, after heavy rain, the high water levels reduce the bird-life. However it is an excellent venue to see bluecheeked bee-eater that is regularly in attendance here.
Satara like most camps has been artificially well wooded. The surrounding vegetation is knob thorn and marula savannah on basalt soils. A few kilometres west there is an intrusion of ecca shales soil which hosts very sweet grass often overgrazed. This intrusion also hosts Delagoa thorn thickets. To the east, the N’wanetsi region lies in Lebombo Mountain Bushveld on rhyolite soils. Tree euphorbia and red bushwillow are prevalent.
Campsites: tent or caravan sites, with power point, communal ablutions and cooking facilities, maximum of 6 persons per site.
Bungalows: 2 or 3 bed rooms, equipped with ablutions, most with showers, but some with baths, air-conditioning, some have hotplates and sinks, some have sinks only.
Guest Cottages: 6 and 5 bed Guest Houses: RUDY FRANKEL - 8 beds, STANLEY - 9 beds and WELLS - 6 beds.
• Day and Night Game Drives
• Sweni Bird Hide
• Ratel Pan Bird Hide (Piet Grobler Dam)
• Sweni Wilderness Trail
• Mananga Adventure Trail
• Through prior arrangement with the camp, catered traditional dances can be organised
• Wildlife films
• Public Telephones
• Post Box
• Basic First Aid Assistance
• Emergency Road Service
• Petrol Station
• Communal Kitchens
• Cutlery and Plates Hamper
• Day Visitor Picnic Area
• Eco Information Centre
• Film Auditorium
• Jungle Gym for children
• Picnic Facilities
• TV’s in guest house only
5 Things to Seek
• Red-billed Buffalo Weaver
• Blue Wildebeest
• Honey Badger
TRAVEL ROUTES AND TIMES FROM JHB/PTA
ORPEN GATE: Head toward Nelspruit on the N4, take the R540 Belfast turn off. At Lydenburg turn left onto the R36 heading north. 30kms before Hoedspruit turn right onto the R531 and head to the gate. Allow between 4 to hours for the trip to the gate. Satara Main Rest Camp is 48km away from the gate. Allow about 2 hours for the drive to the camp; however if you want to enjoy the game viewing possibilities give yourself more time!