Guest post by Guillaume Schaack
Last week I was asked to join a fam trip of German travel agents to the luxury Satao Camp (www.sataocamp.com) in Tsavo East National Park to whom I should present our luxury air safaris. I started my journey by bus in the early morning in Mombasa and headed north. At around 11am the bus arrived at the gate and after changing from the bus into a 4×4 safari vehicle we entered the park. The first sighting was an eagle eating leftovers of a lion’s pray.
Just in time for lunch and with a massive sunburn (yeah, I forgot that the vehicles are open and left the sun lotion at home…) I arrived at Satao Camp and checked into my tent (the camp was completely booked so “unfortunately” they had to give me the suite tent). Satao Camp lies next to a big waterhole where big herds of elephants come to drink. The camp consists of 20 classical canvas tents, dining room, reception, gift shop and an observation tower overlooking the waterhole.
As it was a “business trip” I used the time after lunch to catch up on some work. However as I was sitting on the terrace of my tent it was hard to stay focussed as many animals including zebras, impalas and monkeys walked by. The most amazing part so far was a big hippo that was hidden inside a bush just next to the tents. Later the camp manager told us that it was in a fight with other hippos and they chased it away. Having no place to go it decided to lay in the shade of the bush. We all felt really sad as it was just lying there with no water (it even lay there when I went to sleep in the morning, but when I woke up it was gone.)
In the evening I joined the camp staff to a nearby fire place where we prepared a sundowner for the travel agents. For about two hours we were sitting by the fire, zipping our drinks and just telling stories of the day.
The most amazing part of the day happened after dinner. I joined part of the group to sit next to the camp fire and having some drinks before going to bed. However, as things usually go, we kept on staying and staying until at around midnight a giraffe was approaching the camp. As it came closer and closer, we got more amazed by this beautiful animal. At some point it stood less than 10 meters away from us eating the leaves from the surrounding trees. For all of us this situation was so magic that no one was talking or moving. We managed to sit at the camp fire until 3am (many got less than three hours of sleep afterwards…)
The next morning I got up early with the other group. While part of them had an early-morning game drive I went to have breakfast. Actually I was hoping I could fly back with the group on Severin Air Safaris, but unfortunately the aircraft was full, so I had to organize a ride back to Mombasa pretty much at the last minute.
At around 8am, the final part of our fam trip started as the Cessna Grand Caravan from Severin Air Safaris approached Satao Airstrip.
Half an hour later we were on our way home. The group in the aircraft, I in another 4×4 that would drop me at the exit gate of the park. Nevertheless I had some more exciting sightings on the way back as the following proves.
If you want to know more about Satao camp and how to get there, you can visit one of the following websites.