Satao Elerai, Amboseli, Kenya: A place to take life a minute at a time. Images courtesy of Out of Africa
22 May 2013 Written by 

Satao Elerai, Amboseli, Kenya: A place to take life a minute at a time.

Satao Elerai is a relaxing place to be. This is the kind of place a retiring couple would enjoy, not necessarily to simply escape a noisy concrete jungle, but to imbibe the pleasure of life's untainted beauty after having seen decades of life's good, bad and ugly. Satao Elerai increases the good, diminishes the bad and deletes the ugly. Being in the heart of the Savannah, makes the idea of relaxation most plausible.

Satao Elerai is 5km off Amboseli National Park on the Kimana Gate dirt road. It can be accessed via plane or road. The road trip will take you roughly four and a half hours from Nairobi. If you would like to partake of Kenya's eastern landscape before arriving to the cherry on the cake, take the road. However, the dirt road is narrow and very rough and can make the 5km look like 10km. It may feel as if you're driving into nothingness for a while until the beautiful property emerges. Three airstrips serve the property. The Amboseli Airstrip that is 45 minutes away is catered for by Safari Link, Mombasa Air and Air Kenya airlines. The Malindi Airstrip at the coast is 10 minutes away. Severin Air Safaris cater for the flights together with private charter flights. The third airstrip is Tawi. It is 30 minutes away and is catered for by private charter flights.

Arrival

Travelling may make you feel like you took a trip to nowhere. However, arriving changes all that. Satao's property keeps the bush feeling to a very minimum level. It is an oasis of sorts surrounded my miles of outstretched wild savannah. Guests get top-notch service by the excellently trained staff. Your special treatment is guaranteed in a part of this world; that part is here. On arrival, you will be required to sign a disclaimer form. The camp is not fenced, and roaming without a guard is at the visitor's own peril, especially at night. The form ensures cooperation and safety of the visitors. For those seeking a retreat and not an adventure, the disclaimer form shouldn't be of any negative significance because Satao is a complete area of repose with the facilities they offer all in one place. However for the adventurous, take heart. The code of conduct offers an opportunity to practice a little Tarzan with a whistle chained to your keys should you face a foe you're unable to subdue.

The Restaurant

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The restaurant experiences are simply indelible. Al Fresco eating is possible due to the open walls. One can also choose to eat outside. Visitors will constantly interact with the Maasai culture who constitute of most of the local staff. The restaurant's open nature gives two very unique views that you are not likely to find elsewhere in the world. From here you can see the waterhole and witness animals such as elephants go take a drink. Secondly, you witness Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. To see snow in the equator region is quite a special treat. From the vantage point of Satao's eating spot, you can witness a live postcard. Separated from the restaurant by a kopje rock is the swimming pool area. The deep end is 5 feet and 5 inches.

Accommodation

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Lodge or tent? The lodges are luxury suites with sliding doors to a private veranda and a large double bed. One's stay at Satao can easily be maximised in the room. The washrooms have a magnificent view of Amboseli National Park. Mount Kilimanjaro is not left out in the room views. The tents are en suite with equally magnificent views. For those that appreciate the outdoor feel, you will appreciate the tent's wooden cedar floors, acacia poles and thatched roofing. The tents have large balconies with relaxing beds. They are invented for the stay-in person. The downside of the tents is that the twin beds in the tents are small (3 feet by 6 feet). Nights at Satao Elerai are very cold. They offer an extra blanket per tent but it may not suffice. If you plan to visit, carry warm night clothing.

Activity

The lounge at Satao has a fireplace to keep warm at night. Bush dinners and breakfasts can be organized on request. As dusk nears, taking sundowners as you watch Mount Kilimanjaro is the perfect treat. Electricity is provided twice a day at 5am–8am and 6.30pm-11pm. However the generator is left running for as long as possible for clients who need it to. During these periods, visitors can enjoy free Internet at the lounge, bar and restaurant.

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While we highly doubt you will want to leave the property, we won't dismiss the fact that one day may be good for a game drive. The variety of animals is not big. Birds and herbivores such as giraffes, zebras and elephants are the main attraction for most part of the year. The waterhole draws them. The conservancy also provides an opportunity to see hundreds of bird species. The conservancy fees are part of the accommodation fees.

Satao Elerai is a serene place to unwind. We recommend it for anyone willing to take life slowly and sit back as time erodes for a few days. Peace of mind is a state that can be achieved in a place like Satao that gives more than life demands.



Ernest Wamboye Wakhusama

Ernest Wamboye is a writer and editor working in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a volunteer Brand Ambassador at AfricaTalentbank.com and an origami artist and storyteller at Arts & OAK, a company that he founded. Ernest is married to Waturi and they both live in Nairobi, Kenya.
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