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Letaba Rest Camp

 Letaba Rest Camp is one of the main rest camps of Kruger National Park (KNP) which is located in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces of South Africa.  The camp is situated midway between the southern and northern boundaries of the KNP on a bend of the Letaba River.

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
6 Sleeper - Camp Site (CK6P)

*Excludes camping equipment

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024R565 for 2 persons
 R715 for 3 persons
 R865 for 4 persons
 R1015 for 5 persons
 R1165 for 6 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, Communal Ablutions, Powerpoint

Exclude: Camping Equipment, Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
2 Sleeper - Safari Tent (CTT2)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R1100 for 2 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, 2 single beds ,Communal ablutions, Communal Kitchen, Fan, Fridge

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
4 Sleeper - Safari Tent (CTT4)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R1695 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, 4 single beds ,Communal ablutions, Communal Kitchen, Fan, Fridge

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
Safari Tent - Perimeter (CTT4U)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R1800 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include: Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, 4 single beds ,Communal ablutions, Communal Kitchen, Fan, Fridge, Perimeter View 

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
2 Sleeper - Bungalow (BG2)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024R2100 for 2 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 2 single beds, Airconditioned, Communal Kitchen

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
2 Sleeper Bungalow (BD2)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R2295 for 2 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 2 single beds, Airconditioned, Hotplate, Fridge

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
3 Sleeper - Hut - Perimeter (BG3U)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R2695 for 3 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 3 single beds, Airconditioned, Communal Kitchen, Perimeter View

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
3 Sleeper - Chalet (BD3)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R2695 for 3 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 3 single beds, Airconditioned, Hotplate, Utensils, Fridge

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
6 Sleeper - Guest Cottage (FQ6)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R5200 for 2 persons

Rates quoted per night.

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite 2 bathrooms, each with bath and shower ,2 bedrooms, each with 3 single beds, Airconditioned, Kitchen, Utensils

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
8 Sleeper - Fish Eagle Guest House (FGL)

Date Range Rate 
17 Mar 2021-
31 Oct 2023
R10995 for 8 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 4 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, Airconditioned, Kitchen, Utensils

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Letaba Rest Camp - Self Catering
9 Sleeper - Melville Guest House (MEL)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R12100 for 2 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 3 bedrooms, each with 3 single beds, Airconditioned, Kitchen, Utensils

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Overview

It is one of the oldest and largest camps in the park. Letaba means river of sand, and the area is an excellent location for game viewing, particularly elephant. It’s strategic position makes it an ideal stopover for anyone travelling the length of the KNP.

In the Letaba District there are three rivers bearing the same name, the Great Letaba, the Middle Letaba and the Small Letaba. They become the Letaba River which joins the Olifants River in the KNP on its way to the Indian Ocean.

Staying in any of the camps of the KNP is an adventure where you can be guaranteed to see the Big 5. It is one of the more affordable safari vacations that you can book in South Africa.

The camp offers a variety of accommodation to choose from and it also has a designated day visitor area where day visitors and visitors from other camps can braai (barbecue) and picnic. The picnic area is on the perimeter of the camp with its own swimming pool.

Why would you want to visit Letaba?

Spending a few days in this Letaba rest camp provides a true African experience like few other and is definitely a destination to add to your safari vacation. Being close to three major dams, provides for excellent wildlife and birdlife viewing.

This has been one of the more popular camps in the KNP and its character depend on the tall shady Sycamore, Natal Mahogany, Sycamore Fig, Apple Leaf, Mahogany, and Sausage trees. Many tame bushbuck wanders on the lush lawns in the camp.

During winter, the gardens in the camp burst into full colour with the many Aloe species and Impala lilies in full bloom. Both attract a variety of birds not only during winter but all year round.

The Goldfields Environmental Education Centre is also located within the camp that includes the popular Letaba Elephant Hall where you can learn everything about the original Magnificent 7.

Parts of KNP were inhabited in prehistoric time by various groups of people. An example of the way they lived during the late Stone Age can be found at the Masorini Hill which is 39 km from this camp. It also indicate that the BaPhalaborwa tribe inhabited the area in the early 19th century.

Archaeological excavations have revealed not only hut floors, and stone walls, but grinding stones, pot shards, glass beads, iron-melting furnaces, and smithies, among others.

Going out on an open vehicle safari is the preferred way to see animals but the best way to spot animals in here is in front of the restaurant complex that look out on the sandy riverbed.

The camp offers great bird watching opportunities as it provides a walking route on the inside perimeters of the camp. You will get a general offering of fauna and flora and being close to animals that you might catch a glimpse of on the other side of the electrified fence.

Where is Letaba located?

It is located midway between the southern and northern boundaries of the KNP on a bend of the Letaba River. The camp is 51 km from the Phalaborwa entrance gate. The GPS coordinates for the camp is S 23 51′ 4″ E 31 34′ 36″

How to get to Letaba

Travelling time from Johannesburg by car to the Phalaborwa entrance gate take at least six to seven hours. You take the N1 toll-road in the direction of Polokwane and approximately 40 km before Polokwane turn right onto the R71 and head for Tzaneen. From Tzaneen, you head towards Phalaborwa and the gate.

You need at least two hours to drive the 51 km from the entrance gate to the rest camp. The closest other rest camps is Mopani, 47 km to the north and Olifants, 32 km to the south.

You can also travel by air and the closest airport to is Gateway Airport situated in Phalaborwa about 3 km from Phalaborwa Gate. There are daily scheduled flights between Gateway and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

A map of KNP can be bought at the entrance gates or any of the camps in the park.

Be aware of the gate times for entering and departing from the park. It is as follows:

Entrance gates:

  • January, February, November and December – gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:30
  • March and October – gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:00.
  • April, August, and September – gates open at 06:00 and close at 18:00.
  • May, June, and July – gates open at 06:00 and close at 17:30.

Letaba’s gates open and close at the same times as the entrance gates, except for January, November and December when the camp gates open as early as 04:30.

What to do while staying at Letaba

There are many activities on offer at the camp that will ensure an exciting bush adventure. All bookings, and further details for these activities are available from reception.

Letaba rest camp and the surrounding area is a birders paradise. The three dams, Mingerhout, Engelhardt and Nhlanganini does not only attract birds but also animals making exciting game spotting when on a safari.

On the northern banks of the Engelhardt dam you will find the Matambeni hide which is a good vantage point to sit and watch the birds and animals. Even the Giant Eagle Owl is regularly seen along the river.

Activities to participate in from the camp are:

  • Guided Bush Walks in the morning and afternoon
  • Game Drives with trained field guides in the morning and evening
  • Bush Breakfast and Bush Braai (Barbecue)
  • Letaba Elephant Hall
  • TV Lounge
  • Riverside camp walk
  • Masorini Ruins
  • Matambeni Bird Hide
  • Kids Educational Programme
  • Olifants Wilderness Trail which is a pre booked overnight activity
  • Mananga 4 x 4 Adventure Trail
  • Wildlife films from Monday to Saturday

Various open vehicle safari operators are available to book a trip with. They offer affordable yet exclusive safari trips for singles, couples, families with children or small groups. You can also book a private trip.

What to watch out for when staying at Letaba

Staying at Letaba is an exciting experience and guests will be able to explore the flora and fauna that this area offers.

Most of the KNP’s larger mammals can be seen in the Letaba area except for the rhino who tend to prefer the terrain more to the south of the park. Elephant is in abundance, as is buffalo and waterbuck.

In the camp itself visitors can watch the tree squirrels, fruit bats and vervet monkeys, which can be quite a pest.

The vegetation around Letaba is mopane shrubland and the river area is well foliated. Trees and scrubs in the area include sycamore fig, impala lily, common coral tree, lala palm and leadwood.

Being close to various dams means you should probably see animals of all kinds, from elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and big cats, wild dog and hyena, to antelope and smaller mammals of all kinds.

What type of accommodation does Letaba offer and what amenities/facilities are available at the camp?

Letaba provides a variety of accommodation types for singles, couples, and families with children.

Accommodation availability changes from day to day and all inquiries about general availability are subject to change without notice. Last minute reservations in less than 31 days prior to arrival date, are payable within 24 hours after receiving a confirmed provisional reservation via e-mail.

Your accommodation is only guaranteed once you receive a provisional reservation confirmation and to secure your reservation full pre-payment is required a.s.a.p.

At Letaba the following accommodation types is available:

Campites

Camping is the most affordable and most rustic style of accommodation that Kruger offers. Letaba has 60 tent or caravan sites, all with power points for a maximum of 6 people. Guest use the communal ablutions and cooking facilities that have 24-hour boiling water, electric hotplates and washing up facilities.

 

Huts

The camp has 5 rustic 3-bed units with no cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery. It comes equipped with a fridge, fan, and air conditioner. Guest make use of the communal kitchen and ablutions. You have a choice of perimeter or river view.

 

Safari Tents

The camp has 10 safari tents with 2 beds and 10 with 4 beds. These are permanent furnished canvas tents on stilts, that include a fridge, fan and small veranda. Guest use the communal ablutions and kitchens.

 

Bungalows

The camp boast 86 round–walled, African style units with thatched roofs, and 2 or 3 beds per unit. It comes equipped with en–suite bathroom.  All units have air–conditioning or fans. Some have a kitchenette with either a sink or a hot plate, or both, or neither.  You also have a choice with or without perimeter or riverside view.

 

Guest Cottages

The 10 units have six single beds with two bathrooms (one en-suite) and air-conditioning. The open plan kitchen has a gas stove, fridge/freezer, sink, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. It has a lounge/dining area and a veranda with braai facilities.

 

Guest Houses

These are all luxury units with riverside view. All the kitchen are equipped with everything you need, including a microwave oven. Each have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Limited DSTV televisions are provided.

Melville: Has 3 bedrooms and sleeps 9. It has an additional single be on the enclosed veranda.

Fish Eagle: Has 4 bedrooms and sleeps 8. In addition, it has an exclusive bird hide.

All the accommodation is provided with linen and towels except for those camping who has to bring everything they need along.

Facilities

Facilities at Letaba include:

  • Information at Reception
  • Public Telephone
  • Post Box
  • Restaurant
  • Conference Facilities
  • A slimline ATM facility
  • Cafeteria
  • Shop
  • Laundromat
  • Filling Station
  • Communal Kitchens
  • Communal Ablutions
  • Swimming Pool
  • Cutlery and Plates Hampers (from Reception)
  • Basic First Aid Assistance
  • Day Visitors Picnic Area on perimeter of camp with own swimming pool
  • DSTV only in Guest Houses
  • Cellphone reception
sabi sands game reserve weather

What do you need to know and bring for a safe and comfortable stay at the Letaba?

Plan properly for your stay at Letaba to make it a relaxed trip and stay. Bookings need to be done well in advance from your planned date of arrival. KNP is a popular game reserve and accommodation is not readily available, especially in the holiday season and during the winter months.

Letaba does not offer any bed and breakfast facilities and guests must bring their own food and drinks. Meals can be bought at the restaurant and the shop provides most items that will be needed on a daily basis.

Most parts of the KNP is situated well within a malaria area. This is much more than just an unpleasant illness but can be fatal if left untreated. Since it is being spread by mosquitoes, the best way to avoid getting sick is to prevent the mosquitos to bite you.

You can avoid mosquito bites if you take the necessary steps, such as wearing long sleeves and trousers in the evening, using a reputable kind of insect repellent.

The best way to totally avoid a malaria scare is to get the necessary preventative medication prescribed by your doctor before journeying into the African bush.

Although it is basically impossible for larger, more dangerous animals to enter the camp, it is best to always be alert. Nocturnal animals like the civet, porcupines, and others are frequent visitors.

Ensure your stay is happy and safe by taking note of a few simple warnings. You will be sharing your stay with many unusual and dangerous creatures, such as bats, spiders, snakes, scorpions, to mention but a few, and without knowledge some of them could be dangerous.

If you must walk around at night, please do not do so without a torch. Although there is streetlights, it is not very bright and only along the footpaths.

Under no circumstances are you allowed to feed the animals. By feeding any wildlife, you are signing their death warrant as they become lazy and do not seek for food themselves which can cause them to starve. Some also become aggressive.

When to visit Letaba

The best time of the year to make your trip to Letaba in the KNP is either early spring or late autumn. Kruger is a summer rainfall area and such precipitation is usually convectional and can result in heavy downpours.

The hot summer months from October to April can make any safari tour unpleasant. Fortunately, Letaba does come with swimming pool for overnight and day-visitors.

The winters are warm and mild during the day and can sometimes be quite cold at night. If you are planning a trip to KNP in the winter that include a night-drive be sure to pack warm clothing that include a warm jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves.

Even animals sometimes shy away from the heat. During the summer months they tend to look for shade during the hottest time of the day and is not always easy to spot, especially since the bush is very dense.

During the winter months, wildlife tend to stay in the vicinity of water sources and can often be seen at the watering holes, rivers and dams. The bush is also less dense, and animals are spotted more easily than during the summer months.

Balule Game Reserve

FAQs

Where is Letaba located?

Letaba is located midway between the southern and northern boundaries of the KNP on a bend of the Letaba River. The camp is 51 km
from the Phalaborwa entrance gate.

 

What to expect and look out for when staying at the Letaba camp?

There is various organized activities like morning, sunset or night game drives and guided walks offered from Letaba camp as well
as bush breakfasts and braais.  You can visit the Goldfields Environmental Education Centre and Elephant Hall.

Wildlife films are shown from Mondays to Saturdays and you can walk the perimeter trail of the camp spotting birds and wildlife.

From in front of the restaurant complex visitors can sit looking over the riverbank where you may see animals of all kinds, from
elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and leopard, wild dog and hyena, to antelope and smaller mammals of all kinds.

 

What facilities are provided at Letaba and what do you need to bring along?

All accommodation are equipped with linen and towels, with the exception of guests using the camping facilities. Campers need
to bring everything with them that they need for their trip.

Cooking utensils or crockery are provided. All you need to bring is your own food, insect repellent, camera, binoculars, and
torch.

The camp has a shop on the premises that provide basic everyday items and food. If you prefer you can buy your meals at the
restaurant. There is cell phone signal at the camp, a petrol station, swimming pool and laundry facilities.

 

When is the best time to visit Letaba?

The best times of the year to stay at Letaba is during early spring or late autumn, when temperatures are mostly pleasant, and water is scarce in the veld, so more animals may come for a drink in the dam.

 

Are there Campsites in the Letaba Rest Camp? 

Yes, there are electrified camp sites as well as serviced safari tents in the Letaba Rest Camp.

What is the closest gate to the Letaba Rest Camp?

The Phalaborwa Gate is the closest gate to the rest camp.

Is there a swimming pool at the Letaba Rest Camp?

Yes, there is a swimming pool at the rest camp. 

 

Is there a restaurant at the Letaba Rest Camp?

Yes, there is a restaurant at the Letaba Rest Camp 

What are the best game drives around the Letaba Rest Camp?

The main options for traveling from Letaba to Olifants is the main tar road (H1-5) or Letaba River Road (S46 leading into the S44). The main road is approximately 45 minutes drive through flat Mopane shrubveld. Olifants offers you lush forests along the Olifants River and beautiful stretches of rugged bushveld.

What animals can you find around the Letaba Rest Camp?

Most of the Kruger National Park’s larger mammals can be seen in the Letaba vicinity, although it is not a good rhino country. However, elephant abounds, particularly in the Letaba riverbed itself. Waterbuck and Buffalo are also plentiful on safaris in Kruger Park.

 
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