Letaba Rest Camp is
situated on a sweeping bend of the
Letaba River, midway between the southern and northern
boundaries of the Kruger National Park, South Africa. At
Letaba Camp you can choose between a guest house,
cottage, bungalow, hut or a furnished safari tent, as
well as camping and caravan sites for your lodging in
The character of Letaba Camp depends heavily on the tall
shady trees (Sycamore Fig, Natal Mahogany, Sausage Tree
and Apple Leaf), expansive lawns and
indigenous gardens where tame Bushbuck
Visit in winter and you will find the gardens a riot of
colour, with several species of Aloe and the Impala lily
in full bloom at your accommodation in Kruger Park. The
Aloes attract a variety of birds,
including the White Bellied and Marico Sunbird, Crested
Barbet, Blackheaded Oriole and Black Eyed Bulbul.
Letaba Camp offers excellent bird watching
opportunities all year round. Pearlspotted, Barred and
Scops owl can be spotted in camp, while the
Giant Eagle Owl is regularly recorded along
the river. Green Pigeon and Brown Headed Parrot can be
found high in the tree canopies.
Letaba means 'river of sand' and the sandy riverbed
makes for excellent game viewing,
particularly Elephant, which abound in the area. Letaba
Camp is a green oasis in the surrounding mopane veld,
and remains a firm favourite with holiday
visitors for accommodation Kruger Park.
• 60 x tent or caravan
sites, with power point. Communal ablutions and cooking
facilities. (24-hour boiling water, electric hotplates
and washing up facilities) Maximum of 6 persons per
• 5 x rustic 3-bed
units with communal ablution facilities. There are no
cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery, but a communal
kitchen (located at the old picnic spot) with sink and
electric stoves is available. Also equipped with fridge,
fan and air conditioner. Moreover you have a choice of
perimeter or river view units. Please confirm when
• 10 x 2-bed and 10 x
4-bed permanent furnished canvas tents on stilts,
including a fridge, standing fan inside tent and small
veranda. Communal ablutions and communal kitchens
• 86 x round–walled,
single–room African style units with thatched roofs, 2
or 3 beds per unit, equipped with en–suite ablutions
(most with showers, but some with baths). All units have
air–conditioning, some have fans. Kitchenettes vary:
some have hotplates and sinks; some have only sinks,
while some have neither. Cutlery and crockery can be
provided and hired from reception. More over you have a
choice of with or without perimeter or riverside view.
Please confirm when booking.
• 10 x 6-bed units (2
single beds in each bedroom), equipped with two
bathrooms (one en-suite), air-conditioning (only in the
bedrooms), lounge/dining area (with ceiling fan), large
veranda and outside braai. The open plan kitchen has a
four plate gas stove with oven, fridge/freezer
combination, sink, cooking utensils, crockery and
cutlery and 6-seater dining room/lounge.
• These are large
luxury units in prime positions inside the camp, with
riverside view. There are well-equipped kitchens (with
microwave ovens) and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.
Limited channel DSTV televisions are provided.
Melville: Sleeps 9, with 3 bedrooms (2 single
beds in each room) and an additional single bed on the
Fish Eagle: Sleeps 8, with
4 bedrooms (2 single beds in each room) and has an
exclusive bird hide
Letaba Rest Camp caters to a variety of guest
requirements. Choose anything from luxury, self
catering, caravanning or camping and safari tent
accommodation for your stay in the real wilderness. Why
rush? Stay longer!
Visitors to Letaba
Camp can enter Kruger Park, South Africa through the
Phalaborwa Gate. The journey from Johannesburg to
Phalaborwa Gate takes about 5 hours. The
closest rest camps are Olifants, 32km (19
miles) to the south and Mopani, 47km (29 miles) to the
Letaba's strategic position makes it an
ideal stopover for anyone travelling the
length of the Kruger Park, South Africa. The Phalaborwa
Kruger Park - South Africa Gateway, is just 4km (2.5
miles) from the Phalaborwa Gate.
The camp is situated on a bend on the
southern bank of the Letaba River and is one
of the oldest and largest camps in the Kruger Park,
South Africa. It is only 50km (31 miles) from the
Phalaborwa Gate and 32km (21 miles) from the Olifants
Rest Camp. The name Letaba is derived from one of the
local languages, Sepedi, and means 'sandy river'.
In the Letaba District there are actually 3
rivers bearing the same name, the Great
Letaba, the Middle Letaba and the Small Letaba. They
eventually become the Letaba River which joins the
Olifants River in the Kruger National Park on its way to
the Indian Ocean. The Letaba River is a flat
area with dense Mopane Shrub and little
Kruger Park, South Africa 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.
Letaba Camp provides ample
opportunity for bird watchers and excellent day and
night game drive safaris in Kruger Park.
Afternoon Walk, Bush
Braai, Dawn Drive, Morning Walk, Night Drive, Sunset
Go out on a 2 day
trail hike along the Olifants River
reconstructed Educational Iron Age Village at Masorini
Home of the
Goldfields Environmental Educational Centre
watching safaris in Kruger Park
The proximity to the
river provides good game viewing opportunities
Letaba is a riverine camp and well foliated. There is a
wonderful selection of trees and shrubs
including sycamore fig, impala lily, common
coral tree, lala palm and leadwood. The vegetation
around the camp is mopane shrubland.
In planning a safari itinerary in Kruger Park such as a
game-viewing drive from Letaba,
take into account that animals are drawn to water, and
the consequent confluence of three major dams (Mingerhout,
Engelhardt and Nhlanganini) may bode well to your hopes
of making exciting game spotting during game viewing
safaris in Kruger Park.
The Matambeni hide on the northern bank
of the Engelhardt dam offers a particularly good vantage
point from which to brush up on your knowledge of water
birds. You may also wish to consider heading for
Malopenyana and Middelvlei to the north, where game
viewing is consistently good.
Red Headed Weaver
Most of the Kruger National Park's larger mammals can be
seen in the Letaba vicinity, although it is not good
Rhino country. However Elephant abound, particularly in
the Letaba riverbed itself. Waterbuck and
Buffalo are also plentiful on safaris in
Visitors need not even leave the camp to view these
animals on safaris and suggested itineraries in Kruger
Park and lucky visitors have been fortunate enough to
witness Lion and Cheetah kills
on the sandy riverbed in front of the restaurant
The camp itself hosts a healthy population of Bushbucks
who have become very tame and wander freely
amongst the bungalows. Other camp residents
include Tree Squirrels, Fruit Bats and Vervet Monkey;
which must always be considered before leaving food
One of Kruger Park's many
attractions is the rich bird life. Letaba
has a varied bird population and is particularly good
for viewing Owls. Pearlspotted, Barred and Scops have
been simultaneously recorded in a single tree, while
Giant Eagle Owl is regularly recorded along the river
itself. Scan all large riverine trees carefully.
Greencapped eremomela should be looked for in the camp
and like most camps in the central and northern parts of
the Kruger National Park, Mourning Dove is
particularly prominent, as well as the Natal
francolin, Arrow-marked babbler, Brown-hooded
Kingfisher, Kurrichane thrush, Orange-breasted bush
shrike and Red-headed weaver.
Birding along the river edge is always productive. The
Matambeni Bird Hide on the northern bank of Engelhard
Dam is an excellent place to watch water birds. On the
south bank of the dam a number of redwinged
pratincoles appear annually to breed. They
have also been seen on the sand banks in the river in
front of the camp.
The Masorini Ruins close to the Phalaborwa Gate is a
good venue to view Yellowthroated Sparrow,
Mocking chat and Redheaded Weaver on birding safaris in
Things to Seek:
Attractions and Areas
Of Special Interest
Visit the Elephant Hall and enrich your
knowledge on the Elephant's social structure
distribution and ecology, morphology and
physiology, origin and evolution as well as their
relationship with humans.
There are 3-D displays giving an exciting
visual in-depth background to Elephants. The
highlight of the exhibition is the impressive ivory
collection, which includes the tusks of the legendary
'Magnificent Seven'. The hall also serves as a general
ecological information centre.
Historical interest of Letaba Rest Camp:
In prehistoric times, parts of the present-day Kruger
National Park were inhabited by successive groups of
people. One such example is that of
picturesque Masorini Hill which is 39km (24
miles) from Letaba.
Human habitation at Masorini has been traced back
several centuries to the late Stone Age, while more
recently it has been home to the BaPhalaborwa tribe's
people who inhabited it in the early 19th century. They
were cattle and crop farmers, as well as iron smiths of
note, who made a living by manufacturing
iron artefacts and trading with Arab
merchants on the east coast.
Archaeological excavations have revealed hut
floors, packed stone walls and terraces,
grinding stones, pot shards, glass beads, ash and even
food remains. Most impressive, however, are the
iron-melting furnaces, smithies and worked artefacts.
The village offers an example of a
specialized economy and well-developed
technology that existed well before the arrival of the
white man in South Africa.
The origin of a typical Portuguese cross,
carved into an old leadwood tree along the S95 road just
north of Letaba, remains shrouded in mystery. It may
have been carved by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinandes
das Neves, during his expedition to the Soutpansberg in