Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

A Review of Letaba Rest Camp in Kruger National Park

Hey there! I’m currently exploring the incredible Kruger National Park to check out all the campsites, lodges, and accommodations it has to offer. It’s quite a task, but by the time I’m done, I’ll have a comprehensive list of all the options available (you can find them all here: Kruger accommodation reviews). More importantly, I’ll be able to give you an inside look at what you can expect in terms of where to stay, food, amenities, wildlife, cell reception, and the park’s highlights. As I continue my journey into the northern region of the park, I’ve made my way to Letaba Rest Camp, and I’m excited to share why it’s a top choice for families.

Welcome to Letaba Rest Camp

When you visit Letaba Rest Camp in the northern region of the park, you’ll feel like you’re in a remote wilderness. However, Letaba is a unique camp that offers so much more. It’s not like any other camp because it’s large and has a lot of activities to keep you entertained.

Situated by the Letaba River, Letaba Rest Camp provides a great spot to observe waterbuck, hippo, and crocodile. As the sun sets, people gather on the benches to witness this incredible sight. You can even enjoy a refreshing drink while watching the wildlife, as the viewing area is just outside the restaurant.

Letaba’s accommodations

Most of the self-catering bungalows at Letaba are pretty similar to the ones you’ll find in other Kruger camps. They’re round with thatched roofs and have kitchenettes on the cozy porch. Some of them even have shared kitchens. The great thing is that all the bungalows open up onto shady grass, although some are arranged in circles while others line up along the river’s edge. If you’re planning a family vacation, Letaba is perfect because they have more family units and private guesthouses compared to other camps.

Now, let’s talk about the campsite at Letaba. They have electricity here, and the site stretches along the fence that’s farthest from the river. The ground is mostly sandy, but don’t worry because there are plenty of trees if you need some shade for parking your caravan or pitching a tent. Oh, and if you’re not too keen on full-on camping but still want a bit of adventure, Letaba has a number of safari tents available. It’s like having the best of both worlds!

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

When it comes to bungalows, there’s something you need to keep in mind: monkeys can be a bit of a problem. You see, some of these bungalows have fridges inside, while others don’t. If yours doesn’t, you’ll have to figure out a way to keep your food safe from those mischievous monkeys.

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Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

Let me show you what the inside of a two-sleeper bungalow at Letaba looks like. It’s like a cozy little home away from home. And guess what? Your fridge is on the inside! No need to worry about monkeys sneaking around and stealing your food.

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

Once you reach the middle of the campsite, you’ll find yourself surrounded by trees, which gives it a somewhat forested ambiance.

Discover the perfect spots

When it comes to Letaba, nothing beats a bungalow with a scenic river view. When you choose one of the bungalows numbered 32-37 and 59-64, you’ll have nothing obstructing your view except some grass, trees, and a fence, allowing you to marvel at the marvelous river. While the bungalows numbered 38-58 are a bit further away from the fence, they’re still an excellent choice, forming a large semicircle. If you’re traveling with little ones and want a spot where they can frolic, consider the family units numbered 101-110. These units are surrounded by lush greenery and offer stunning river views.

In the camping area, there is a row of spots that border the fence. Keep in mind that these spots are narrow, so if you prefer ample space, it might be better to choose a spot closer to the center of the camping area.

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

When I go camping, I always opt for the campsites that are right by the fence. They may be narrow, but I love the feeling of being surrounded by nature. I set up my camp chairs in a way that the bush beyond the fence becomes my picturesque front garden.

The wildlife at Letaba

The northern part of Kruger National Park is not as famous for its diverse wildlife as the southern and central regions. This is because the entire area is covered in dense mopani veld, which is not the preferred habitat for many animals. However, you can still find all the same animals that live in the south here too. You just need to keep your eyes peeled a bit more and be ready for a bit of a challenge.

When I think of Letaba, I don’t typically associate it with big cats. However, I’ve come to learn that the area from the camp heading north on the main road up to the high level bridge (a stretch of about six kilometers) is surprisingly active with leopards. It’s quite fascinating to witness these elusive creatures in action. Additionally, the mopani veld in this region is a favorite hangout for buffalo and elephants, so keep your eyes peeled for them. Oh, and you won’t have any trouble spotting waterbuck along the river – they really stand out.

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If you venture further north along the main road, you might catch a glimpse of some rather impressive birds. Keep an eye out for secretary birds and kori bustards – they’re both quite large and hard to miss. Now, there’s something special about the area in terms of birdlife – the presence of southern ground hornbills. While they’re quite rare, getting the chance to see one is a real treat.

Now, I know some of you might be fixated on seeing lions and rhinos during your visit to Letaba. If that’s the case, I suggest taking a day to drive down to Satara. It’s a bit further away, but the plains there are more open, making it easier to spot these majestic creatures. Trust me, it’s well worth the trip. The abundance of animals in that area is truly something to behold. So, get behind the wheel and seize the opportunity to witness these incredible animals in their natural habitat. Happy exploring!

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

In Letaba, my home away from home, you’ll find an abundance of bushbuck. These elegant creatures wander freely in the camp’s open grasslands, harmoniously coexisting with us guests.

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

The safari tents are like a little camp in the bushes, tucked away among the trees.

The food

The restaurant at Letaba isn’t right on the riverbank like some of the other camps, but you still get a nice view of the river from the outside area. There’s a wide pathway and some benches that separate you from the river. The menu here is the same as the other camps, so you have plenty of options to choose from. They have sandwiches, pizzas, classic breakfasts, and grills. You can also order from the same menu at the canteen and take your food to go. Inside the restaurant, they have a TV and some comfy couches where they usually show sports games.

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

Hey there! Have you ever taken a stroll along the river and noticed a lovely paved pathway? It’s a pretty cool experience, especially when the path dips down, and there’s just a fence separating you from the water. It’s like being right next to the river without getting wet!

Here are some highlights to check out:

If you drive about six kilometers north from the camp, you’ll come across the Letaba high level bridge. While it’s not as long as the Olifants high level bridge, it’s still a great spot. You can actually get out of your car and stand in the middle of the bridge. From there, you can look across both sides of the river. It’s quite a sight!

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Speaking of cool sights, you should definitely visit the Elephant Hall at the Environmental Education Centre. It’s right next to the restaurant. In the Elephant Hall, you’ll see the tusks, skeletons, and even a full-size carcass of some of the elephants that used to roam the park. It’s a real eye-opener, especially for the kids. You’ll be amazed at just how huge these animals are!

If you’re in the mood for a laid-back day, you should visit the Matambeni Bird Hide. It’s a great spot to relax and observe the birds and hippos having a great time in the water. To get there, simply turn right onto the S47 after crossing the high level bridge and drive for about 5km. Keep in mind that buses and caravans are not permitted at the bird hide, and since it’s the only one around, it may be a bit busy, but the experience is still delightful.

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

Have you ever seen that tall bridge that stretches across the Letaba River? It’s quite a sight! This fascinating structure is known as the high level bridge, and it’s an important landmark in the area.

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

If you head down the S62 road, you’ll finally reach Longwe Lookout. It’s just along the same road where Matambeni Bird Hide is located.

How to get there

Getting to Letaba Rest Camp is a piece of cake. All you need to do is enter through the Phalaborwa Gate, then follow the smooth tar road east for a little over 50 kilometers. Olifants Rest Camp is the closest, only 23 kilometers to the south. Satara Rest Camp is about 70 kilometers south, and if you head north, you’ll find Mopani Rest Camp waiting for you, just 43 kilometers away.

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

Hey there! I’ve got some cool info to share with you. Letaba has not one, but two awesome swimming pools. And guess what? They’ve got this really cool shape that sets them apart!

The first pool can be found inside the camp and is only for the folks who are staying overnight. It’s a special treat just for them! The second pool is located in the public picnic area, so everyone can enjoy a refreshing dip.

Now, here’s the really neat part: both pools have an interesting shape that makes them stand out. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

Kruger accommodation review Letaba Rest Camp MzansiBride

I’m going to tell you about the Park’s Shop at Letaba, which is kind of weird because it’s in a different place than the restaurant and canteen. But don’t worry, it’s closer to the campsite and public picnic area.

The important details

ATMs: Yes! You can find an FNB ATM at the shop.
Credit card facilities: Yep, they accept credit cards.
Mobile reception: No worries, you’ll have great reception here.

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