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“Comfortable and functional” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Letaba Rest Camp

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Letaba Rest Camp
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51 km from Phalaborwa Gate | Letaba River, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
London
Level Contributor
88 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Comfortable and functional”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

Comfortable and functional but dated feel and communal kitchen very basic. Good views from campsite but Lower Sabie was far better for this. Interesting elephant museum. No wifi and my husband was upset that the shop didn't sell beer.

Room Tip: Tip – try to get one of the refurbished units.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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192 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bologna, Italy
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

Facing Letaba reception feels like heading at a huge cheap-mass hotel. Unluckily if you come from abroad, very often Letaba represents your first "step" into the beauty and the wilderness of incredible Kruger NP. Unfortunately most of the times the "front" is made of very square minded or with some more luck... of beginners. Sometimes also happens that due to the typhon of people checking--in one night ad checking-out the day after, also the safari guides loose their temper and their patience. Sometimes might be also the love for the precious work they are doing.
After a deep breath...going streigh to middle management, you reach the nice and quiet talk that everyone would expect. After this Letaba becomes a beatiful KNP rest camp, better if with a rondavale facing the river. A special thanks to Peter ( a very special caring guide) and Erick (following the right steps to become as special) and to Mrs M. (so sorry I did not catch the name propelly!) for giving us a very relaxed staying. Your children would love the presence of animals inside the camp. Best regards

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Mtubatuba, South Africa
Level Contributor
153 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

Letaba has a great location on the river , bungalows are basic but more that adequate for the family.
was really dissapointed with the game viewing here though as it is really hard to see game through the thick mopani scrub, loads of elephant though.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

Letaba.
Overall: Very nice rest camp, personnel lacks training. Very spacious camp, though bicycles are not allowed, says the 1st sign inside the perimeter.

Reception: I enter and excuse myself, I did book a campsite and I also paid for the conservation fees, though I can't hand over a printed receipt, but I have a reservation number and a client code at hand. Big question mark... Black guy in front of a black screen, we're offline, I can't check if you booked. I'll have to trust you, better come back later, to check if we're online again. He stipulates that the payment of the conservation fees is very important. I think that those fees goes straight into his pocket, most people don't know or understand it and they didn't pay it, so it will be in cash! Save yourself the struggle pay up front!

Shop: Alcohol and souvenirs are well stocked, but no meat (apart from the two whole chickens and a quarterpack of lamb). My choice, having a vegetarian braai, or eat out. Big question mark from the charming lady behind the till, for biltong, drinks and smokes I hand over R202,40 where the total is R142,40. After travelling 4 days to and in the Kruger National Park, my wallet and the car's ash trays are overloaded with coins. Even if you have to pay R10,20 you'll get at least R9,80 in coins in return, people can't think in this corner of South Africa.

Settling in: I quickly pitch my tent, finding a spot was not easy, cause which braai and power supply belongs to the site number stated on the site of the road. I popped in at the restaurant, I have a beer and check if the menu is worth while. I think I can manage. We'll skip the vegetarian braai. I'll ask the waiter how much for the beer, he doesn't know! My God, do you work here? I drive back to my tent, charge what ever needs to be charged, while checking out my pics for the day. Rewarding, 2 Leopards!

Restaurant: Get serviced by the same waiter. Dressed in the same uniform, though now with a hairnet on, as if he was working the kitchen just now. He's also dragging his feet, oh, look, he's wearing safety boots! Funny. Throws 2 menus on my table, you choose! The colourful laminated 1 is the same I saw this afternoon, the copied 1 is new. I order the chargrilled rump steak from the 'special menu'. The waiter has to look it up before he understands how to sell it. Pff... Within a 15 minutes the tables are filled with people, the last couple sits down right next to me. Speaking loudly in my native language, they have to act quick, because the restaurant closes in half an hour. That's new for me. Closing time 1830! Wow, that's early! I order the second drink, when I get my food. I struggle to cut my meat with a simple knive, but I dare not to ask for a steak knive, cause they probably don't have it. I finished my food, was lovely. Couldn't figure out the texture of the meat, because it was covered with loads of sauce. While finishing my food, I wondered if the waiter went to the local brewer to fetch my drink, because since I ask him for a beer I hadn't seen him since... I walk up to waiter number 2, who's been chitchatting all evening with a companion and ask for the bill, what's is your table number? I figure out it's number 10. Looking over his back, I see a lady behind a till, I think there's a quicker way. I pay at the till and leave a generous, but undeserved tip, I don't feel the need for more coins in my pocket... On the way out I pass both waiters, saying I've already paid. I walk back to my tent and start typing this story, past 7 there's people walking by, saying they're going to the reastaurant. Oh God! It will be closed by then, the shop also closes around that time. Where do you have restaurants in an area without other options (a barely stocked shop and you can drive out the rest camp at night) that closes this damn early!!! I'm glad, tomorrow I'm staying over in Skukuza again, it's a long drive, but at least I know everything will be fine, it's the (head) main camp, after all!

Letaba, come prepared or don't come at all!!!

Room Tip: I was camping, the sites next to the fence are nice, because the hyenas guard it at night, looking f...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, UK
Level Contributor
167 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

Letaba was the first camp we stayed at without ensuite facilities. We were very close to the communal toilet and shower block, which were very adequate, we were also right next to the restaurant, so it was very convenient. We were right on the perimeter, with a breathtaking view and the most amazing night-scape sounds of the crickets. It was a lovely spot to watch the sun go down and hear the night come alive.

The room was clean but was very damp smelling. I found it quite over-powering, but my partner didn't think it was a damp smell and didn't mind so much. There were three beds in the room and it was a nice size. The fridge was inside (there was a notice for the outside fridges to make sure they are turned so the monkeys can't open them) and there was a table outside for eating. There was a sink inside the room.

Each camp provides hand and bath towels and a soap for each guest, so you don't have to bring them. I found the communal kitchen which looked very basic, but we ate in the restaurant.

The restaurant was the same chain as elsewhere in the park, with a different menu for the daytime and evening, so that made a nice change. In the daytime the vegetarian options are breakfast, toastie with chips, wrap, sandwich option, veggie burger or pizza. In the evening there was only one veggie option which was a jacket potato with vegetables in a cheesy sauce. It was delicious and made a nice change from pizza, so I really enjoyed it. The restaurant was busier than Mopani and Shingwedzi, but still not too over crowded. There is a shop and a petrol station.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

We stayed in a large 6 bed unit as part of a business and pleasure trip (business for me, pleasure for my family). The rest camp sits alongside a large sweeping bend of the river that has wonderful views. During the winter dry season, water is still available in pockets and some wildlife is visible, although less so than during the wet season. Still we saw gazelle, kudu, eland, waterbuck, and honeybadgers plus a plethora of water birds. All of the rest camps are somewhat dense with people; however, we enjoyed Letaba as it was spread out a bit along the river with a nice riverview walk. Our lodging was excellent, although there was a faint smell of bat guano from a few animals in our lodge wall (we found that part of the experience and could have moved if we wished). Quarters were spacious and comfortable with huge kitchen and bathrooms; excellent vistas right outside of our cottage (we stayed in Guest Cottage FQ6). Rest camp has a modest store, gas, car wash, and we enjoyed excellent and quick service at the restaurant on 2 nights (get the chicken bunny chow!). Letaba also has an excellent free museum on elephants that includes details of the lives of some of the best known individual tuskers...home ranges, history and cause of death, and their actually tusks. Very educational and worth a visit. Bushbucks and tree squirrels plus many birds were common in this lush oasis is the drier midsection of the park. Our night game drive reserved in advance through park reservations out of Letaba was also a must do...most exciting were sightings of spotted hyena, a female leopard with 2 kits, and a small cat, the serval. We recommend for anyone but this was an especially nice location for a family with children.

Room Tip: We stayed in Guest Cottage FQ6...this cottage and others nearby have very nice views. Consult maps...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

We spent two nights two nights in a wheelchair accessible bungalow at Letaba, although listed as being on the camp perimeter it was a few yards away and you could not see the river from the bungalow itself (unlike our tent at Lower Sabie). The accommodation was spacious, simply furnished but reasonably comfortable. Food at the camp restaurants is reasonably priced but not great quality so it is worth self catering.

The camp was actually the most expensive accommodation of our entire 2 week trip but offered the least apart from the invaluable location, location, location of being in the centre of the Kruger!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Letaba Rest Camp

Address: 51 km from Phalaborwa Gate | Letaba River, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 117

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