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“Letaba - a favourite in KNP” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Letaba Rest Camp

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Letaba Rest Camp
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   51 km from Phalaborwa Gate | Letaba River, Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Naracoorte
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Letaba - a favourite in KNP”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

We will always manage a few days at Letaba when visiting Kruger. The game viewing in the area may not be quite as good as Satara or further south but the camp has so much else going for it.
It is quieter than the other large camps and has a great ambience and still has all the facilities you might want. The restaurant is consistently good and there is nothing like lunch on the terrace overlooking the game down at the river. The camp has lovely shady trees and garden areas and a walk around the camp itself is a pleasure. The shop is reasonably well stocked and the staff pleasant. Have always found the ablutions very clean in the camp.
This visit we utilised the 2 bed safari tents and found them a lot of fun and a good budget option.
Take a walk with a good torch at night around the camp and you will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of wildlife you see in the camp and outside the fence.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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134 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (22)
Date | Rating
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Due to location, facilities, amenities--I would have to say that Letaba on balance was my favorite rest camp in Kruger. We had a nice, well-outfitted bungalow with screened in cooking facilities, and reasonably appointed dishware/cookware and supplies. Hot plate worked, sort of. Braai/barbecue was put to good use, and had nice little patio table. We had outstanding perimeter location with a view (but had asked for that when booking 6 months before). I used the pool, which was smallish, coldish, but nonetheless refreshing after safari drive. Supplies at the store were adequate for extra food needs. The grounds were large enough and had decent paths of walking around and getting exercise--actually hard to do in fenced-in safari holidays. Had a nice night tour with a guide who needed some speaking tips, but nonetheless was knowledgeable and friendly. Two nights in August saw no mosquitos, comfortable if somewhat basic rooms. Elephant museum is very enlightening, but watch out when several hundred school children descend at the time of your visit. Not quite sure why reception staff seems so aloof. They should get just a little customer service training, a shot of enthusiasm, sell their day/night tours a little more vigorously, keep their wildlife sightings board up-to-date. We come a long long way, and it is very costly to get here and to be here--we endure a variety of misadventures along the way--so would rather get a bit more impressive of a welcome.

Room Tip: Perimeter room has good view. May want to avoid rooms near reception or elephant museum due to idli...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
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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Bologna, Italy
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 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
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
100 helpful votes 100 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
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, UK
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
128 helpful votes 128 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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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:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 14 hotels in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Letaba Rest Camp 2*

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