The idyllic 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. It is a thriving green oasis with excellent elephant and bird viewing opportunities.
The camp has guest houses, cottages, bungalows, huts and furnished safari tents as well as camping and caravan sites. Banking facilities, first aid and a fuel station are available at the camp and one can visit The Goldfields Environmental Education Centre which is located within the camp.
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 wander.
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. 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.
In prehistoric times, parts of the present-day Kruger National Park were inhabited by successive groups of people. Human habitation at Masorini Hill 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 remnants. 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.
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 1860-61.
- Archaeological excavations in the iron age village on Masorini Hill
- The mysterious Portuguese cross that is carved into an old Leadwood tree on the S95 just north of Letaba.
- Keep a look out for Bushbuck, Elephant, Lala Palm, Red Headed Weaver, Fish Eagle in this area