Letaba means 'river of sand' - although the river this rest camp is situated on had more water on offer than sand. While Letaba has a wide range of accommodation options available (at different prices depending on what you get), I stayed in one of the rondavels near the river.
Letaba is located on a sweeping bend of the Letaba River, about at halfway north to south point of Kruger. Large trees shade the camp and an array of birds and animals have made the campground their home - including vervet monkeys which border on being a pest. As I had come from a few days stay at Skukuza, Letaba gave me the opportunity to explore more of the northern parts of the park - the mopane bush around Letaba looking very different from the greener parts of the south.
As well as the usual facilities on offer - campgrounds, restaurant, shop, communal kitchens, communal bathrooms - Letaba also has its own Elephant Museum, which is a great way to pass some time between game drives. Entry is free and the personal stories of some of the elephants that have lived in the region are interesting - the area is known for its elephants. Evening and night game drives can be easily booked at the camp as well. There is also a walking path that follows the riverside perimeter fence and gives good views over the river as well as a welcome chance to stretch your legs after some long game drives.
Beautiful, peaceful grounds with great views over the Letaba River.
Satara was recommended as an excellent place to see animals and it lived up to its reputation. We visited in early January. Not on a river like Olifants or Sabi River but very pleasant never the less. The accommodation was better than we expected. Food in the restaurant was plentiful and good and the staff were very helpful.
Game are right outside the fence and we saw all the big 5 in two days with mulitple sighting of everything.
A great place to see game.
Balule is a private nature reserve bordering Kruger NP (they have open gates with Kruger ). One of the lodges is the Pondoro Game Lodge; the lodge is small,staff is knowledgable and extremely friendly, accomodation top. We stayed in one of the eath suite. The room is enormous and beautifully decorated. The service is impecable and the food among the best we ate on our 4 week trip. It's definitely worth paying extra!
We toured South Africa by rental car (quite expensive) and tried to stay in self-catering places as it affords us more flexibility and the opportunity to stay (more or less) with our diets.
We couldn't get any suitable accommodation within Kruger itself so looked for something in close proximity to Kruger. We found a number of places, but many require you to supply your own bedding, towels, etc - not really an option. We found Impala Place on a number of sites, and their own site gave us a lot of comfort. Our queries were promptly responded to and the rate was very reasonable.
Our room (we had a choice!) was exceptional - it was huge, the bathroom very well equipped with a huge corner bath as well as a shower.
We visited Kruger three of the four days we stayed, and was fortunate to see a lot of animals, especially buffalo and elephant, with a number of rhino thrown in on top!
We can recommend Impala Place to all travellers to that wonderful part of an interesting country.
The lodge is situated in a small town with a lot of free-roaming animals. We saw a variety of animals around the lodge, and many are so tame you can feed them by hand. We even saw a baby bush buck only a few days old.
Even though it was winter we made good use of the small pool and sitting on the patio at night we heard lions as well as hippo.
The housekeeper is a gem! We didn't have to make a bed, wash a cup, tidy the kitchen or clean the bath. The kitchen is well-equipped - certainly the best we experienced on our trip.She is very knowledgeable and was very proud to show us "her" animals.
The peace and quiet is exceptional, and I'm sure this is why I finally conceived there after trying for four years.
Camping with funkysafaries is a wonderful option for a rooky to the safari scene. They are based in Nelspruit, connected to the other backpacker’s hostels and offer packages of different duration. The cheapest and shortest was the one-day-one-night safari which includes transfers from Nelspruit (very important) all the meals during the day and the following morning breakfast plus delivery to next point of departure, i.e. bus stop in Nelspruit. The price per person was 1950rand or about 250USD. The camp site is clean with ablutions center and populated by impala. The tents are already constructed and cleaned by staff so the whole experience has to do more with hotel stay than with camping. For city folks this is ideal way to experience the wilderness and not get too stressed out.
The accomodation at Ngwenya was everything that it promised to be. Having seen photographs on the internet, we were not disappointed. The chalet we stayed in had two bedrooms, a large lounge/diningroom, fully equipped kitchen , and two bathrooms. Main bedroom had en-suite bathroom. The second bedroom was situated in a loft, up some wooden stairs. Floors are stone-tiled.
The decor is stylish and tasteful, with a distinctive African theme. Beds were very comfortable.There is a cleaning service provided daily.
The Lodge has good facilties.
Restuarant, Floodlit Tennis Court, Laundry,Mini-Golf and a games room..
All Chalets are air-conditioned, and have ceiling fans.
The kitchen has a dishwasher, and marble benchtops.
I recommend this accomodation to anyone thinking about visiting a game park in South Africa.
Each chalet has a huge balcony which overlooks the Crocodile River. For us this was a fantastic place to sit and watch the sunsets. We could also see game wandering around on the banks of the river, and birds would perch on the balcony rail. The chalets are designed to give complete privacy, especially the balcony area. We ate most of our meals here.The views were spectacular, at all times of the day. Although Ngwenya is not actually inside the Kruger Park, it is only minutes away. The Kruger Park is situated on the opposite bank of the river.
Photo of view included
This is very small rest camps just by one of the main entry gates to the park. The location is in the central west of the park. Be aware that there are plenty private lodges just outside this place that provide luxury accommodation and exciting game drives, so check all your options.
This camping ground located in the southern part of the park, it is actually by the exit gate of the park. Facilities are at good standard, shopping available to buy food, guides and souvenirs. Be aware that you need to reserve and book in advance otherwise it might be fully booked.
This was another place we stayed for a night, this one is in the southern part of the park, just outside the Crocodile Bridge Gate.
A very nice private own lodge with excellent facilities, swimming pool and interesting outside shower if you feel like wash in the nature :)
The managers were very friendly person taking care of all your needs.
For few nights we stayed at the Gwala Gwala, it is just outside the Orpen Gate. A great private own full equipped and very nice owner and staff. The accommodation was very nice and the place itself, the facilities and programs were excellent.
This was an amazing quite little lodge set in a nature reserve just 40 km outside of the orpen gate of Kruger. It was great staying here because we managed to have our own getaway instead of fighting the noises and crowds of those others sharing the many "tourist run lodges" inside the Kruger gate. We had a beautiful king size bed, outside shower and jacuzzi bath overlooking the bushveldt, and our hosts Anne and Stan were fantastic and having lived in SA for 25 years knew every in and out the country had to offer. One needs someone who is in touch with Africa in order to gain the most from the experience. The giraffe on the reserve come down and drink from the pool every morning, you have antelope walking past your rooms and the lodge only caters for 6 people, so if no one else is staying there at the time, like when we were there, you have the place to yourselves. Anne and Stan will cook for you, (great local SA meats, fillet steaks, superb food all round) and the breakfasts of fresh fruit with freshly ground coffee are to die for!
Anne is also an artist, so art safaris at the local hippo dam, or inside Kruger with their many connections is a must do!! this couple also have a daughter that manages the 6 star Tintswalo reserve, where celebrities like Liz Hurley and Elron John like to go...so we managed to wangle a game drive inside this magnificant reserve through them. we saw not only the big 5, but also the magnificant 7. this lodge is truly a gem, and i highly recommend it to anyone
ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi bath and outside showers. Very private and beautiful pool.
Great choice and definitely a camp I had never heard of before. The three chalets were nice and my husband and I were given the honeymoon chalet with an outdoor shower and huge bathroom area. The staff was nice, although the actual manager was away during our stay there. The food was very good and the grounds were beautiful. We had GREAT game rides - thanks to Piet (who was on his last game drive and moving too Singita) and Andrew. We saw all of the big 5 and also arrived right after four lions killed a kudu which was an amazing sight. The Rubbing Post spa was nice - wonderful massages and extremely reasonably priced as compareed to what we are accustomed to paying. We all liked the tour of the local villages of Dixie and Utha and were especially impressed at the spirit of the people who lived there even as they live without electricity and plumbing in their homes. Only recommendation for Djuma is that I would probably prefer that drinks be included, rather than charged separately. The staff that worked there were all some of the nicest people we have ever encountered with a genuine interest in pleasing the guests. Would definitely return to this camp!
Rubbing Post spa, friendly staff
Great choice and definitely a camp I had never heard of before it was recommended by Island-Safari. The three chalets were nice and my husband and I were given the honeymoon chalet with an outdoor shower and huge bathroom area. The staff was nice, although the actual manager was away during our stay there. The food was very good and the grounds were beautiful. We had GREAT game rides - thanks to Piet (who was on his last game drive and moving too Singita) and Andrew. We saw all of the big 5 and also arrived right after four lions killed a kudu which was an amazing sight. The Rubbing Post spa was nice - wonderful massages and extremely reasonably priced as compareed to what we are accustomed to paying. We all liked the tour of the local villages of Dixie and Utha and were especially impressed at the spirit of the people who lived there even as they live without electricity and plumbing in their homes. Only recommendation for Djuma is that I would probably prefer that drinks be included, rather than charged separately. The staff that worked there were all some of the nicest people we have ever encountered with a genuine interest in pleasing the guests. Would definitely return to this camp!
Rubbing Post spa, friendly staff
This is the oldest Rest Camp in the park, it lies in a high rainfall, hilly area. This is a good place to spot white rhino and Sable antelope.
The first tourist hut in the park is here, the Wolhunter.
We enjoyed this camp for it's basic rondaval type accommodation, it's 'home' in the bush quality.
It is basic but it has everything you need to freshen up, rest, eat and drink and it's clean.
There is a restaurant and a shop, even a museum which is worth an hours viewing.
Just a small tip for those of you who live in fear of the gawgaws (insects),if you really don't want to attract them, make sure you turn off lights whilst away from your room, if you don't you might find yourself faced with a door crawling with a variety of them waiting to come to bed with you. Michael found he always took that bit longer to reach the room than I when he noticed we had left lights on and had visitors awaiting us.....fortunately one of us finds insects in Africa a natural phenomenom not to fear.
It's also a good idea to shake shoes out in the morning before putting them on and if you do find a bat or similar in your room try throwing a towel over it to catch and remove it.
Vuyatela is a small, luxury lodge with 5 star accomodation in only 8 suites, in Sabi Sand Game Reserve. It has plenty of wildlife, knowledgeable rangers, excellent food and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
The lodge and suites overlook a waterhole where you can watch the animals come to drink from the terrace or your plunge pool. The main lodge has a tall bird-watching tower, a gym, internet library and lounge bar. The food is excellent and you get a four course dinner as well as a full cooked breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and regular snacks!
Vuyatela has superb game-viewing - including the 'Big Five', cheetah, hyena, jackal, myriad buck, giraffe, zebra and lion. This is the best place I have been to for seeing leopards. And the boundaries to main Kruger park are unfenced which means the animals roam between.
The sister lodge Djuma is closely involved in the local village and has daily tours to the nearby communities of Utha and Dixie, about 10 minutes beyond Gowrie Gate. You can visit the local school and learn about the customs and traditions of the local people with a Shangaan. The "Africam" web cam is situated overlooking the waterhole and on one of the safari vehicles to record animal sightings throughout the day and night. Africam is a very worthwhile project and needs support - for more info go to www.africam.com
Vuyatela / Djuma has been awarded the rare Fair Trade in Tourism accreditation for its work with the local community.
The best shots and views of leopards are here and the privacy means you don't see any other vehicles - you mostly have the place to yourself and the other guests.
They organise a really good wedding too!
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