An 8-day Kruger Safari: Full Moon over Letaba

Full moon over Letaba

The moon over Letaba

Our fourth and fifth days of this 8-day safari to Kruger National Park were spent traveling to, lodging at and traveling around Letaba Rest Camp. To see days 1-3 and an uber cool Baboon Happy Hour video, click here.

Letaba Rest Camp – Mopane Shrubveld Country

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rating our Safari Tent at Letaba (1-6 scale)

Cleanliness: 3
We arrived and there was dirt on the floor, we were missing a comforter (not to matter given the heat), and the two drinking glasses were dirty. But hey, we were sleeping in a tent! Who cares?
General Accommodations 4
It’s fair for the price (485 Rand, about $45). If we had to do it again, we would spend an extra 50 bucks for the bungalow; and that is mostly because we were here on two very sweltering days resulting in two poor nights of restless, clammy sleep. A fan was provided but barely did us any cooling off service.
General Environs: 4.5
The camp is nice, again, slightly on the too-big side, but the curving Letaba River on its perimeter creates a sense of serenity. One day when the construction stops, it will be a superb place to stay. There are benches along the walkway in front of the river and each time we stopped we saw hippos chilling in the water below. We were also here on the night of a full moon (this was a recommendation by Lonely Planet), which was lovely. We did not, however, as Lonely Planet suggested as a possibility, see elephants bathing in the river below. The restaurant made us a large, very tasty grilled veggie sandwich with chips (fries) for about $5.00.

**Tip** Prime real estate: D59-64 and D32-38

The SANpark lodging site is confusing, and it helps to know a little about the location and codes. The code for our safari tent is CTT2 (485 Rand). We had a tent with 2 single beds, communal kitchen and communal ablutions. Check SANParks lodging availability for Letaba and check out the Letaba Map.

Leopard Tortoises

leopard tortoise

The only leopards we saw on this safari were the Leopard Tortoises – and we saw quite a few of these little beauties.


Serrated Hinged Terrapins

Watering hole with terrapins

We stopped here and were greeted by a group of terrapins

The Serrated Hinged Terrapins are sweet and curious little beings. To learn more about the tortoises, terrapins and turtles at Kruger, check out the Siyabona site.

terrapins

He swam right up to it and stared intently at me.


Vervet Monkeys

I was surprised and delighted to see a large troop of Vervet Monkeys at the Letaba Rest Camp. Like I wrote in the last post, many consider these little ones to be pests. It astounds me that a monkey, something so exotic (to me) and so curious (to me) and so cute (to me) could be considered a pest. But okay, I get it. They raid trash bins and will walk into your house and eat your food if the door isn’t locked. They’re still cool and super awesome. Click on the slideshow below to see the mama grooming her baby and click on the video (1 minute) below the slideshow to see two VERY silly infants at play.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


African Buffalo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Birds

One day I’ll create a post just for the birds and perhaps the butterflies, too, of South Africa. Each day we see countless birds, but I attempt to count them anyway.

This slideshow includes birds we saw on the first five days. After hours of research to identify the various birds and with the help of my safari guide brother-in-law naming a few I was stuck on, I am now up to 70 different species of birds seen thus far. Given there are over 400 species in Kruger alone, I’m over 1/6 of the way to being a part of the elite bird-spotting club (not sure if that’s really a thing, but I like the idea of it).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In and Around Letaba Camp

Because we were hanging around Letaba for two nights, we didn’t feel the need to stray too far from camp outside of taking a couple short drives. This slideshow shows some of the beauty around the camp including the Bushbuck freely roaming about and the animals (hippos, elephants, waterbuck) hanging out at the Letaba River shoreline.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We took a safari night drive. An open-air vehicle with the wind in our hair, that alone was worth the 200 Rand. Add to it, we saw some awesome critters. Of the few photos that turned out, three can be found below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Watching the full moon rise over the Letaba River was extraordinary. Hippos, elephants and Waterbuck in the distance, a slight breeze washing away the scorching day, and colors filling our world with a mystical allure. Click on the slideshow and watch the hippo walking in the distance beneath the moonlight.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.
~Hal Borland

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Check out the other South Africa posts below:

South Africa Post #1: Our first Kruger National Park Safari
South Africa Post #2: Babysitting a Banded Mongoose Pup in Marloth Park
South Africa Post #3: When Zebras Visit
South Africa Post #4: Daily Living in Marloth Park, South Africa
South Africa Post #5: Kruger Restcamps: Skukuza, Satara and Olifants
This is South Africa Post #6: Kruger Safari: Full Moon over Letaba
South Africa Post #7: Kruger Safari: Treasure Hunting in Tamboti and Lower Sabie
South Africa Post #8: There’s a Mongoose in my Ear!
South Africa Post #9: Peering through God’s Window at Blyde River Canyon
South Africa Post #10: The Dam Boat Tour at Blyde River Canyon
South Africa Post #11: Rare Sexual Encounters of South Africa
South Africa Post #12: To the Wildlife of Marloth Park
South Africa Post #13: Nelspruit to Cape Town
South Africa Post #14: Moved to Tears on Freedom Day
South Africa Post #15: Penguins in South Africa?
South Africa Post #16: The Southernmost Tip of Africa
South Africa Post #17Birds of Eden at Plettenberg Bay
South Africa Post #18: Dear South Africa: I love you, but…
South Africa Post #19: Elephants at Addo National Park 
South Africa Post #20The Garden Route: Nature’s Valley and Wilderness
South Africa Post #21: Endangered Bontebok
South Africa Post #22: Top Five Cape Town Experiences
South Africa Post #23: Chasing Rainbows in South Africa
South Africa Post #24: Vegan Wanderlust in South Africa
South Africa Post #25: Ubuntu

Photos, videos and stuff*** Please contact me for permission to use images and text for commercial or private use. Please do follow this blog and/or write comments.
A million and twenty-two thanks.

Thanks for reading, and may your day have the tranquility of watching the brilliant full moon over Letaba cascading a golden rose-tinted shimmer on your world.

21 Comments:

  1. ALL I CAN SAY IS “WOW”!

    CRAWLING BUGS AND HOT SWEATING TENTS WAS NOT YOUR CUP
    OF TEA…..GOOD FOR YOU! YOU AND SCOTT ENJOY THIS GREAT ADVENTURE….
    AN EXPERIENCE THAT HAPPENS ONCE IN A LIFETIME!!!!! LOVE YOU BOTH!!

    • kendaswartz@gmail.com

      I have a big smile on my face, Mom.

      While I’d much rather experience the animals from a cool, bug-free zone, as you know, I’ll do practically anything outside of swinging from a tree vine in a loin cloth to experience the best aspects of wildlife. Taking the great with the not-so-great. I guess I’m just an old girl scout at heart. 🙂

      love you!

  2. The velvet monkeys are pretty!
    Love all the bird shots and night safari.
    Amazing photo of Spotted Eagle owl!

  3. kendaswartz@gmail.com

    Thank you for reading and for your comment, Annie B!

  4. Pingback: Babysitting a Banded Mongoose Pup in Marloth Park

  5. Pingback: Marloth Park, South Africa: When Zebras Visit

  6. Pingback: An 8-day Kruger Safari: Adventure to Skukuza, Satara and Olifants Rest Camps

  7. Pingback: There's a Mongoose in my Ear!

  8. Pingback: Peering through God's Window at Blyde River Canyon

  9. Pingback: We Nearly Missed the Dam Boat Tour at Blyde River Canyon

  10. Pingback: Rare Sexual Encounters of South Africa

  11. Pingback: Nelspruit to Cape Town on a Mango

  12. Pingback: Moved to Tears on Freedom Day

  13. Pingback: Penguins in South Africa?

  14. Pingback: The Southernmost Tip of Africa

  15. Pingback: Birds of Eden at Plettenberg Bay

  16. Pingback: Elephants at Addo National Park

  17. Pingback: The Garden Route: Nature's Valley and Wilderness

  18. Pingback: Endangered Bontebok

  19. Pingback: An 8-day Kruger Safari: Treasure Hunting in Tamboti and Lower Sabie

  20. Pingback: To the Wildlife of Marloth Park, South Africa

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.