Mtomeni Wilderness Trail
On the banks of the Great Letaba River, inside the Limpopo Provincial reserve of Letaba Ranch, is a jewel called Mtomeni Safari Camp. Named after the Jackleberry trees that shade the safari tents, this will be your base from which you complete the Letaba Wilderness Trail.
The trail can accommodate up to 8 hikers.
Unfenced from Kruger, Letaba Ranch is well known for its large herds of elephant and buffalo. Guests will depart camp at first light in the morning, walking out in different directions each time. There will be opportunities to explore the riverbanks of the Great Letaba River, as well as the mopani veld to the south of the river. Depending on weather and animal movements, the guides may also drive the group out into the middle of the reserve to start a day’s hike in yet another environment.
The focus of the Mtomeni Wilderness Trail is careful, quiet walking that maximises opportunities to interact and not disturb nature. For this reason guests walk silently, in single file, led by a guide and backed up by a ranger. Frequent stops will allow for information and discussion, and care will be taken to ensure that the pace is set at one that is enjoyed. This is not a route march.
The trail walks include a combination of full-day and morning and evening walks. Your guide will plan the configuration that is best suited to the time of year, weather and game movements in the area at the time you visit.
Facilities in Mtomeni Camp
Mtomeni Safari Camp have recently opened 7 brand new safari tents on wooden decks. Situated to the west of the communal dining area, the tents have 2 x ¾ beds. Linen and towels are provided as part of the tariff. The new tents boast 12V lighting, as well as a charger for cell phones. The en-suite has a walk-in shower, flush loo and vanity with basin. The water is solar heated. In addition, the camp still has its original 5 safari tents to the east of the dining area. These older units are next in line for upgrade. They also have 2 x ¾ beds with linen and towels provided. The basic en-suite includes an old fashioned bucket shower, and a gas burner to heat the water. Their lighting is from paraffin lanterns, and guests who use these units charge their cell phones in the communal dining area.
The cooking and dining facilities are communal, and your guide will prepare and serve meals around the lapa fire. Small groups may be joined by other adventure travellers who are also visiting the camp. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded travellers.
There is no electricity, and paraffin or solar lanterns are provided for light at night. While it is safe to drink, some people don’t like the taste of the local water, so you are advised to bring your own bottled drinking water. This is a malaria area, and precautions are advised.
Guests meet at Mtomeni Safari Camp mid-afternoon. (Transfers are available from Phalaborwa – please arrange these at the time of booking.) Guests will spend three nights in the camp, and walk an average of 12kms per day. All food is provided. A limited supply of local beers & wine is available to purchase, and guests are welcome to bring their own drinks for evening consumption.
Lightweight, comfortable clothing is required, with worn-in hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes. Neutral clothing is advised, with sun protection, and windcheaters. Binoculars and cameras are welcome, and guests are welcome to carry their own day pack.
Location of Mtomeni Safari Camp
Directions from Phalaborwa
Drive 16 km on the road to Gravelotte R71 and turn right on Road D3260 to Selwane (S23°54.719’ E30°58.916’). Drive 26 km and turn right on a gravel road with a sign for Letaba Ranch (S23°40.958’ E30°59.604’). Pass through the gate (if it is closed, please open and re-close behind you) and follow the road for 5km to the Reserve main entrance (S23°40.258’ E31°02.187’).
Follow the Ivory Route signposting to the camp. Keep right (S23°40.230’ E31°02.466’) Keep left (S23°39.452’ E31°03.310’). The camp (S23°38.805’ E31°03.602’) is 5 km from the main entrance.
Total distance from Phalaborwa is 52 km and approximate driving time is 1 hour.