Limpopo Tourist AttractionsLetaba Elephant Hall
Where? Letaba Rest Camp, Kruger National Park, Limpopo
How? Call +27 (0)13 735-6664
Letaba Elephant Hall (elephant museum) - Lying on the banks of the Letaba River, Letaba Camp is one of the favourite camps at Kruger National Park. Its name means 'river of sand' and describes the riverbed that is a perfect space for spotting game, particularly elephants who are said to thrive in the area.
It is not difficult to imagine elephants under the canopy of sycamore fig, Natal mahogany, apple leaf and sausage trees.
Which is why it is a rather fitting site for the Letaba Elephant Hall, an elephant museum that covers the evolution of elephants, their biology, behaviour, ecology and, best of all, the ivory of eight of Kruger's greatest tuskers.
Tuskers are the Kruger National Park's largest elephant bulls to wander the park between the 1930s and the 1980s. These include what became known as the 'Magnificent Seven' – Kzombo, Joao, Kambaku, Mafunyane, Nlulamithi, Shawu and Shingwedzi.
Each of these elephants had tusks that weighed in at over 50 kilograms. Joao is said to have had the largest single tusk, weighing in at 70 kg, even if his tusks broke off as he got older and were never recovered. As a result his are the only tusks that you won't see in the Elephant Hall.
Shawu had the longest tusk at 3 metres 17 cm. If you consider that this weighs a healthy 52 kilograms it is not surprising to learn that it is also the sixth longest amongst all recorded African elephants.
Kruger is proud of the fact that the genes of these incredible and great tusked elephants live on in the Kruger. Africa's great bull elephants have been hunted to such a degree that most of the great bulls' genes, outside of the protection of the Kruger, have been lost.
The Letaba Elephant Hall is the only museum dedicated to elephants in the country and includes a complete elephant skeleton, and a replica of an elephant's heart.
Letaba Rest Camp is in the north of the Kruger National Park, 50 km from the Phalaborwa gate and is open 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.