Our bushveld paradise - Balule Nature Reserve, or better the part OLIFANTS WEST NATURE RESERVE is a private reserve, open to the central area of Kruger National Park.
With no fences wildlife roams freely throughout this area, creating what is known as the Greater Kruger Park.
Balule/Olifants West is easily accessible. The main gate is just 17 kilometres from Hoedspruit.
And that provides easy access to scenic destinations like Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon as well as day trips to Kruger Park.
But there is so much to keep you busy in the reserve. Morning and evening game drives with professional guides will show you not only BIG FIVE, but also LITTLE FIVE and UGLY THREE. You don't know what that’s about? Come and find out!
Relax at a sparkling splash pool, watch animals from your private patio or book a game walk to explore the reserve on foot - this piece of earth will give you the true African bush feeling.
No tourist cars are allowed for game drives – that makes sure it’s only the Balule guests in a few open game viewing cars and mother nature at it’s best.
Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa Airports (each with daily flights from Johannesburg) are less than 45min. drive.
And Hoedspruit Airport offers trice-a week flight from and to Cape Town.
Fazination - 3 Game Drives with Bert! Lot of animals (Lion, Giraffes, Elephants, Warthogs, Kudu, Impalas, Zebras and a perfect Sundowner
True South African Hospitality - We had an amazing experience and specially when it comes to hospitality. Thanks Frits and the rest of the team for making us feel like our own home! True and pure South African hospitality was present through out our whole trip. Just unlucky we did not get the chance to see that roaring lion!
Wild place with stunning vieuws. - We stayed at Amukela game lodge and saw Elephants, buffalo and the rare black rhino! At night we heard lions and jackals. Great vieuws over the bush, back to nature but relatively close to Hoedspruit. We loved it!
Corné Van Dongen
Bush and nature at it's best - Private lodges, from simple to 5 star - no other tourist cars around, when you're on a game drive in open game viewing vehicles - wonderful landscape - birders paradise - and big 5 of course.
But you have to take your time to see them all. It's not a collared zoo .
Go for a guided game walk at the olifants river, watch elephants and hippos.
And again: take your time and relax. Then you will have a wonderful time.
Balule Nature Reserve - This reserve straddles the Olifants River, known in the local venacular as the Balule River. It is conveniently located just north-east of Hoedspruit & south-west of Phalaborwa, making easily accessible by road or daily flights to these two towns.
The reserve falls within the so-called Greater Kruger Park, meaning it is a continuous ecosystem with this magnificent natural area. Animals are able to move freely from Balule right through Kruger Park & even into Mozambique.
The land is privately-owned & this means that one can choose from a wonderful array of accommodation establishments, ranging from 5 star luxury to camping in the wild, depending on your choice.
There is a wide variety of habitats here, resulting in a vast array of wildlife - a huge assortment of mammals & birds in their natural habitat. Due to the reserve being open to such a huge area, encounters are diverse - depending on the time of year, massive herds of Elephants & Buffalo may be spotted & the resident prides of Lion are legendary.
Many of the Lodges have been operating here for 15 years or more, which benefits the photographers as animals are well acclimatised to the vehicles & guides are well experienced, leading to fascinating close encounters.
Traditional African game reserve without the commercial rubbish! - Beautiful, unspoilt game reserve, full of friendly people and untouched land! Game drives are spectacular and the animals and vegetation suggest a well maintained circle of life there!
4 nights at Tsakane - Poor game area.
Best game lodge at Krüger Park - Balule was the best accommodation and best destination for our trip in South Africa.
Best game lodge at Kruger Park - Relax with view of all Big 5 animals. Elephants, lions... just on the other side of the river. Hippos at night are great. It's just wonderful. Insider tip for people who love nature and good service - be aware of the non tared road it is a challange without 4x4 but is worth it.
Fascinating - We really enjoyed Balule Nature Reserve. Besides enjoying the Big 5 safari and the birds, we really appreciated the chance to be in the middle of nature and the forest during the game drives and bush walks. The people are more involved and try to make the most out of your visit. We give a the park a 5 Star grading and a high recommendation.