The Balule Nature Reserve, also called the Balule Private Game Reserve, is situated next to the Kruger National Park. The park was formed in the early 1990s when numerous farm owners removed the fences separating the farms and has since grown to about 35 000 hectares in size.

Balule and the surrounding Olifants and Klaserie Nature Reserves are unfenced and together add an extra 40 000 hectares to the Kruger Park. The area is home to the Big Five and many other animals including wildebeest, waterbuck and giraffe.

Balule is named after the Tsonga name for 'buffalo', and immense herds of these animals can be seen roaming the area. The Olifants River flows through the park for approximately 20 km and offers more sight-seeing options.


There is comfortable accommodation available including air-conditioned chalets, en-suite rondavels, self-catering bush lodges and luxury safari lodges. Open vehicle game drives and day walks are also available.

Balule Nature Reserve Fun Rating

from 11 customer reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars!

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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...
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Sabine Gammel
South Africa



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.
Nic salden
Netherlands



Fazination
3 Game Drives with Bert! Lot of animals (Lion, Giraffes, Elephants, Warthogs, Kudu, Impalas, Zebras and a perfect Sundowner
Margit Stockinger
Austria



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!
Clinton Havenga
South Africa



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
South Africa



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.
Sabine Gammel
South Africa



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...
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Tony Williamson
South Africa



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!
Stephanie Martin
South Africa



4 nights at Tsakane
Poor game area.
Attie Vorster
South Africa



Best game lodge at Krüger Park
Balule was the best accommodation and best destination for our trip in South Africa.
Bertram Weiss
Germany



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.
Bertram Weiss
Germany