Balule

Balule Nature Reserve on the western border of the Kruger National park encompasses 400km2 of unspoiled bushveld. This private nature reserve shares unfenced borders with the Kruger and neighboring private reserves allowing animals to roam freely.

enter image description here

One of the largest rivers in the Kruger, the Olifants River, flows through the reserve and its waters and riverine forests attract high densities of mammals, reptiles and birdlife. This means that all the wildlife you see in the Kruger, including the famous Big Five, can be experienced in the Balule Nature Reserve too. Minus the droves of tourists of course.

Balule boasts a wide range of small intimate lodges and camps that cater for those looking for an affordable private getaway, a family-friendly option or the ultimate in privacy, comfort and luxury. All-inclusive stays, as well as self-catering options, are available throughout the reserve.

Highlights

enter image description here

• Daily game drives and bush walks with experienced rangers are the best way to spot the Big 5 and learn first hand about the local ecosystem. In Balule the rangers can track animals off-road, something not allowed in the Kruger, to provide the best sightings.

• There is hardly a more tranquil aerial experience than floating over the African savannah in a hot air balloon – just one of the activities on offer in the area. If you have the nerves, a more adrenaline-filled light in a microlight aircraft or white-water rafting can also be undertaken. For a more relaxed afternoon, you can book a boat cruise down the Olifants River.

• Several of the lodges offer day trips to the nearby Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon on the planet. It is a break from bush life in the Kruger and certainly a bucket list destination.

Practical information

enter image description here

• By car, the Balule Nature Reserve is approximately six hours Johannesburg. Daily international and domestic flights call in at OR Tambo International Airport from where you can catch a connecting flight to a local airport (Phalaborwa, Hoedspruit, Nelspruit or Skukuza) near Kruger. Transfers to and from your lodge (about 45 minutes) can be arranged.

• Temperatures are high during the day, even in winter, so bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Light, long-sleeved clothing offers protection against the sun as well as from mosquito bites. Pack warm clothing too as evenings can get chilly.

• Wear neutral coloured clothing like brown, khaki and beige as bright colours make it easier for animals to spot you. In turn, dark colours like navy and black can attract insects.

• Balule is in an area at risk of malaria. Get advice from your doctor before you travel.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Big Five Safari in the Kruger National Park (3 days)

day 1 to 2

Welcome to the Big Five safari

day 3

Goodbye - for now!

View Full Itinerary

Popular Kruger National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

Spend your days discovering the fine beaches of Cape Town, enjoying the remarkably untamed wilderness of the Kruger National Park and swimming the pristine beaches of Mauritius....

 | Sabi Sand Game Reserve Safari (4 days)

Sabi Sand Game Reserve Safari (4 days)

You'll trek Africa's Big Five members in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve...

 | South African Bush to Mozambican Beach Holiday (8 days)

South African Bush to Mozambican Beach Holiday (8 days)

In this exciting safari holiday, you'll get to experience both Southern Africa's bush and beach beauty...

 | Sabi Sands and Okavango Delta Big Five Tour (8 days)

Sabi Sands and Okavango Delta Big Five Tour (8 days)

Explore the famous reserve that offers exceptional game viewing and sight the elusive Sitatunga antelope in the Okavango ...

 | The Ultimate Big Five South African Safari (7 days)

The Ultimate Big Five South African Safari (7 days)

Get the best possible chance to see the Big Five wildlife in the iconic Kruger National Park and Manyeleti Game Reserve ...

 | Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Combine the best that Cape Town and the Kruger National Park have to offer – beach and bush – for the ideal family holiday...

 | Bespoke Safari in South Africa (14 days)

Bespoke Safari in South Africa (14 days)

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer, with a holiday tailor-made for you ...

 | Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

Explore two of South Africa's most desirable locations in this whirlwind safari tour...

 | Big Five Safari in the Kruger National Park (3 days)

Big Five Safari in the Kruger National Park (3 days)

Encounter the Big Five safari and discover the elusive leopard...

 | Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari

Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer: it's white-sand beaches, lush green wine-lands and find the Big Five wildlife in the Kruger National Park. ...



You might also like

Kruger National Park in September

Spring arrives a little later in the Kruger, so this month the flora does not experience a colourful transformation. In fact, vegetation is still sparse and colourless after the rainless winter. Temperatures in the day are hot and humid with little to no rain expected. At the end of the dry season in September, the vegetation in the Kruger is at its sparsest. For this reason, it is…

Thornybush

The 140km2 Thornybush Game Reserve is located near the town of Hoedspruit on the western border of the Kruger. The famous Big 5 - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - roam freely in the reserve while great numbers of plains game like giraffes, kudu, zebra and waterbuck can also be seen. Thornybush’s collection of twelve luxury lodges cater to solo travelers, groups of friends,…

Kruger National Park in October

The rainy season is around the corner and you might encounter the first thunderstorms to the end of the month. Slowly but surely the greenery returns to the Kruger. Days are hot and often quite humid while evenings are warm. Spring blooms can be seen from this month onward. October is at the end of the dry season in the Kruger and after not seeing rain for months water sources are few…

Kruger National Park in February

Daytime temperatures remain in the high 20’s and can sometimes rise into the mid-30’s. February sees the last of the summer rainfall and the occasional late afternoon thundershower can occur. The evening temperatures are usually mild. Birding is excellent during the summer months and the far northern regions (Punda Maria and Pafuri) of the park are especially exceptional since it sees…

Budget safari in the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is certainly the most well-suited safari destination for budget-conscious travelers. More than a century of conservation efforts have made sure that the magic of the African bush and its incredible wildlife is accessible to all who visit the Kruger. Getting to the park is easy – from the nearest international airport, OR Tambo International in Johannesburg, a…

Manyeleti

When you look up at the night sky from a warm campfire you’ll understand where the Manyeleti, which means “Place of Stars”, got its name from. This 230km2 private game reserve, owned and run by the local Mnisi tribe, is wedged between the larger Sabi Sands and Timbavati game reserves on the western border of the Kruger. The borders are unfenced letting wildlife roam freely between the…

Kapama Game Reserve

The 130km2 Kapama Private Game Reserve lies just west of the Kruger National Park and a mere 10 minutes from the town of Hoedspruit. It is not only home to the Big Five, but the sprawling savannah grasslands and riverine forests straddling the Klaserie River in the east of the reserve sees more than 40 species of mammals and over 300 bird species. Credit: J. Kjaerandsen Kapama has…

Romantic safari in the Kruger National Park

There is something intrinsically romantic about the African savannah, one of the last vestiges on Earth where the majesty of nature so effortlessly inspires a sense of connection. It’s no wonder the Kruger National Park is the quintessential South African safari destination for couples. The park’s proximity to the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (only a 5-hour drive away)…

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2