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Balule Nature Reserve

Balule nature reserve is situated in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Southwest of Phalaborwa, and north of Hoedspruit. The Balule Private Nature Reserve was created when a few enterprising farm owners decided to drop the game fences between their farms. This has grown into a 40 thousand hectare Private Nature Reserve, with the Olifants River flowing for about 12.5 miles through the center of the reserve. Balule nature reserve forms a part of the 2 million hectare Greater Kruger Park ecosystem, the fence between the two has been removed. Because all fences are dropped the animals are allowed to roam freely between the Kruger Park and the private reserve on its western boundary.

Large numbers of lion, cheetah, leopard as well elephant, buffalo and rhino now move freely between Balule and the eastern border of the Kruger Park. A game drive experience is very exciting. Search for animals on a game-drive, conducted by a qualified guide. Experience nature from an open vehicle and enjoy the African bush. Your guide will give you information about animals, birds and more. At sunset there is a stop for a sun-downer after which the safari continues in the dark, looking for nocturnal animals such as civet, genet, bush baby and owls. A game drive can be arranged by the lodge where your staying.

In Balule there are several accommodations, we stayed at Amukela Game Lodge, located deep in the African bush. Amukela means ‘welcome’ in the local language Shangane. Amukela is ideal located to explore the diverse sightseeing and attractions in the region or for a self safari in Kruger park. They have a nice terrace to relax, covered in shade by 2 large trees. There’s a small swimming pool to cool down. Both have a view on the small waterhole which is lit by a spotlight at night. Then there is the Mercury star deck from where you can see the Milky way in all of its glamor. The southern hemisphere is perfect for star gazing and the owners of Amukela can tell you a lot about it. More information about the Amukela Game Lodge you can find at www.amukela.com

From Johannesburg it’s a beautiful drive to Balule, you take the N12 towards Witbank, here it becomes the N4, follow this road until Belfast. At Belfast you take the R540 towards Dulstroom and Lydenburg. In Lydenburg follow the R36 leading to Ohrigstad then take the R527 to Hoedspruit. In Hoedspruit you follow the road until you have reached a 4-way stop , turn left here towards Phalaborwa on the R40. After 16 km you see on your right-hand side the sign Balule – Olifants West Gate, turn right here. You are now at the entrance gate of the Balule game reserve.

The main entrance gate of Balule is situated just 10 miles. north of Hoedspruit. An entrance-fee of R60 per vehicle is payable at the gate. There is also the possibility to take a plane to Eastgate Airport, near Hoedspruit, then it’s just a half an hour drive.

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