The diverse landscape of mountain forest, savannah grasslands, and riverine woodland stretching along the banks of the Olifants River in Balule Nature Reserve provide a range of habitats that attract a wide variety of wildlife. Near the western boundary of the Kruger National Park and sprawled across 40,000ha of varied terrain, Balule offers the ultimate African safari.
While guest numbers in the reserve are limited, wildlife numbers most certainly are not and Balule is well-known for its superb population of animals. The reserve is home to the Big 5 elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhin along with other safari favourites such as giraffe, zebra, and wildebeest. The banks of the Olifants River are heavily populated with various antelope, pods of hippos, and sun-basking crocodile particularly in the dry season when water sources are scarce.
Visitors can choose to stay in luxury chalets and rustic en-suite rondawels, with several lodges happy to tailor-make itineraries according to visitors’ preferences. Self-catering bush lodges are also available. Activities in the area include game drives, guided bush walks, star-gazing, horse-riding, white-water rafting, boat trips on the river, and cultural-village visits to name a few. Balule can be accessed from Phalaborwa, Eastgate, and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
- Balule Nature Reserve offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveller, every need, and every budget
- The reserve can be accessed from three nearby airports or otherwise via a six-hour car ride from Johannesburg
- Brimming with activity from the typical game drives to the not-so-typical golf game where a frequent occurrence involves herds of giraffe strolling across the fairways
- The heavily game-populated Olifants River flows for 20 kilometres through Balule Nature Reserve