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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Wishing you a wonderful trip and great sightings! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:47 pm 
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Thanks Elsa !! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:24 pm
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Location: Somerset West
Hi all

Spent 3 nights in Balule 2 weeks ago. What a treat!

A few observations:
1. When you ask for a specific hut, make SURE it is recorded. I phoned Satara and asked for hut no 6. They said fine, but on arrival not so. No record. Supposed to do via Olifants, the guy said...?
2. With the bridge out of action, roads are limited for game viewing, and Bangu waterhole is dead, so very few animals on the s90 (we drove it twice all the way down to Nwanedzi), even though it is a lovely drive through beautiful grassland.
3. Really, NO negatives about the place!

Stunning night sounds and fish eagles calling all day. There are no "bad" huts -- you feel out in the wild in every one of them. I don't like the smell of paraffin, so used my own candles in the hut at night.

On Thursday, our last day there, the contractor filled the "coffer dam" to stop water flowing across the southern end of the bridge. Vehicles started using this road, even the Sanparks bus. So the campers started driving across to Olifants -- 12 km instead of 35 km! What a treat. More options to drive. So we did it and spend the afternoon in Olifants camp, but were back at the bridge by 4:45, within sight of Balule.
Bad news. A Sanparks vehicle was parked diagonally across the road to bar any further crossings! So we suddenly had another 20 km to get back home before dark... which turned into good luck for us, as a caracal lynx (my first ever in Kruger!) crossed the road ahead of us, but there was no time for photos!
After the high level bridge crossing, we got onto our dirt road back to camp, to find an aggressive elephant bull in musth walking towards us and hogging the road... spent about 10 minutes waiting while other cars backed up behind us. Eventually we squeezed past and he charged us, but we got back to camp at exactly 5:30!

Hope you have better luck and that the bridge will now be permanently open to all traffic, even while they are still working on the actual structure on the southern end!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

ps. The hyena clan disappeared the week before we arrived. No babies at the den for 3 days?
Ngotos weir was full of water and hippos.
Saw one lioness lying in road early morning, with bad wound on inside of right front leg.
Saw a medium sized python at the southern end of the olifants river bridge, motionless for 30 min next to road. Thought he was injured, some people said dead. But his tongue flickered and he moved his head when we drove up right next to him... second python in Kruger in 58 years... and first caracal in Kruger ...

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Thanks for the update Friedrich, hopefully the bridge will be fully repaired and drivable soon. :thumbs_up:
but you had some wonderful sightings!

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:37 am 
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Thanks for the report back :thumbs_up:

I hope the Python wasn't dead. You really had some very rare sightings.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:54 pm
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Location: Noordheuwel Krugersdorp
Balule is by far one of our most favourite camps, the rustic accommodation and the closeness we experience to nature here is just so wonderfull.

My SO and myself usually visit Balule without the kids. :whistle:

Great and quite rare sightings there Friedrich. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:55 am 
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Until now I have been unable to acquire authoritative information from SANParks as to when the low-level bridge is estimated to be completed. Neither Satara's nor Olifant's management have suitable information and head office were also unable to suggest an answer. The contractor must have an estimated completion date as costs mount rapidly in this type of construction and so should have carefully planned their process. Can anyone here please assist?

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:10 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi Onewithnature

You will be able to find a response from Lesego here.

viewtopic.php?style=2&f=48&t=67590&hilit=balule+low&start=15

I believe they expect to have the contractor in sit e by mid-August and have a time frame of 8 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:36 am 
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Thanks Spargish. :thumbs_up: There has been uncertainty as to whether tourist cars may traverse the bridge during construction - there have been reports of people doing this but that this later was dissuaded. Can anyone advise what the official stance on this is, please?

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:47 pm
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Location: Gauteng
Does anyone have any news on the low level bridge situation? We are camping in Balule at the end of October and are interested in the impact the repairs to the bridge are having on the camp itself and the surrounding area. Is it very noisy during the day and has it affected the sightings in the area?

Thanks,
Lynda

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Location: Gauteng
PS: And is the hyena clan denning close to the camp again?

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