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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:46 am
Posts: 80
Location: Alberton, South Africa
The Northern end looks complete and pretty satisfactory. But the southern end is a mess.

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RESERVES were declared to keep natural areas in their wildest form.
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15 Mar: Satara
21-23 March: Shingwedzi
18-21 April Balule
9 May: Sand River Bush Camp


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:24 pm
Posts: 521
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: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:47 pm
Posts: 11
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: Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:45 am 
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Leervis, Balule has a magical atmosphere indeed, and always transports me back to the "old-world" feel that existed in earlier days. The hyaena do visit regularly and wild sounds from the river float up during the night. For me, that bridge over the Olifants is a highlight of a visit there and I will look forward to the day when construction on it is completed.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
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Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
Just spent a magical four nights camping at Balule. My SO is updating our TR with some of our experiences. The camp just seems to grow on one more and more!

The surrounding bush is very dry and so the view to the river is fairly open, and likewise from the other side of the river too.

ImageBalule camp from oppoiste river by dinkybird, on Flickr

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:28 am
Posts: 64
Location: Johannesburg
I have done more than 100 Kruger trips since 1985 when I celebrated my 40th birthday at Skukuza. We have stayed in private camps, Jock at least 6 times, most of the donor houses, and all of the bush camps. Camping at Balule last month, October, was a revelation to me. The way the camp is maintained with everything spotless and in the best of working order, the generosity in the size of the camp sites, the grassed lawn in the centre of the camping area for midday relaxation, and of course the way that one is able to be almost in the bush, with an electric fence for protection, was marvellous. The drives in the area are amazing and this will be enhanced with the completion of the causeway. It is almost worth waking at 1 or 2 am for a toilet visit just to return to the camping site and sit outside listening to the bush around you.


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:48 am
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Location: Johannesburg
I am staying at Balule in just over a month :dance: :dance: :dance: Number 6 is my favourite hut but it does lack in shade slightly, seeing as it is summer would you still try and get number 6 or are their other cooler huts you would suggest :hmz:

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Slumming it at Balule TR now on.....

Bro & Sis Road Trip V2 in September


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:17 am 
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Imo, would still try for no 6 but if I didn't get it would not be the end of the world, saying that the camp is so small they are all nicely situated and there is not a big difference in positioning. You aren't in camp much during heat of the day and if you are it would be nicer to laze under the trees on a blanket or hammock than in any of the huts. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:46 am 
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 1:15 pm
Posts: 27
Number 3 is nice in the middel with some shade. Any hut is a nice hut in balule.


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:29 am 
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Every hut is fine as, as has been mentioned, the camp is small, beautiful, and intimate. No.6 seems to be the popular choice as it is closest to the fence, but the others are within a few steps of the fence anyway. Nos. 3 and 4 are directly opposite the ablutions but, since there are so few people, we have never been disturbed there. The huts are open to sound (closed to insects and any other intruders with netting) and that brings one back to the wildness of the area.

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TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


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