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Balule Satellite Camp

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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DuQues
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Unread postby DuQues » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:48 am

There are walks there, but you need to book them in Olifants.
In Olifants they will pick up the guests from there, and then drive on to Balule to pick you up.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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bucky
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Unread postby bucky » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:43 am

Small and rustic , no shop or anything fancy , but great great atmosphere/adventure etc .

Bangu water hole is a must when staying at balule , and then further along to gudzani is great .
All the sand roads around the camp .
The sand road out towards roodewall .
Northwards along the sand just past olifants and up to letaba via engelhardt dam, then exploring about letaba camp , having breakfast there , checking out the ellie museum etc and back along the tar is a great drive .

What can I say , this area is a prime game viewing area , there are no bad roads to be taken from this camp .

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Unread postby Oumie » Tue May 15, 2007 8:37 am

Also camped there many moons ago :wink: We used to park our caravan right under the big Boabab tree (now fenced off) had many Hyenas and Lions walking past the corner making a noise. That is where we saw our first and only sightings of an
Scaly Anteater 8) Never saw one again :(
Croc Bridge 17/4 - 19/4
Lower Sabie 20/4 to 10/5
Satara 11/5 to 17/5
Letaba 18/5 to 24/5
Shingwedzi 25/5 to 31/5
Tsendze 1/6 to 4/6
Satara 5/6 to 7/6
Maroela 8/6 to 11/6

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Freda
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Unread postby Freda » Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:05 pm

There are two large communal freezers, one in the hut section and one in the camping.
If you find yours doesn't feel cold I am sure no-one will mind you sharing the other one, they are never full :D
May be a bit of a walk but you never know what you may see on the way :wink:
I love Balule, have camped there many times :)

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ldejager
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Unread postby ldejager » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:28 am

Just to say that we had an awesome time in Balule again (30/31/12/07 - 02/01/08) :dance: Everything was perfect, except for the heat and the bugs. We saw everything we wanted to see, including a leopard approx. 2 km's from camp, in a tree, right next to the road.

Bunnyhugger, the stars were awesome. It felt like you could touch them. Added to this, was the fireflies. With the stars and the fireflies, we did not need any crackers or rockets. It was just us and the quiet and the lions having a ball on the river road.

The park is beautiful! The bush was teeming with life, lush and green and we saw amazing things, including a baby terrapin, the size of a coffee cup and all the impi babies. The birds were too many. We couldn't even identify all of them (lbj's and all) :D

We cannot wait for April to go back again. It was just what we needed. What a way to end the old year and to start the new year. :clap: :dance:

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ldejager
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Unread postby ldejager » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:39 pm

Hi HB, the baobab is still there, but the camping site has been changed to the opposite side. The huts and camping site have 2 seperate entrances and you can only get from the one side to the other via a pedestrian gate.

The fence is also electrified (they use solar power and batteries), but it is still the most amazing camp, especially at night, so I think that the ele's will think twice before trying the same stunt.

The hyenas, however, are very opportunistic. All around the fence (camping side) there are big rocks against the fence to keep them out of camp, because they dig holes to get underneath the fence. So, if ever you camp in Balule again, do not remove the rocks! :shock:

We did hear the ele's around the camp in the bushes. They were a bit upset with each other, but luckily they did not get near the fence to try something or got us to hide in the ablution facility. :)

On our last visit (end December, beginning of Jan) we only heard the lions around camp. They were very near because we could actually hear the low grunting noises they made, which is not always so audible when they are further away.

All in all, the whole park is my favourite, but Balule is my favourite favourite. :dance:

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Freda
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Unread postby Freda » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:10 pm

They do have a kettle on the gas stove from very early in the morning

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Bush Andy
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Unread postby Bush Andy » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:06 pm

I stayed at Balule for three nights in December last year (2007) and it was simply the best camp that i have stayed at in the park, of course I have my favourites but Balule is just very special! It was my first time and certainly not my last!

All three nights were fantastic but our second night produced one of the most amazing moments of my entire life...
We were sitting having a braai and heard low growling coming from the riverine bush on the Northern side of the camp, having heard the sound before I knew immediately that it was a leopard clearing his throat!

We all got very excited and scooted over to the far end of the camping ground where a small crowd was gathering... no one could see anything but we all stood and watched the bush with spotlights in hand. Suddenly from behind a thorn tree walked ,not one but two adult leopards, a male and a female! :D ... Just to make it even more special they began to mate in the open about 20 metres from the fence :mrgreen: ... Once in a lifetime stuff and something i will never forget!!

I had heard about the resident male leopard at Balule but to see him and his Mrs was incredible.
A bird in the hand should be in the Bush!! ;)

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon May 26, 2008 12:06 pm

Balule does indeed have cellphone reception.
Sawubona
Dalene

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Unread postby BunnyHugger » Mon May 26, 2008 1:37 pm

Balule is a fantastic place. It is small and even when full, I never felt like everyone was "on top of me". It was not crowded at all.

There are no (as in zero) electrical points. There is no electricity at all.

Balule is a real gem precisely because of the lack of electricity.

Small bit if advice.
You need a torch and gas lights.
The paraffin lighting they have in the ablutions does not give enough light and I used my small gas light to shower.
The torch you want to use to get to and from the ablution, just to make sure you don't bump into uninvited guests on your way to the ablution in the darkness.

In the corner near the ablutions, there is a "permanent camp" set up for foreign travellers. (Used by tour operators).
They tended to be a little more noisy than everyone else and there sight gave off huge amounts of light to the surrounding camp sights.
They did however, go sleep early and the noise level was just slight above the usual hubbub of conversation from all the other sites.

Other than that I only have one major complaint about Balule.

I DID NOT SPEND ENOUGH TIME THERE. :lol:
Bunny Hugger

Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..

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Unread postby G@mespotter » Mon May 26, 2008 5:20 pm

I'm used to camping in KNP during July, do not underestimate the nights.
Although most foreigners smile when reading this, the thing is, when stay in SA / Kruger you get used to the nice day temperature, but then the nights are chilly...not freezing but not hot either.
Depends on which camp (close to water or not), but say generally between 2-7 degrees Celcius.

The cold doesn't matter when using huts, but when you go camping, take warm sleeping bags etc. I once made that mistake...and will never again :wink:

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Unread postby Senyetse » Mon May 26, 2008 5:35 pm

Yes, I agree with GS, people underestimate how cold it gets at night when camping in Kruger in winter. Night temperatures can drop to below 5 degrees and sometimes even close to zero. If you are not prepared for that, you are going to be very very cold. Take along warm sleeping bags, those rated to -2 to -5 degrees C work well, preferrably the monk's cowl type with a hood, to keep the head warm. Take along a warm jacket, pants, a beanie and gloves or the nights and early mornings, dress in layers so that you can peel them off as it gets warmer. You'll end up in shorts and a T-shirt by day, and add the layers as night arrives.
Dec '11 - Storms River
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread postby DinkyBird » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:12 pm

Guys, have a look here - New measuring weir in Olifants River.

I might have been there at a bad time, but there is a lot of construction activity to and fro over the bridge and I cannot help wondering if game might be keeping away while this all goes on.
Sawubona
Dalene

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Bush Andy
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread postby Bush Andy » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:48 am

Here are some pics of the camp. Sorry about the pics being a bit dark, it was really overcast while we were there.

Image

Image

Lots of shade available but remember to watch out for flooding if you have a floor tent... some areas turn into mini dams.

Image
A bird in the hand should be in the Bush!! ;)

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Re: Balule Camp

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:44 pm

stevhil wrote:We are staying at Balule next week, pls advise the following:

1. Does the sunset drive out of Olifants pick one up at Balule or does one have to drive to Olifants catch the sunset drive and is one then able to self drive back to Balule in the dark? Or is it is just not possible to do a sunset drive if staying at Balule.

They do collect you at Balule, and drop you off afterwards, so you can do a sunset drive from Balule.

2.Is there still a river walk from Balule.If so please advise approx times and costs.

Not up to date on costs - but yes, one books at Olifants and then leaves from Olifants around 9/9.30am with the guides, who then drive you to the spot they walk from.

3.is it better to check in to Balule at Satara or Olifants(coming from the south)?

One can only check in at Olifants - so allow enough time to get to Balule. Its about a 10km drive, very scenic.
Sawubona
Dalene


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