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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:48 am 
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We stayed at Balule from 6 - 14 October and still rate it tops. Titus and Mable run a great ship, the repairs have added comfort and the view is superb. Even the ablution block has been spruced up. I have never seen the centre of the park so lush. Game viewing was plentiful, birding obviously better than our usual time in September. One works harder for sightings, but the lower traffic volumes and peace in camp at night far outweigh other considerations. By the way, we stay in the huts, but both huts and camping areas were very quiet. Roll on September 2013 for Tam & Balule, 4 nights in each


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:20 pm 
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The "must-have" Balule sunset pic...

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:36 pm 
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My daughters and I spent 1 night in the Balule huts. This must be the best value for money on the planet, also Kruger's best kept secret.

The low water bridge is still not ready, but the camp was easy to access.

The hyena still does his/her inspection rounds like clock work. The camp was very silent, just perfect in every way.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Hi Tent Dweller, unfortunately I didn't take any pics of the hutss but hopefully someone else has. The huts are still exactly the same apart from a new thatched roof and a new lockable door.
Other than that you won't really notice a difference, perhaps apart from the new small table in the hut.

They are still as hot as ever though and the same old paraffin lamps make it even hotter, so look forward to lovely hot evenings. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:31 pm 
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We stayed in August last year and Balule was as usual great, even better, the floods had removed some of the bush and we could see the river easier, plus with the bridge closed it was quieter, plus the hyena den was right outside.....

john :thumbs_up:

Sorry no pics of balule camp either.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:51 am 
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When I stay at Balule in 3 weeks it will be my first time in the huts. Any one who has stayed there how much shade is there near the huts?

Would one be allowed to put up a gazebo outside your hut?

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:58 am 
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If I recall correctly there are quite a few established trees in the centre between huts and camping. Should not have a problem with shade close by.


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 3:13 pm 
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No 6 has no shade, you will have to move away a little for shade under the sausage tree.
This hut is a favourite, being on the perimeter fence, but it also has several braais in front of it and it can quite busy if there is a group who want to braai and eat together (about 20m from your door).
No 5 has shade and privacy (and a good river view if you face away from the rest of the huts), while 3 and 4 are shady and close to the bathrooms.
I avoid 1 as it's close to the camp site's fence and is sometimes noisy.
2 has some shade too.
Gazebo? Have never seen one up, and doubt it's a necessity.
However, there is nothing I wouldn't accept at Balule!


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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:02 pm 
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If you want shade for siesta time in the afternoon/ mid day, the big Baobab and friends next to the bathrooms work well for the car(side nearest to the gate).
I think the trees in the middle of the hut section is cool enough for just relaxing and the sun starts to be more bearable this time of year.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:21 pm 
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You can book a walk at Olifants, and the guides will collect you at the gate at Balule.
We have done this numerous times and loved our walks along the river.

We booked a morning walk which we did last month and were lucky they chose to walk along the river that day - right past where the Pels roost. (But no sighting for us that day.)

You can also book a River Walk (I think this is still an option) which will definitely take you along the river.
It is shorter and sets off later in the day than the morning walk.
But again, I am not sure if they always walk in the same area along the river, so you need to check.

They guides do pace the walks and often stop to inform one of interesting things along the way.
Perhaps the most challenging for us was getting down and up through the couple of little spruits that were running at the time.
A bit of rock jumping.
And I am by no means a marathon walker, and coped fine.

I suggest you call Olifants and tell them where you would like to walk and wish to see the Pels and ask them to advise you.

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:43 am 
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I would say that 1 and 6 are the best as they are probably the most private where 2-5 are a lot closer to each other. Huts 1-5 all have a good shade covering and will be cooler in summer, 6 doesn't have any shade but you just need to have your table and chairs a short distance under the lovely trees.

Number 6's braai is about 1,5m away from the fence and you still have a decent river view while sitting around he fire.

But in all honesty there is no bad hut at Balule

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

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 Post subject: BALULE BRIDGE
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:30 am 
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Is the Balule bridge going to be repaired this year? :D

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22/10/14 Satara
24/10/14 Balule
26/10/14 Tsendze
28/10/14 Letaba
30/10/14 Satara
03/11/14 Maroela
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 Post subject: Re: BALULE BRIDGE
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:41 am 
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I am sure that is the plan.
When we saw it last week it was well under water!

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 Post subject: Re: Balule Satellite Camp
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:26 am 
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Location: Alberton, South Africa
Update on the Balule causeway / low level bridge: I took a look at the causeway this last weekend 20 April 2014 and the route is definitely totally impassable, and will probably be for another year.

Up until December there was active repair work in which the construction folks were building gabions and then laying cement over these at the northern end, and the same had been started at the southern end. However, the February floods washed all of the part-repair work away and even widened the gap between the existing old concrete bridge and the river bank to some 20 metres. Through this gap flows a very strong river current.

Clearly it would be unwise to attempt the same type of repair again, as a solid raised and re-enforced, and properly anchored concrete link would need to be constructed across this gap. At this point there seems to be no work on site and we can only wait for the necessary insurance claims and tenders to be processed.

in the mean time we will all still have to travel the 40 odd kilometres via the Ngotso weir and Olifants bridge to Olifants camp for supplies.

In respect of the Balule Camp: I really MUST compliment the camp caretaker Titus (and his behind-the-scenes support crew) for a really well cared for facility. Ablutions and cooking area / lapa were really clean, no rust on the door-frames, no grime or mildew in the showers, shower curtains that were complete, no broken bathroom hooks etc.

This camp is one of the few remaining facilities in the KNP that reflect the great quality, hygiene and atmosphere of the 'old school" strict park management.

Well done Titus

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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: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:30 pm 
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Hi Riverrat,

I thought the northern section was fixed before Dec 2012 and that it was just the southern section to complete. Did the original work done by contractor No 1 washed away in Jan 2013. I am sure I saw pics that it was still fine after the summer rains.

If work was done until Dec 2013 then contractor No 2 disappeared and did not complete the work. Now they looking for contractor No 3. I hope SANParks is 3rd time lucky with the new contractor that will fix the bridge. If there is any one that can tender for this job please apply before 29 April so that we can get a bridge soon. :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:

Quote:
KNP-001-13 - Invitation for a suitable service provider for the extension and repair of the Balule low water bridge in the Kruger National Park. Re-advertisement

South African National Parks (SANParks) invites prospective service providers to submit a bid for the extension and repair of the Balule low water bridge in the Kruger National Park. (CIDB Grading: 6 CE PE)

SANParks is a corporate body established in terms of National Environmental Management; Protected Areas Act No 57 of 2003 as amended.

Documents
Invitation to Bid

The bid is issued in accordance with the Preferential Procurement Regulations 2011. SANParks is not obliged to accept the lowest or any bid.

Enquiries
Email & queries to:
Mr Lucky Mahlalela
Email: lucky.mahlalela@sanparks.org
Telephone no: (013) 735 4311

Please note
Compulsory Briefing Session: Balule low level bridge, on the S90 road, Kruger National Park on 17 April 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
The bid documents will only be available at the Supply Chain Management (Procurement) office, Administration Block, Skukuza, as from 7 April 2014. A non-refundable deposit of R500, payable in cash or by bank-guaranteed cheque made out in favour of SANParks, is required on collection of the bid document.
The bid closing date is the 29 April 2014 at 11:00 .
Bid submission address: Supply Chain Management (Procurement) Office, Administrative Block, Skukuza, 1350

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