I stayed there in december 2005 for 3 nights.
Balule would be managed by Satara, but you could also check in at Olifants. Because i came from the north i decided to check in at Olifants. The regular thinks to be check in must be done, but the nice lady was very helpful.
After a few minutes i got my permit / voucher to Balule.
I remember the facts on the SANParks Homepage, that there is no shop in Balule, so i shoped some goodies in Olifants. And drove to Balule. I took the main road H8 / H1-4 and than the S91 and crossed the Olifants over the low water bridge. From the bridge i spotted some vultures in the air.
Then i took the gravelled S90 for i think 1 km. There is on the left a small gravelled road, the road to Balule. You drove about 500 m to the 2 gates of Balule. Hmmm?
Which is the entrance gate, both are closed, i think i will ever take the wrong way in this situations. I took the right gate and right is the wrong. The guard gives me a sign
to drive to the left gate and opened it for me. Later i know why there are 2 gates.
There is fence threw the camp, with only a small passing, and the right site (looking in the direction to Olifants river from the gate into the camp) is for the campers and the left site is the luxury site with the luxury huts
I stayed in hut no. 6, i think the best. It stays next to the fence. And you can park your car direct at the huts. In front of the hut the common KNP braai a table and 4 Chairs.
The huts are rustic and round. There is a heavy old wooden door. Inside you have in the middle a wooden pillar for the roof. There are 3 beds and a small cupboard. One bed stays single behind the door, the other 2 stays very close together in the middle of the room. But remember the pillar, there is a little space between the beds.
Before i came to Balule, i had a little bit fear
of the space between the roof and the wall of the hut. But no problem, there is a wire mesh fence and a net. This stops all spiders and mozzies. Every evening came a staff member and brought a petroleum lamp for your hut and put it in the hut at the pillar. When i go to bed, i decide to make the light off for safety. Don't forget your torch! In the night there is no other light, as the stars.
Close to the hut and the fence is the braai. So you could braai or sit there and watch the regular visiting hyenas in the evening.
You could also see at night the lights from the night drives on S90. In the day you could sometimes hear a car on the S90. But it is generally very quiet.
Every day the staff cleaned very well the huts, communal ablution and kitchen and the complete camp. Very nice and helpful service
. You could sit there also in the day, hear the bush and look at the birds, sitting in the shadow of the big trees and realise a movement at the fence. A lovely and relaxed group of ellies walking by.
The communal ablution is a small building with 1 entrance for Angels and 1 entrance for the Musketeers. I ever go to the Musketeers, so i could only write about the Musketeers site. There are to hand basin in the big room, 1 toilet and 1 shower. Remember, no electricity. In the evening the staff puts here also a petroleum lamp in. If you want to shave, you must bring your battery shaver or the knife or be like a good old wild boy
The communal kitchen also have no electricity. There are to plates with gas. I think these plates are older then the KNP. They work fine, but in germany it wouldn't be allowed to use these ones, with this old safety. But no problem if you be careful at starting the fire. And don't forget a lighter. Oh silly from me
. Saffies must have every time a lighter in their pockets for the braai. If you need hot water you must cook it by your self, there is no little 'geysers' (instant hot water makers). There are also to basins where you can wash your dishes.
Near to the fence, it looked like an old hide, is a small hut. In the hut two big cooler boxes, working on gas. They are not very cold. I think 0 degrees. But enough to cool down the castles and sundowners and keep your meat, fruit and veggies fresh for some days.
The camping ground have the same facilities and also the accommodation for the staff. It looks a little bit bigger. But on the hut site are the bigger trees
. In the camping site is the solar panel for the electric fence.
The gate, looking outside to the south.
A very lovely place for a small price. I hope, i can be there again.
If you have question, feel free to pm me or send an E-Mail or post the question.
Thinking about the next trip