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Balule Satellite Camp

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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RemiE
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by RemiE » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:53 pm

Wow Stoffel. :clap:
That is nostalgic Kruger at its epitome.

I was last there in 2004, so it’s a good 12 years since my last visit. I was fortunate to have gone there with my grandparents and remember we stayed in Hut 1, the small paraffin lamp that was bought to us, the sound of the river and the non-stop laughter of the hyenas…………never felt so close to nature

I’m sure after 35 years the wait will be worth the while for you guys :D
GLORY be to God for dappled things—Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89).
TR: Mother Nature’s Mood Swing – KNP 2016

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DinkyBird
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:54 pm

Balule is still very special. We have only ever camped there, and always try and spend a week each year there. Try and get the front right corner site Stoffel - it is the most popular as very shady and has two side of the fence.
- Dalene

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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Stoffel » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:02 pm

Thanks for the suggestion DB. What a pity that one cannot ask for a specific camp site (like accommodation units) in advance. But I have learned over the years - when camping in Kruger, try to be at your next camp as early as possible. Let's hope to be lucky with the suggested site (if it is open). We have a relatively short distance to cover from Letaba to Balule.

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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:56 pm

I agree, aim to arrive about 9am. Book in at Satara o your way past.
- Dalene

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leervis
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by leervis » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:04 am

Dinkybird, you make me so homesick with these great images. Such a great camp.
13 - 16 January '17 Punda Maria
17 - 19 January '17 Balule

18 - 23 May '17 Balule

1 - 2 Oct '17 Satara
3 - 5 Oct '17 Pretoriuskop

Stoffel
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Stoffel » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:24 pm

We are booked (camping) in Balule for the last 3 nights of May. The one and only time we stayed in Balule was in 1981 (in one of the huts) We will be leaving from Letaba where we'll be staying the 3 nights prior. I always heard you can check in at either Olifants or Satara. Looking at the Balule web-site I noticed that one can check in at the mentioned two camps, but also in Orpen and Letaba. Is that still indeed the case? Thus I do not have to travel to Olifants first to check in, but can do so in Letaba?

Experienced Balule visitors - can you confirm?

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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by DinkyBird » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:34 pm

Hi Stoffel, we asked Lesley (from Kruger) to confirm for us a few weeks ago:- see here; I have always also always understood one can check in only at Olifants or Satara. We have used both to check in. What does your reservation confirmation letter say? Ours for our Feb 2016 visit said check in at Satara or Olifants only.
- Dalene

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Albert
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Albert » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:39 pm

Hi Stoffel,
We are also in Balule at the end of May (leaving just before you get there I think); having just paid the outstanding amount on my reservation I was interested to note the following information that I received with my my confirmation letter:
"BALULE CAMP residents can check in at any of the larger camps (preferably Satara or Olifants Camp)."
I was also under the impression that it had to be Satara or Olifants only.
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Stoffel » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:52 am

If you look at the web-page (hereby attached), it surely looks as if you can check in at Letaba and Orpen too.

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/c ... .php#check

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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:24 am

I have just been through all the pages of this thread to whet my appetite. I will be staying at Balule for five nights in December. I can hardly wait. :dance: :dance: :dance:

How lovely to see that everything is still rustic, magic and intimate.

Last time I was there, roads were still under repair, due to flood damage. I look forward to going there with no maintenance crew in site.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Dark side of Balule

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:26 am

Johan van Rensburg wrote:Nikon12’s excellent story about the fence around Balule, brought back some wonderful memories of the first time we stayed over in this rustic little camp about 7 years ago. One such memory has attained legendary status in our family.

My wife and I had a bungalow and so did my daughter, her husband and the eldest of my grandchildren (then the only one). We shared a wood fire that afternoon as the sun set over the KNP. As always we cooked too much food on the embers and before retiring my wife wrapped the remaining food in some tinfoil and put it on a drawer that stood next to the bed on her side.

:shock: Man, does it get dark there! :shock:

We really enjoyed the starry display in a moonless night sky, but a long, hot day topped by a great feast and a few glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon each soon made us retire. I don’t like a light on in a room when I sleep, so, the paraffin lamp was blown out and we said our goodnights and I must have been in lalaland within two minutes. The next moment I got rudely awakened by a sharp elbow urgently jabbing me in the ribs. You know you have opened your eyes, but you see nothing! It is the closest to being blind you will ever experience!

“What!” I wanted to know, “is bothering you?” My wife has lots of the city girl left in her, even after years of bush trips with me…
:big_eyes:
“There is someone … something in the room!”
:big_eyes:

So we thrashed around in the dark for a few minutes to find the torch that one of us had kicked over. Despairingly we listened to it roll and come to rest somewhere out of reach. Somehow we got hold of matches and relit the lantern. Well, by that time the intruder was long gone, of course, so back to bed. And off with the light, but not before my SO had retrieved the torch and slipped it into bed with us. Again, no effort on my part to return to zzzzzzzzz….

Then all hell broke loose!

:huh: Hysterically screaming wife was wildly thrashing around and then started assaulting me! My SO was hitting the stuffing out of me with the torch!

When I fell asleep my dearest wife sat up in the dark and ambushed our visitor, who turned out to be a small mouse that used the bed covers to scale the furniture in order to get to the tantalising leftovers on the drawer. Fortunately for the mouse, she missed it (but not me!). The mouse scurried somewhere to temporary safety while I tried to calm my poor wife. Needless to say, the lamp burned for the rest of the night. And the story was only good for a laugh some years later!

:imsmilin:

The only "wilder" experience I have had in the KNP was in the Sable sleep-over hide, but that is another story...


I found this old post and really had a chuckle. Johan has not lost his sense of humor, or Balule it's charm.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:28 am

I see it is Nikon 12's story. A good chuckle....and this little mouse intends to stay away from strange bed fellows. :lol: :lol: :lol:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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leervis
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by leervis » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:48 am

MM, the best camp in Kruger, but already too many people know that. We always plan our trip around a Balule booking which we do as soon as the booking for the relevant period opens. It fill up so quickly with only 15 sites! Titus who runs it is amazing, always cheerful and he keeps the camp super clean. Drives are available N, S, E and West and if you do not feel like wasting petrol, the causeway will keep you busy for hours. Best site is no. 9 but as no booking is available it is first come first served and there are no bad sites at Balule. Enjoy!
13 - 16 January '17 Punda Maria
17 - 19 January '17 Balule

18 - 23 May '17 Balule

1 - 2 Oct '17 Satara
3 - 5 Oct '17 Pretoriuskop

Horrace
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Horrace » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:50 am

Good morning mites.

My son and I will be staying at Balule for the 1st time in December (16th and 17th) and wonder if some of the more experienced travelers can advise me on 2 things please.

I know there is no electricity - we are staying in the huts and understand there is a communal gas fridge. Is there a freezer as well or just the fridge?

Secondly, are the showers cold water only? With high temperatures expected I don't think it would make much difference, it would still be nice to know.

Looking forward to our stay, and possibly bumping into any other yellow ribbons at the camp.

Horrace


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leervis
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by leervis » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:10 am

Hi Horrace, Although there is no power, electrical, the freezers are gas. We have found that in times when the camp is busy these freezers become very effective fridges and will keep frozen food frozen. The showers do have hot water, also gas, and I think you are right in assuming that hot showers will not be a priority in December. The camp is wonderful....enjoy!
13 - 16 January '17 Punda Maria
17 - 19 January '17 Balule

18 - 23 May '17 Balule

1 - 2 Oct '17 Satara
3 - 5 Oct '17 Pretoriuskop


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Addo
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orpen
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satara
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