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Balule Satellite Camp

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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DinkyBird
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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

Stoffel
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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: 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 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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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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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:35 am

Hi Horrace, Leervis has given you good comprehensive answers. Many people are satisfied with showers, cold or hot. Balule also has bath tubs, which is rather nice for some.

Enjoy your stay. I am sure that you will be back. It is truly a magic little camp.
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 DinkyBird » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:43 am

Only a freezer (which as you say, is more than likely going to be a fridge in Dec :lol: )

Tip - mark your items and perhaps close them in a bag when you put them into the freezer .... saves getting muddled which water belongs to whom etc.
- Dalene

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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by leervis » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:06 am

They are described as freezers, but in the camping area, with 15 campsites they carry heavy traffic and so might freeze stuff overnight. The hut area should be better with only 5 huts.
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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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:12 am

Horrace wrote:Thanx for the info leervis. For myself, it's more a question of keeping meat frozen for 2/3 nights rather than freezing anything.

Sounds like the freezer can do exactly that. Don't think I'll be bringing with any lettuce and other green goods on this trip though, I'm sure they won't survive....


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Horrace, I have noticed a great improvement in the camp shops. I am planning to do daily shopping at Olifants.
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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Horrace » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:53 am

Thanx MeanderingMouse and onewithnature. We'll freeze only what's necessary and use Olifants for daily goods. With the predicted heat, I'm sure that will include liters and liters of water bought cold at Olifants and hopefully frozen at Balule.

If I may ask, having never stayed in the huts, how hot do they get given that there are no windows only top ventilation? Are they hotter or cooler than the safari tents I normally stay in at LS or Skukuza?


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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Horrace » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:12 am

Hi mites, can you please advise if there is hot water (for tea/coffee) at the bungalow side of Balule?

Most camps have hot water on tap in the communal kitchens, given that Balule has no electricity I'm not sure in this case....

Many Thanx
Horrace


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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by leervis » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:40 am

On the camping side there is a huge kettle on a gas ring so boiling water is always available. Enjoy your trip.
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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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by Dream Weaver » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:46 am

Hi Horace

There is indeed hot water for coffee and tea on the bungalow side.

There is also a kettle on a gas ring in the kitchen shelter that side that is available to everybody.

You may need to fill it and set it going yourself.

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Re: Balule Satellite Camp

Unread post by chirinda » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:35 pm

Horrace, it can get hot in the huts with no through draught. I would love if they would put a screen door on them so you could leave the door open, but with no screen door the mozzies are in, not to mention "anyone else" who might be around inside the camp when we've gone to bed. Safari tents are definitely cooler.

Another tip, shower while it is light, the light in the bathrooms is only one hurricane lamp over the basin, unless you take your own light into the shower.


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