For those of us who love the rustic side of life there is one camp in the Kruger National Park that you simply have to spend a night or two at. That camp is Balule.
In the language of the Shangaan people, the name ‘Balule’ is the Tsonga word for buffalo.
Balule is the satellite camp of Olifants Rest Camp, and it is situated on the southern banks of the Olifants River.
About the camp
Balule is the one Kruger camp that provides guests with an experience close to nature. The camp features 6 incredibly rustic huts which no electricity, fans or even windows. These huts are built in much the same way that the huts were built when the Kruger National Park first opened its gates to overnight visitors. The only lighting in this camp is by means of a paraffin lamp. Although the huts have bedding and towels you will need to get your shop supplies from Olifants Camp which is about 11 km’s from Balule.
Besides the huts, the camp features 15 camp sites which also have no electricity points.
An electric fence encloses the whole camp, which is divided into two. One section for the huts and the other a camping area.
There is a communal bathroom and kitchen facility. Cooking and braai facilities are available in a relaxing environment. In the camping area, there are Natal Mahogany, Boabab and Sausage trees offering a welcome relief from the summer sun.
This old time experience is simply perfect for those die-hard campers looking for an authentic African safari trip.
Checking into Balule Camp has to be done at Satara or Olifants camp and game viewing drives or bush walk bookings are also done through Satara or Olifants.
You need to keep in mind that as Balule is a satellite camp, no day visitors are allowed there.
This camp is suitable for year round visits. You can either book individual huts or camping sites or you can book the entire camp. In winter it is a good game viewing area, as many antelope come and drink from the few remaining pools of water. And leopard often lie in wait for the unsuspecting thirsty antelope.
The summer months at Balule (September – April) get very hot, often with temperatures in excess of 40 C (104 F). Summer thunderstorms are sporadic and offer relief by cooling the air and settling the dust. These storms dissipate as fast as they appear so they will not spoil your stay at Balule. The winter months are from May to August and are mild with day temperatures between 17 and 22 degrees C (60-70 F). The winter nights may need warm clothing.
While staying at Balule Camp, amongst the other animals that roam around here you should keep an eye out for the following:
Pel’s Fishing Owl
Right now, travelling is impossible, but when the time comes, make sure that you book your Kruger Park safari with Kurt Safari.