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Hoedspruit, South Africa

Balule Nature Reserve - Greater Kruger National Park

Balule Nature Reserve is a protected area in Limpopo Province, South Africa, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. As part of a wildlife conservation initiative, all fences separating these associated reserves - Balule, Timbavati, Klaserie - and the Kruger National Park have been removed. Conservation efforts have ensured that the wildlife population includes all of the Big Five game: Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino.

The Reserve is just under 60,000 hectares, and is potentially home to over 70 species of mammal, and the variety of birdlife in the Reserve is some of the best in the country, offering over 430 different species, including the Big Six (Kori Bustard, Ground Hornbill, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pels Fishing Owl, Martial Eagle and Saddle-billed Stork).
Located in the subtropical lowveld, the Reserve contains multiple eco-zones, resulting in significant variety in the flora with over 336 documented tree species in the region. Leadwood’s, Knobthorns, Marula and Mopane Trees are dominant species in this wooded savannah. The diverse flora accommodates a diverse array of fauna.

The rivers and other watering holes are home to hippos and crocodiles. Maninghi is fortunate to be situated on the banks of the Olifants River, which flows through the Game Reserve, and attracts a wide variety of different animals.

The term Greater Kruger Park is used to describe a number of private game reserves (Balule Nature Reserve being one of them) situated along the recently unfenced mid-western border of the Kruger National Park when private landowners saw the benefit of joining the iconic national park to allow game to flow freely through the area. One of the main advantages of a safari here is that there are limited amounts of persons as one has to be staying in one of the private lodges and for this reason, you will experience a less crowded safari with no more than two game vehicles per sighting. Also, in our opinion you will enjoy more exciting game drives as most properties allow real off-road game viewing in their 4×4 open safari vehicles, getting you right up close to the animals. Finally, the smaller lodges here are more up-market than the rest camps found in the Kruger National Park and thus offer a more exclusive safari experience.

The Kruger National Park

Balule Nature Reserve is a protected area in Limpopo Province, South Africa, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. As part of a wildlife conservation initiative, all fences separating these associated reserves - Balule, Timbavati, Klaserie - and the Kruger NThe Kruger National Park consists of a 20,000 km2 area in the north-east of South-Africa, run by government controlled Sanparks. Here you will be able to do a self-drive safari in your own vehicle, although along with everyone else which at times does lead to traffic jams around sightings with a general lack of game viewing etiquette. There is a good network of tar and gravel roads, keep to the speed limits and do not go off road anywhere in the Kruger National Park. You are also NOT allowed to get out of your vehicles (seriously some people have and are not around anymore!) unless in the safety of the ring fenced rest camps.

The park has several of these rest camps accessible to day or overnighting visitors, of which most have a shop and a restaurant to stock up on supplies or enjoy a nice meal and stretch the legs a little. There are well appointed signs leading you to the rest camps and several points of interest.ational Park have been removed. Conservation efforts have ensured that the wildlife population includes all of the Big Five game: Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino.

The Reserve is just under 60,000 hectares, and is potentially home to over 70 species of mammal, and the variety of birdlife in the Reserve is some of the best in the country, offering over 430 different species, including the Big Six (Kori Bustard, Ground Hornbill, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pels Fishing Owl, Martial Eagle and Saddle-billed Stork).
Located in the subtropical lowveld, the Reserve contains multiple eco-zones, resulting in significant variety in the flora with over 336 documented tree species in the region. Leadwood’s, Knobthorns, Marula and Mopane Trees are dominant species in this wooded savannah. The diverse flora accommodates a diverse array of fauna.

The rivers and other watering holes are home to hippos and crocodiles. Maninghi is fortunate to be situated on the banks of the Olifants River, which flows through the Game Reserve, and attracts a wide variety of different animals.

The term Greater Kruger Park is used to describe a number of private game reserves (Balule Nature Reserve being one of them) situated along the recently unfenced mid-western border of the Kruger National Park when private landowners saw the benefit of joining the iconic national park to allow game to flow freely through the area. One of the main advantages of a safari here is that there are limited amounts of persons as one has to be staying in one of the private lodges and for this reason, you will experience a less crowded safari with no more than two game vehicles per sighting. Also, in our opinion you will enjoy more exciting game drives as most properties allow real off-road game viewing in their 4×4 open safari vehicles, getting you right up close to the animals. Finally, the smaller lodges here are more up-market than the rest camps found in the Kruger National Park and thus offer a more exclusive safari experience.