In the language of the Shangaan people, the name ‘Balule' is the Tsonga word for buffalo. You can see this member of the Big Five and all the others in the Balule Game Reserve, South Africa.
Balule Game Reserve covers 40 000 hectares on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park. African wildlife roams freely in this area as there are no fences between the two areas. That means exceptional Big Five game viewing in a private area where guest numbers are limited.
Open Vehicle Safaris
Experienced rangers use their vast knowledge and bushcraft on Balule game drives to search for the much sought after Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) and other plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, giraffe.
Open vehicles add a greater sense of adventure for close encounters with African wildlife. Guests enjoy the sights, scents and sounds of the bush which is essential for an exciting game drive. Most Balule Game Reserve lodges offer dawn and dusk game drives which are the optimal times for game viewing in the cooler hours. Refreshments are served at scenic spots.
Stops will be made to photograph the stunning sunsets and to listen to the night sounds. Powerful spotlights are used to locate elusive nocturnal animals like leopard, Lesser Bushbaby, Scrub Hare, Large-spotted Genet as well as porcupine, wildcat, civet and aardvark. Nocturnal birds seen include Spotted Thickknee (formerly called Dikkop) and the Bronze-winged Courser.
A Balule bush walk with an armed ranger adds the thrill of encountering animals on foot. The focus is on tracks, scats and other signs of the wild not normally encountered from a game vehicle. You witness the daily experiences of the animals by sharing their game paths, waterholes and become deeply entrenched in their environment.
There are around 250 species of bird in Balule Game Reserve which has a diverse habitat of mountainous forest, riverine forest and bushveld savannah. The area hosts the Big Six of raptor species these are Kori Bustard, Gound Hornbill, Lappet faced Vulture, Pels Fishing Owl, Martial Eagle and Saddle billed Stork.
Other activities in this region
- Shangaan Cultural Village visits
- Full day game drive in the Kruger National Park
- Elephant interaction at an Elephant sanctuary
- Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
- Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre
- The Panorama Route (Blyde River Canyon and other scenic areas)
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Horse riding
- Boat trips on the Blyde Dam or the Olifants River