Getting to Balule. Balule Game Reserve Location and Access
History, location and access information about getting to Balule Game Reserve, located within Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Location of Balule Game Reserve
This private nature reserve covers 40 000 hectares within the Greater Kruger Park on its western boundary. With the game roaming freely in this area unhindered by fences, there are excellent opportunities for viewing many species of wildlife including the Big Five - Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhino. The closest Kruger Park Gates are Phalaborwa and Orpen Gates.
Balule Game Reserve is easily accessible by road and air. The reserve can be reached in about 6 hours by car from Johannesburg. Daily scheduled flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban fly to three international airports nearby. Road transfers can be provided Johannesburg and from local airports to the various lodges in Balule Game Reserve.
Getting to Balule Game Reserve by RoadFollow the N4 towards Nelspruit.
Take the Belfast off ramp and drive through Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenberg and Origstad.
Make your way over the Abel Erasmus Pass.
Drive through the Strydom Tunnel and on to Hoedspruit.
At Hoedspruit, turn left at the 4 way stop onto the R40 towards Phalaborwa.
Approximately 17km further on, turn right into the Olifants West gate
This is the entrance to the Balule Nature Reserve.
A reserve entrance fee is payable at the gate.
Getting to Balule by Air
Flight arrangements can be made with your consultant at the time of making your lodge reservation.
Daily flights from Johannesburg
Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit
Daily flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town
KMIA in Nelspruit
Daily flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
History of Balule Game Reserve
In the early 1990's a number of landowners in the Balule section of the Greater Kruger Park realised a need to drop fences between their properties. This move would extend the animal gene pool, prevent over grazing and enable the movement of African wildlife over a greater area. It made great ecological sense!
The absence of fences became aesthetically pleasing to landowners and the shared wildlife meant that game that had never been seen in a particular area was now present. By the end of the decade, most Balule landowners had joined in the venture. Hunting was curtailed and the wildlife became more relaxed which provided excellent photographic opportunities.
The two reserves on the eastern boundary of Balule Game Reserve are Olifants Game Reserve and Klaserie Game Reserve. The fence between Kruger Park and Klaserie Game Reserve came down first and the Kruger authorities soon came to realise that this was the way to proceed. The fence on the tar road between Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit became the obvious place to have the western boundary of the Kruger Park.
Once all the fences were correctly fitted with high voltage capacities and the authorities were satisfied that Balule Game Reserve was ready for incorporation, it was just months before the fences were taken down between the Klaserie and Olifants Game Reserves. Balule was in this way incorporated into the most famous game reserve in the world. An impressive 40 000 hectares were added to the Kruger National Park overnight!