User Reviews – Balule NR

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Your own private Kruger Park!
Overall rating
4/5

We stayed for 3 nights and did one gamedrive. The setting of Amukela lodge is very nice, and good value for money. Meals were good, atmosphere relaxed and personal. The waterholes were visited by impala, jackal, vervet monkeys, civet, elephants (2 big ones) and in the evening we heard the lions! Owner/managed with friendly and helpful staff.

Overall rating
5/5

Part of the Great Kruger National Park

Luxury among the Widerness
Overall rating
5/5

We stayed at the Pondoro Game Lodge in Balule Nature Reserve for a couple of days - and we can absolutely recommend it.

A typical day at Pondoro used to start at 6 am in the morning with the morning safari drive. Safaris were on a open jeep with a guide / driver and a tracker. Our guide and tracker (Rulani and Andries) were absolutely wonderful. Rulani always gave us a brief description of the animals we sighted - which was very helpful for us city people. Both were very friendly and absolutely motivated to provide us the best safari experience. We still remember the time when Andries went out on foot in search of lions, and after half an hour we saw a family of lions heading our way with Andries following them calmly with a stick in hand. We managed to see not only the Big 5, but also zebras, giraffes, hippos, etc.

Robbie and Lize maintain the lodge as a family home and you are always made to feel very welcome. Returning from the morning safari (around 9 am), there is a luscious breakfast waiting for you. It is indeed an exhilarating experience having breakfast out in the open, with the sound of a stream flowing nearby, where different animals often drop by for a drink. After breakfast, you are free to relax, roam around a bit and explore. The cottages are beautifully designed with modern amenities such as air conditioners, fully equipped bathrooms; and a bit of wilderness such as showers and a jacuzzi out in the open. So you might be taking a shower when an elephant decides to drop by for a visit :)

For a more detailed review, please refer to our blog: http://travel-pics-tips.blogspot.ch/2015/08/south-african-wilderness.html

Dry But Beautiful
Overall rating
4/5

This reserve abuts Kruger National Park. It's fairly barren in August before the September rains come but filled with wildlife. A railroad runs thru the reserve, but what's surprising is how wild animals accommodate that (and the damage elephants can cause to man-made structures). There was no need for a jacket since it was dry… didn't even get that cold on the night safaris. Also has the Olifant River running thru it giving a great perspective on wildlife around watering holes and the river.

Overall rating
4/5

This was the lesser of our two stays. The overall density of wildlife was less in Balule than in Sabi Sands. That being said, we actually had our best sighting of our trip during our final drive at Gomo Gomo. A mother leopard and her cub walked right out in front of the vehicle, not more than 10 meters away.

Overall rating
5/5

As far as our game sightings at Balule were concerned, the elephants topped the bill. We had some very close, very powerful experiences with the beautiful animals on the reserve.

Overall rating
5/5

A great place to stay, amazing team of guides and hospitality staff. Great Safaris at night and during the day. Plenty to see and do. Well organised and centred around your satisfaction. 100% recommended. The sunset safari with a sundowner was a highlight. An amazing amount of wildlife. All of the staff were great, very welcoming and extremely knowledgable about the wildlife and reserve itself.

Overall rating
3/5

Yuo can't drive around by yourself and you always need a guided safari.

Overall rating
5/5

because of the marvellous bush walks and outdoor sleeping.

Execpt antelopes and giraffies nothing much
Overall rating
3/5

The accomodation at baluleni safary lodge was excellant.the staff were very curteous and accomodative .

Average User Rating

  • 4.4/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 12
  • 4 star 7
  • 3 star 3
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 0
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