OverviewBalule Game Reserve is adjacent to the world-famous Kruger National Park but without any fencing, the Game Reserve is completely part of the National Park's Ecosystem.The game viewing experience is excellent with the presence of the Big 5 and all other species. It is also well known for exceptional bird watching.This reserve offers open vehicle drives as well as off-road drives for an amazing experience.
- A variety of accommodation available
- Excellent value-for-money
- Amazing game viewing, including the Big Five
- Game drives both, during the night and day
- Olifants River attracts a variety of wildlife all year round
- Ability to experience the wilderness in the Greater Kruger Ecosystem
Balule has a natural eco system, as all the animals are free to walk on and off the reserve. Giraffes, Wildebeests and Waterbucks, are abundant and this becomes the reason for the presence of predators in great numbers. Big herds of Buffaloes can also be spotted.More About the Wildlife
The vegetation in the park, features savannah woodland and grassland. The most astounding scenery is of the Olifants River, which permanently flows through the park, there is also an amazing view of the Drakensberg Mountains that border the park.
Best Time to Visit
Winters (May to September) in Balule have mild conditions and are mostly dry with rare precipitation; it gets cold at night so packing warm clothes becomes essential. Meanwhile, summers (October to April) are hot and humid with lots of rainfall.More About the Best Time to Visit
Weather & Climate
In Balule, summer is from October to April – these months are characterized by rain, humidity and heat. Winter, on the other hand, between May and September, tends to be pleasant with milder conditions and little rainfall. At this time of year, the mercury drops at night, so you may need an extra blanket on your bed.More About the Weather and Climate
Wildlife & AnimalsNo fencing between Balule Game Reserve and Kruger National Part means that there is a big ecosystem to be experienced, which is a habitat for all the major animals you expect to see on a safari. This includes the Big Five. There is also a large number of animals attracted to the Olifants River; there are chances to spot wildlife such as Elephants, Waterbucks, Lions and Giraffes.
Wildlife highlightsThe reserve has an impressive hippo and crocodile population. The former can be found wallowing in the river during the day, and the latter can usually be spotted on the riverbanks. There is a chance to spot rare animals, such as Civets and Honey Badgers.
Best time for wildlife viewingThe ideal time for game viewing in Balule is the dry winter season, especially the last dry months as animals gather around the Olifants River, and the cold is mild.
Best Time to Visit
- Best Time to GoMay to September
- High SeasonOctober to March
(Not overly crowded)
May to September
October to March
Not overly crowded
April to September
Wildlife viewing is excellent
April to May
Very little rain and mild weather
September to October
Very little rain and mild weather
June to August
Cool mornings and nights
December to February
Hot and steamy
May to September- Dry Season – Winter
- Fewer tourists in camps and on roads
October to April- Wet Season – Summer
- Sunshine and virtually no rain
Weather & ClimateThe seasons in Balule occur in opposite times as compared to Europe and North America. During the summer (October to April), it is hot and humid with frequent showers; however, it won’t usually rain the entire day. In winter (May to September), it can get cold at night and early in the morning.
Climate Chart- 500m / 1,640ft
© chart & park data: SafariBookings. © climate grid data: WorldClim project. All rights reserved.
Dry Season- May to September - Winter
With less rainfall and low humidity, animals have a hard time finding water, which means they congregate near permanent water sources.
- May During this month, rainfall gets less frequent and temperatures start to fall. The temperatures usually fall between 12°C/54°F and 27°C/81°F.
The summer season is humid and hot, with rainfall being frequent, the humidity can become a problem in this season.
Temperatures tend to go above 40°C/104°F. On an average, afternoon temperature is 32°/90°F
- June to August The temperatures continue to get colder, nights are usually around 10°C/50°F while afternoon highs get to 25°C/82°F, warm clothes are essential for morning and night drives.
Getting ThereBalule 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 Nature Reserve by Air
To book your International and local flights, it is best to discuss options with our agents. They will be able to secure best tariffs and match it with your safari dates.
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Getting to Balule Game Reserve by Road
• Follow 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.