Balule Private Game Reserve
Balule Private Game Reserve shares an unfenced border with the world-famous Kruger National Park
The Balule Game Reserve area covers 40 000 hectares (250 km²) within the Greater Kruger National Park, on its western boundary. Scenic highlights include the Olifants River which flows through the center of the park and the Drakensberg escarpment which creates a dramatic backdrop for visitors to admire.
These outlying areas comprise of untouched pristine land that contains rich vegetation ideal for grazing herds. With the herds roaming, they naturally attract the big predators, making the Greater Kruger a prime location for frequent game sightings.The Greater Kruger forms part of one of the most biologically diverse wilderness regions in the world, where game are free to roam in protected ecosystems that are a priority to conserve.
While on safari in the Greater Kruger a private guide and tracker who are both highly trained experts in all things safari would accompany you, be it a game drive, bush walk or birding trail they will show you the best spots to view the amazing variety of wildlife. As many of the lodges in the region are private, they cater to folks seeking more comfort and authentic wildlife encounters.
The main difference between Kruger Park and Greater Kruger is the former is a state owned national park; while Greater Kruger is made up of a group of private game reserves and land owners that fall under an associate body, namely Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR). Wild animals roam freely between the two protected wildlife regions, but for us humans' movement between the two is restricted as Greater Kruger and Kruger Park operate as two independent ecotourism destinations.
The Kruger National Park is open to the public for day visits and overnight stays and has large rest camps with basic accommodation, good roads so private cars can drive around. The gates are only open from sun rise the sunset so guests can only drive around in the day light hours.
The Greater Kruger Park is open the overnight guests only, no day visitors. The private game lodges are all 4 or 5 star and offering luxury accommodation including all meals and game drives. The game drives are conducted in open 4x4 safari vehicles driven by expert game rangers on tracks through the bush. Some private game lodges allow off road driving so you can get close to the animals - no off road driving is allowed in the Kruger National Park. The private game lodges do night drives with the aid of spot lights to see the nocturnal animals - you cannot drive around the Kruger National Park after dark.
Overall the safari experience in the Greater Kruger National Park is much better.
There are 18 private luxury lodges (some are 5 star ultra luxury lodges) in the Kruger National Park that do offer a safari experience the same as private game lodges in the Greater Kruger National Park.
Seeing the "Big Five" in the wild is one of the most memorable things one can ever experience. The African continent is the only place in the world where big game still roams freely in great numbers. In particular the Greater Kruger National Park area is famous for the incredible possibilities seeing the Big Five up close. The term "Big Five" is reminiscent of the old safari hunting days. The name is not derived from the size of the animals as many people believe. Rather, these five animals proved to be the five animals that were the most difficult and dangerous to hunt.
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