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Balule reserve game viewing

Shefford, Canada
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Balule reserve game viewing

We will be travelling to SA in August and are wondering how the game viewing is in the Balule reserve. I have read that there is better game viewing in other reserves (Sabi Sands & Timbavati). I am wondering what is meant by "better" game viewing? Is it that there is a greater diversity of the species or are the animals more abundant, or both? Are some species rarely seen in Balule?

I had elected to go to Elephant Plains but there are no availabilities. Sausage Tree in Balule seems really affordable (Naledi is not available for every night of our stay). Should we book somewhere else in Timbavati instead? I like Motswari but is is much more expensive than Sausage Tree. I did not find any other lodge that suites us in Sabi Sands. We have kids ages 11 & 13.


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1. Re: Balule reserve game viewing

Have you looked at Toro Yaka in Balule? It is wonderful! Steve and Nicole do it great. Its rated very very good as well.

Birmingham, United...
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2. Re: Balule reserve game viewing

Hi Sylvie, 'better game viewing' to me is more abundant and a better chance of seeing the Big 5, which may well be high on your list if this is your first trip.

Personally I am a Sabi Sands fan because of the abundance of game and I have come to learn a lot about the lion prides and leopards of the area and my top priority is to see elephants and I have not yet been disappointed. I also like to see the smaller things like chameleons, bush babies and scops owls - so not just a Big 5 person. I have stayed at Elephant Plains 3 times and the game viewing is first class, the rondavels very comfortable and value for money is excellent - if they are full, perhaps see if you can stretch your budget to Arathusa or Cheetah Plains. Alternatively have a look at Umkumbe - haven't stayed there but TA reviews mostly positive and looks to be good value for money.

Timbavati also has good game viewing. I went to Motswari last year and loved it - beautiful traversing area and saw everything, including a chameleon! Great guides, very warm and welcoming lodge with lovely rooms and great food. Have a look at Chad Cockings photos (he is one of the guides) or look at the rangers diary on their website. https:/…237356082948520

Other lodges in Timbavati that may be in your budget are Kambaku and Simbavati - not sure what their rates are this year but its worth seeing if they will offer you a special rate in August.

I returned to Balule last year to give it another try after a very sparse game viewing experience in 2004 - I like being in the bush no matter what game I see. I stayed at Toro Yaka which is a nice lodge, small and personal. The rooms are lovely, the food delicious and game viewing was much better, but still not as abundant as other areas. They do have regular sighting of black rhino which are rare and a real treat to see. Steve is passionate and will give you a true understanding of the bush and his walks along the Olifants river are magical - he can get on his soap box, but if its all new to you it will be interesting.

You may want to look at Klaserie reserve - haven't been there for years but think there are some reasonably priced camps there.

I am SAfrican but live in the UK and always book through a local SA agent (Tanya at Africadirect.co.za) because she is passionate about Africa, offers excellent info and advice in narrowing down your choices. No doubt you have discovered its a minefield of choices, most places are superb and wherever you go it will most likely be an incredible experience.

You are welcome to read my reviews on the various lodges and ask me any questions. Have fun planning your trip - August is a great time to go!

Edited: 5:35 am, February 10, 2013
Kruger National...
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3. Re: Balule reserve game viewing

Hi there,

Though the game viewing in Balule is by no means terrible, it is agreeably 'less' compared to the other areas.

My personal recommendations based on many personal experiences (I live in the Kruger region) would be Timbavati and Klaserie above any others.

All the best,



Lodge Trackers Safari Specialists

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