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3 - 8 of 86 reviews
Reviewed January 18, 2017

Visited Balule River Camp October/november, 2016. Amazing experience, great staff! Everything is taken care of, the staff is just wonderful! The most amazing view to Olifant River from the lodge: We saw elepphants, hippos and crocodiles everyday. Jonathan is a fantastic guide but theall of the staff is wonderful. Great food, great atmosphere. What´s not to like :-)

Date of stay: November 2016
Thank Staalanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2016 via mobile

This River cap is one of the best I ever been. The staff is amazingly well trained to work in the wild. The safari trip to Krueger park was fantastic. Highly recommend! We travelled with our daughters and it was very safe and friendly for children.

Date of stay: September 2015
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank marialR4875AP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2016

As part of a two week vacation in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana we stayed at Balule River Camp for a week. It turned out to be a one-of-a-kind experience. The lodge is situated 13 km from the main road (on a very bumpy road) next to the Balule River. The surroundings are beautiful and the wild life is literally in the lodge. Baboons are playing on the ground, crocodiles and hippos lives in the river below the lodge and a group of three elephants passed through the lodge when we were there.

Even though it turned out that we had chosen virtually the worst time you can imagine for a safari in the winter after a year of drought, we saw a lot of wild life. Most of it on the tour to the public park but also a lot of animals in the Balule area. Of the big five we only missed the leopard. Our guides, Jonathan and Edward, were fabulous at spotting the animals at a far distance and get close to them without intimidating them.

The lodge itself is intimate and well maintained. It consists of two bungalows with three rooms in each, a main house with a small pool and fitness room, a small shop and houses for the staff. The standard of the facilities are high, and both power, hot bathing water and wifi were reliable which is not always the case at safari hotels.

The food is a story in itself. We have travelled many places and eaten at many restaurants from family restaurants to Michelin restaurants, but we have very seldom got a consistently culinary experience at the level we got at Balule seven evenings in a row. Sometimes served outside in the Boma, sometimes served by the fireplace in the main room and one evening even served at the top of a hill in the bush in the light from candles and torches.

The staff was kind and spread a happy mood from early morning til late night. Jesper, the manager of the lodge, is a great host. He was very accessible and participated in all meals and facilitated a cozy atmosphere and good conversation and also managed to include our sons (13 and 20 years) in the dialogue. When we had special requests Jesper was very flexible and fast to react.

We can definitely recommend Balule River Camp.

NB: One thing we realised was that it is possible to book a stay directly at Balule bypassing the travel agencies. Then you can arrange travel and other activities yourself. The contact information is reservations@balulerivercamp.com or +27 83 677 6889.

NB: It is sometimes difficult to predict the additional costs when you plan your travel. Our experience was that if you have chosen a standard package with travel and accommodation you can add around 5% for drinks, tips, laundry etc. Extra tours are not included in that figure.

NB: It is very cold in the winter in the mornings so bring your winter clothes, if you travel when it is winter in South Africa.

Room tip: One of the master bed-rooms has an out-door shower in addition to the in-house shower.
Date of stay: July 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank christianfn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2014

After spending hours planning our trip to Limpopo, we booked (in August) and paid for the first stage of the trip at Balule River Camp over the Christmas period. My wife recently sent an e-mail enquiring about the directions to the Camp (luckily). We were informed by Balule Management that they had no reservation booking for us and the were fully booked !
We were booked through Agoda and in all my dealing with them had not experienced any problems. Agoda told us it was Balule who later changed the status of the booking !
If we had gone all that way (5 - 6 hours from Johannesburg Airport) and been turned away on Christmas day I don't know what we would have done! Seems they only like dealing with overseas visitors.
Management's response was uncaring and dismal to say the least ! They only gave me a response when I questioned who was responsible for the mess up.

Date of stay: December 2014
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
5  Thank Samuel H K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jesper K, Direktør at Balule River Camp, responded to this reviewResponded February 17, 2015

Dear Samuel H K.

Let me start by saying that we are very sorry for your experience.
You are right that it was by "accident" that we found out about this booking, but please note that it was not because we were inattentive or because we didn't care about your inquiry. The reason your booking was not registered with us, is because we no longer cooperate with Agoda. We terminated the cooperation in 2013, but unfortunately they still offer clients accommodation with us.
Please note that we never receive any payment from Agoda, and you cannot book a stay with us through them.
Whenever we have been in contact with Agoda since the termination of the cooperation, we have made them aware of this, but either they do not respond, or they say that they understand, but then they continue to make bookings.
I hope that this shed a light on things, and explained your unfortunate situation. Please know that we would love to accommodate you and your wife another time.

Kindest Regards,
Jesper Kehlet
Balule River Camp

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

Welcomed at the airport, driven to the lodge, welcomed again with cold drinks and friendly faces- What a start!
After 10 days of game drives to Kruger National Park, Thornybush Park and the local game drives I must say I´m very impressed and I can only give Balule River Camp my best recommendations.
The rooms a very good with AC, and the meals in he BOMA excellent.
All in all we had the best vacation for years.

And- we saw the Big Five several times and all of them in one morning game drive!

Date of stay: January 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Birger1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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