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Balule Or deeperni to Kruger for best game viewing?

Cambridge, United...
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Balule Or deeperni to Kruger for best game viewing?
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We are staying in Balule for 5 nights in October. I know the game may not be as prevalent as we’d like so should we spend a day or two driving for a couple of hours further east for better game viewing? Anyone got a view on this?

5 replies to this topic
1. Re: Balule Or deeperni to Kruger for best game viewing?

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Liverpool, UK
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2. Re: Balule Or deeperni to Kruger for best game viewing?
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Can you clarify if you are staying in a lodge or accommodation in Balule Game Reserve or at Balule Rest Camp within the National Park? The reserve is unfenced to the National Park so the same animals wander through the region as central Kruger NP. It's just that the traversing area will be restricted to your lodge's. Whereas in the National Park you can't go off road but you can reach large, diverse areas in a day of driving.

Tempe, Arizona
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3. Re: Balule Or deeperni to Kruger for best game viewing?
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I think of the heart of the Sabi Sand Reserve as a place with somewhat better wildlife experiences. Balule, however, will have enough going on to give you an excellent safari. The Thornybush Reserve is a few miles south of Balule and is a good value destination to add to your Balule nights.

Edited: 4 years ago
George, South Africa
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4. Re: Balule Or deeperni to Kruger for best game viewing?
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No matter where you stay, you will need a bit of luck with the game viewing. Depending on where in Balule you will be staying, it is true that the game viewing here is not as consistent as in the Sabi Sands (as Dave pointed out). I have enjoyed some excellent game viewing in Balule, but have also had some very quiet days. It's not all about the big five, but I've seen the big five on one game drive (that's rare in Balule), and I've also had a 3 night stay without seeing any rhinos or big cats. But I always enjoy the scenery at Balule. It is more hilly compared to further east, and the distant Drakensberg mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the landscape.

If you are staying for 5 nights, I definitely think it is worth it to take one full day and plan a day trip into Kruger itself, via Orpen Gate. It will take an hour just to get to the gate, but once inside you will be able to cover more distance and there is no doubt you will see more animals (greater variety and numbers of animals) on a full day game drive in Kruger, compared to an average game drive in Balule. So yes, I would recommend taking one day and visiting Kruger itself. I would aim for sunrise to sunset (full day) but if you don't want to do a full day drive, you can depart early and take a packed breakfast, then aim to return to your lodge by 1pm or 2pm, so you can still do the afternoon game drive in Balule, if you're up for it!

Enjoy!

Onne from Wild Wings Safaris

Cambridge, United...
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11 posts
12 reviews
3 helpful votes
5. Re: Balule Or deeperni to Kruger for best game viewing?
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Thanks very much for your help.

I think we’ll do the day in Kruger.

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