Kruger NP Part 8 – Balule

1st to 5th November 2020

Balule is one of our favourite camps in the Kruger NP. It is a relatively small camp without power consisting of about 20 campsites and several huts.

At night the hyenas patrol the fence line often lying down quietly within metres of you and staring with their pleading eyes while resting their head on their front paws. A cute deceptive look of innocence.

On arrival we were greeted by the raucous sounds of hyenas battling just outside the entrance gate. The kerfuffle went on for quite some time.

One of the noisy Hyenas

We chose not to camp along the open fence line but rather in a large shady spot close by and using our solar panels to keep our batteries charged.

Balule camp is located close to the Olifants River and to get to the Olifants Camp you cross the river over a low lying bridge.

And on this visit the muddy water was flowing swiftly quite close to the level of the bridge.

On one occasion later in the day we observed more than 50 Openbills flying downriver.

Some scenery shots around the area.

Venturing out one day to visit Olifants Camp and just as we approached the low level bridge we noticed a cat lying under a shady tree. We had heard them during the night so it was a thrill to see them too.

Olifants Camp is set atop of a hill overlooking the Olifants river. It has a great lookout over the river. And from there you can often see herds of Elephant and Buffalo below and in the distance.

View from the lookout at Olifants Camp

Taking the S44 from Olifants Camp, there is another Lookout Point overlooking the river below.

An unusual sight looking over the river on a cool overcast and mistyish morning – looking at some rocks in the river. The photos are as we saw them.

From Balule we went as far afield as the Sweni Hide next to the N’wanetsi picnic site. We went in hope that it was open after being disappointed when we were staying in Satara. We were not disappointed and although there were not many birds we watched young elephants having fun in the water.

Here are some photos of the lovely birds and beasts that we saw while at Balule – some in the camp like the Blue Waxbill.

At night we were treated to some glorious sunsets.

Packing up to leave was hell. Despite the early hour there was not a breath of wind and the humidity was high. By the time we had finished I had a heat rash all round the back of my neck which took weeks to heal.

Then we were on our way heading South to Lower Sabie for the remainder of our stay in the Kruger NP. That will be Part 9 and the final part of our trip to the Kruger NP.

To see our bird list for Balule then click on the link below.

Bird Sunset

Paul and Sally Bartho

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