Walking by Joe Ross

5 Day Kruger Park Big 5 Walking Safari to Balule

Tour Length5 days
Priced from pps $1010 R14150 £822 966 A$1404 C$1365 NZ$1464 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Hiking Tour

Quick Itinerary Overview

This tour focuses on guided walks through the bush, allowing for a unique, up close and personal perspective on the Kruger wildlife experience that is just not possible with a vehicle.

After collection at designated departure points in Johannesburg and Pretoria, we transfer to Balule, in the Greater Kruger Park, where we will stay for four nights.

With guided walking safaris in the early morning and late afternoon, you can't get closer to nature than this. Some game drives are included - incuding at night, to spot those elusive nocturnal creatures - to get the full African safari experience.

Based in Balule Private Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger Park, this area is known as prime Big Five territory. There are no fences between the reserve and Kruger, allowing for free movement of wildlife, yet a more exclusive safari for you. Walking through the bush with a trained guide, experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of Africa undisturbed... Who could ask for more?

Highlights include

  • Guided walks each morning and late afternoon
  • Comfortable lodge accommodation
  • Night drives to check out the African nocturnal creatures
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Itinerary for this Tour

Day 1: Johannesburg to Greater Kruger Park

After an early morning collection from the Centurion Gautrain Station or the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, we make our way north-east to Hoedspruit and into the Greater Kruger Park.

We arrive at our lodge in time for lunch and go on our first afternoon game activity, an introduction to this beautiful area, and our first sightings of Africa's incredible animals and birds.

Dinner back at the lodge is enjoyed. Relax around the campfire under the vast African night sky, filled with stars, and listen to the sounds of the night.

Day 2 - 4: Greater Kruger Park

Each day follows a similar itinerary, and each day is completely different. That's the nature of the wild. The guides will discuss the plan each evening prior and will decide on whether to walk from camp or drive a little further, then walk, or just drive. Weather, animal sightings and your preference will all be taken into consideration.

Walking safaris are led by trained and armed guides. You'll be treated to getting as close to nature as possible and seeing, hearing and smelling all its wonders - from the tiniest insects to the fluttering birds to the enormous elephant.

Our days begin at surise. After pre-dawn coffee and rusks we set off into the bush to watch Africa wake. This is the time that many animals and birds are most active, in the coolth of the morning. If we're lucky, we may even see the aftermath of a predator kill from the night before. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and will teach us about the plants and animals we see on our walk.

As the day heats up, we return to camp and enjoy a big breakfast - walking safaris are hungry work! During the heat of midday we can relax at the lodge, enjoying the scenery and making good use of the swimming pool, before retiring for a siesta.

After a late lunch, we head off into the bush again, either walking or driving in open safari vehicles, or a combination of both. Our guides will use their superb tracking skills to ensure the best game-watching experience possible. As the sun sets on Africa, we will enjoy a sundowner out in the bush before getting onto the safari vehicles to enjoy a night drive.

Back at the lodge we enjoy dinner and the age-old tradition of sitting around the campfire discussing the day's sightings and what's in store for the next day.

Day 5: Greater Kruger Park to Johannesburg

After coffee and rusks, we set off on our final early morning game safari, returning to camp for breakfast. Then its time to say goodbye and travel back to the designated drop-off points in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Arrival time will be around 17:00 to 19:00.

Please Note:

Collection and drop off will be at either the Centurion Gautrain Station or the OR Tambo Bus Terminal Building only. Transport to and from these two designated locations will not be included in the tour price.

Collection times on the first day:

  • 6h00 Centurion Gautrain Station
  • 06h45 OR Tambo Bus Terminal Building

Drop off times on the last day:

  • 17h00 - 18h00 OR Tambo Bus Terminal Building
  • 18h00 - 19h00 Centurion Gautrain Station

Greenfire Game Lodge

Perfectly located on the seasonal Mohlabetsi riverbed in the Balule Private Game Reserve, the Greenfire Game Lodge is the dream safari destination.

The central lodge has a comfortable lounge with fireplace, shady verandah, sun deck and swimming pool, offering a perfect place to relax, regardless of the weather. Designed to fit into the surroundings, the raised recreational areas allow for spectacular views across the bush.

Meals are served either in the dining room or at the campfire in the traditional boma, under the vast star-scattered African sky.

Accommodation is in fully-equipped luxurious units set far enough apart to ensure your privacy and sense of space. Each one has a bedroom, en-suite bathroom with shower and private patio overlooking the seasonal riverbed.

Balule Private Reserve

Balule is a 35 000 hectare reserve which makes up part of the Greater Kruger National Park. The entire area is unfenced, allowing free flow of the animals. This is prime Big Five territory.

The major advantage of staying in and exploring this area is that it is private and secluded. Unlike the Kruger Park, no day visitors are allowed, meaning that you won't be huddled around a lion kill with a hundred other people in cars. This is the real bush experience, enjoyed in solitude, as it should be.

Children

Please note that walking safaris have a minimum age of 16 years' old.

Pre and Post Tour Lodge Rates:

Please note that we offer convenient pre and post tour lodge accommodation for before and after the Balule Walking Safari, which can be added to your tour booking upon request. The 4 star lodge accommodation is located 10-15 minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. For information on lodge rates follow the link.



Child Policy

Please note that walking safaris have a minimum age of 16 years' old.

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+Where does the tour go to?
+Included in the Tour Price
  • All meals
  • Two guided game activities per day; incredible flexibility allows a daily mix of guided game walks and drives after consultation with the rangers each evening
  • Accommodation in twin-bedded units with en-suite bathrooms
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • Balule Reserve entrance fee
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips
  • Beverages
+Departure Dates

Scheduled Tour Departures
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If you do not see departures listed for your dates, or would like information on potential changes, please do contact us for further info.

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