Your home away from home
For the majority of your stay, home will be a stunning eco-reserve in the Balule private game reserve. From here we will explore the surrounding area and conduct our various projects.
Heres a glimpse of what you can expect it to be like.
About the Acommodation
Near the town of Hoedspruit, in the North East of South Africa. Hidden away in the African Bush, camp itself can be found on the banks of Olifants River in the middle of a 400 square kilometer, "Big Five" game reserve.
You'll be staying in same-sex, shared dorm rooms, each room sleeping between 4-8 people and shared bathrooms or on occasion and for certain lucky individuals en-suites.
Although you're in the Bush, the rooms themselves will have all the amenities you need: cupboard space, fans for hotter days and power points to keep cameras well charged.
Kitchen and communal
The communal dining area is where your breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be served.
Some evenings we'll opt to have a traditional South African braai (known elsewhere as a barbecue), where we will move the dining area next to the fire.
As well as being a great spot to relax with a book, share photos and review the findings and data from your research programs, the kitchen and communal area are a perfect vantage point for the river which often is visited by various animals looking for their morning and evening drink.
There is also a bar area with some drinks (Non-alcoholic) and bottle water available that the reserve keeps stocks and your able to purchase from and socialize in the evenings as well as a Boma (Enclosure with a fire) that your again welcome to sit, light a fire and relax.
On site amenities
On site activities
Most free and leisure time between and after activities is spent socializing around the camp with your fellow group members and the other guides staying on site.
Board games, cards, ball games and other activities are commonplace, but the most popular activity is observing the various animals making their way to and from the river.
We are blessed to have a pool!
Whether you prefer to swim or tan, either way, this is an oasis... esspecially in summer months.
There's also a net ball court, so bring along your footballs, tennis balls, frizbees and cricket bats!
Phone and Wifi
The site itself is quite remote, meaning that although there is wifi and phone signal, it does come and go.
On weekends you will have the chance to access better internet and upload photos, video and catch up with friends and family, as well as fill them with jealousy.
For those who wish to purchase their own South African phone provider vodafone seems to provide the better signal in the area.
Their is an onsite laundrette where you will be able to access and keep your clothes fresh and clean, ready to get mucky again during conservation work!
Fencing and security
Although the site is fully fenced of to keep a comfortable and safe barrier between animals and humans, for both parties please be mindful that you are on a "Big 5" reserve!
Animals such as antelope, monkeys and warthogs regularly visit the camp, so if (or rather, when) animals do come into camp your ranger will instruct and explain any health and safety concerns and a bit about the behavior of the animal to ensure you are feeling comfortable with it being around and how to co-exist.
At least one ranger will always be with you at all times while you are on site to keep an eye out. Although the place is well illuminated at night please stay vigilant.
Rules and respect.
The site itself is your home, please treat the place and any other guests or staff who are sharing it with the respect they deserve and you will be treated likewise.
Equally, be mindful that you are on a protected reserve and anyone found making a mess, damaging the environment or littering risks the wrath of your Safari Guides.
About the Reserve
What can you expect to see?
The reserve itself shares an unfenced boarded with the world famous Kruger National Park. This means the reserve is a wildlife paradise and is home to many different species of flora and fauna.
Home to iconic African Animals such as Lions, Elephants, Zebras, as well as over 40 species of mammal, 220 species of birds, 336 species of trees and teeming with numerous other reptile, insect and plants. We can't guarantee you'll see all of them but we can guarantee every day spent exploring you'll see something new and exciting.
Along with the magnificent wildlife, as you explore your home away from home, the picturesque landscape and breathtaking night sky will provide an endless sense of wonder.
More about the reserve
This 400 square kilometer reserve consists of various ecosystems, primarily wooded savannah, open grassland and river systems such as the Olifants river itself which is a peri-annual river
This provides a variety of different envrionments and habitats for animals to thrive.