For the majority of your stay, your 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.
About the Accommodation
Located near the town of Hoedspruit, in the North East of South Africa. The camp can be found on the banks of the Olifants River, in the middle of a 400 square kilometre "Big Five" game reserve.
You'll be staying in same-sex, shared dorm rooms, each sleeping between 4-8 people. Bathrooms are generally shared, but on occasion you may be assigned an en-suite.
Although you're in the Bush, the rooms will have all the amenities you need: cupboard space, fans for hotter days and power points to keep cameras and phones charged.
Kitchen and Communal Area
The communal dining area is where your meals will be served. Some evenings, we will opt to have a traditional South African braai (barbecue), and 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 programmes, the kitchen and communal area are a perfect vantage point for the river which is often visited by various animals looking for a drink.
There is also a bar area, stocked with non-alcoholic drinks and bottled water that you are able to purchase. You may socialise here in the evenings, or in the outdoor boma (enclosure with a fire pit).
Most of your leisure time will fall between and after activities. You may spend it socialising around the camp with your fellow group members and the guides staying on-site.
Board games, ball games and cards are popular, but perhaps the most common activity is observing the various animals making their way to and from the river.
We are blessed to have a pool! So whether you prefer to swim or tan, this oasis will fulfil your needs, especially in the hot summer months.
There's also a netball court, so bring along a football, tennis ball, or frisbee if you so wish.
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 in town you will have the chance to access better internet, so you can upload photos and videos, and catch up with friends and family.
For those who wish to purchase their own South African SIM card, phone provider Vodacom seems to provide the better signal in the area.
There is an on-site laundrette that you will be able to access, so you can keep your clothes fresh and clean,
Fencing and Security
Although the site is fully fenced off to keep a comfortable and safe barrier between animals and humans, for the sake of both parties please be mindful that you are on a "Big 5" game reserve.
Animals such as antelope, monkeys and warthogs regularly visit the camp. If and when animals do come into camp, your rangers will explain any health and safety concerns and a little about the behaviour of the animals, to ensure that you are feeling comfortable and understand how to co-exist with them.
At least one ranger will be with you at all times while you are on-site. Although the place is well illuminated at night, please do stay vigilant.
Rules and Respect
The site is your home for the duration of your stay, so please treat the place well. Please also treat the other guests and staff who share it with you with the respect they deserve, and you will be treated likewise.
Equally, be mindful that you are on a protected reserve. Anyone found making a mess, damaging the environment or littering risks a stern talking-to from the 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.