Olifants & Balule rest camps
Accommodation type: Bungalows at Olifants, Camping & Huts at Balule
Location: Central Kruger National Park
Nearest Kruger gate: Phalaborwa Gate (83km), Orpen Gate (95km)
Nearest town: Phalaborwa (85km), Hoedspruit (160km)
Food: Self-catering (restaurant and shop on-site)
Perfect for… Exploring very different habitats to the north and south
About Olifants & Balule rest camps
Olifants rest camp enjoys arguably the best views of any camp in the park as it is perched high on a hill, overlooking a huge bend in the mighty Olifants River. The local wildlife options are varied and excellent, with the riverine habitats bordered by mopaneveld to the north and grassy plains to the south, giving a superb variety of game driving options and experiences.
The central location also means the areas around Mopani, Letaba, Phalaborwa and Satara are within access of longer game drives. Heading south will take you into the heart of big cat country while driving north is elephant country.
The camp has a large shop, a good restaurant overlooking the stunning river views and well-maintained lodging options.
There is no camping available at Olifants, with the satellite camp Balule offering these facilities. See below in this profile for more information on this camp.
Facilities & services
Morning game drives available
Night game drives available
Guided bush walks available
Mountain bike trails available
Bush breakfast available
Bush braai available
Types of accommodation
Olifants is a large rest camp and has a large number of bungalows of differing sizes, plus two large guesthouses.
105 x 2, 3 or 4-bed units, equipped with en-suite ablutions (most with showers, but some with baths) and all units with air-conditioning. Some units have kitchenettes while others have communal kitchens. Some are located on the perimeter edge with a wonderful vista of the river below. Please state your preferences of kitchen or view when booking.
(Unit codes BBD2V, BD2, BD2U, BD2V, BD3, BD3U, BD3UZ, BG2, BG2Z, BG3, FQ4, NG2U, NG2V)
2 x 4-bed units (2 single beds in each bedroom), equipped with two bathrooms (one en-suite), air-conditioning, lounge/dining area, large veranda and outside braai (barbeque) area. The open-air kitchen has a cooker plate and no microwave oven, dining room/lounge and outside braai facility, fridge/freezer combination, sink, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. Moreover, you have a choice of with or without riverside view.
(Unit codes FQ4U1, FQ4V2, GA4)
Nshawu Guest House
This is a large luxury unit in a prime position, with spectacular river views and several lookout decks. It has a well-equipped kitchen (with microwave oven), multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Limited channel DSTV televisions are provided. Sleeps 8, with 4 bedrooms (2 single beds in each room).
Lebombo Guest House
This is a large luxury unit in a prime position, with spectacular river views and several lookout decks. It has a well-equipped kitchen (with microwave oven), multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Limited channel DSTV televisions are provided. Sleeps 8, with 4 bedrooms (1 queen size bed and 2 single beds in the other rooms).
Satellite camp site: Balule
Balule is a satellite camp located south of Olifants rest camp, on the banks of the river itself. It is a rustic setup with no electricity or restaurant facilities, giving a very ‘in the wild’ experience.
The challenging history of this camp is one of the reasons for the absence of facilities – it was one of the few camps made available for black visitors during South Africa’s Apartheid era and has now become one of the most popular places to stay in Kruger because of its remote atmosphere. Check-in is via the reception at Olifants.
15 x tent or caravan sites, without power points. Communal ablutions and cooking facilities. Maximum of 6 people per site.
(Unit code CK6)
6 x rustic 3-bed huts with communal ablution facilities. The huts have no windows - only vents. There are no cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery, but a communal kitchen with scullery and gas stoves is available. Limited space is available in a communal freezer.
(Unit code EH3)
Olifants and Balule rest camps are located in central Kruger National Park. The closest park entrance gate is Phalaborwa Gate (83km), while the nearest town is Phalaborwa (85km).
The nearest airport is also at Phalaborwa (85km) although this does not have many flights, while Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport (160km) is also accessible. OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is 570km / 7-hours driving from Olifants rest camp.
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