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Which reserve??? Kapama, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie

Atlanta
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Which reserve??? Kapama, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie

I look at the Greater Kruger Map for the various lodges within my budget (Timbavati and Sabi Sands are out...Elephant Plains was the only one we could afford and it's booked) and I read about the various fencing and hectares and all the factors that affect game siting. And I have NO CLUE how to proceed. I've expanded my options to these reserves:

Kapama, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie.

I read the Tripadvisor reviews of various lodges and everyone seems ultimately/mostly to see Big 5. I feel like I'm really over thinking this, but I have only one chance to get it right as I doubt we will be able to afford a return trip. We are also staying at Kruger rest camps for a few days.

Anyone have an opinion on which of these would be better? There are game lodges at each that are within budget.

Kruger National...
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1. Re: Which reserve??? Kapama, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie

Hi there!

How exciting! Planning safaris are always fun, but can definitely lead to a lot of confusion!

I live right here on a game reserve in the Kruger Area, so can definitely give you some honest advice.

Regarding Kapama and Thornybush; Both of these reserves are a good option, and if you only have say 2 nights, I would recommend going to one of these places. This is purely because they are fenced in, thus the animals are ALWAYS there - it's just a matter of finding them.

HOWEVER, on the flip side, I also always recommend that if budget & time allow, you should much rather experience the actual Kruger/Greater Kruger - And neither Thornybush nor Kapama are a part of this. They are separate reserves that are fences out of the Kruger. It would be a real pity to come all the way to South Africa, and miss the world famous Kruger.

Now, Balule vs. Klaserie - Klaserie definitely gets my vote. In fact, the Klaserie and Timbavati are actually my top picks. Visiting on a v regular basis, we have had fantastic game sightings in both all the time. The lodges are spectacular too.

Balule is a really great option too, however - it is unfortunately not quite yet on par r.e game viewing with the rest of the Greater Kruger.

Out of all the above, Klaserie definitely gets my vote :).

Some budget friendly lodges in the reserve are;

- Africa on Foot

Offering walking safaris in the morning, an traditional safaris in the afternoon. Walking safaris allow you to get up close and personal with the Big 5 in a safe and exciting way. It also allows you to learn about the lesser game too!

AOF is a rustic but wonderful camp - solar powered and eco friendly, but you wouldn't know it. Very comfortable, but without forgoing the feeling of being in the wild.

- Gomo Gomo Game Lodge

One of my all time favorite lodges. Excellent rangers, game viewing area, and food. The lodge itself is situated right on a water hole, and animals are often seen there, allowing for game viewing right from the verandah!

- nDzuti Safari CAmp

One of the lesser known but still outstanding camps. Recently refurbished, nDzuti is situated on a dry river bed, and mixes a good amount of luxury and wilderness. Definitely worth a peek.

I really hope that I have been able to help a bit! Best of luck :)

Warm regards

Jacqui

-Co-owner/Operator-

Lodge Trackers

Safari Specialists

South Africa

Atlanta
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895 posts
26 reviews
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2. Re: Which reserve??? Kapama, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie

Jacqui, you have been most helpful. It's always easy finding info about one game reserve but difficult finding comparisons like you've laid out. I had actually already queried Gomo but have not heard back yet. And I managed (weirdly) to discern that the Simbavati River Lodge is the old Gomo. I have heard back from Simbavati and their rate is at the upper edge of my budget. I'll await Gomo. Again, thanks for your advice. MUCH appreciated.

Aylesbury, United...
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3. Re: Which reserve??? Kapama, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie

We chose Naledi in Balule? Was recommended by other uk travellers to us...

4. Re: Which reserve??? Kapama, Balule, Thornybush, Klaserie

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