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History of Balule Game Reserve

In the early 1990’s various landowners in the present Balule Section of Kruger Park came to appreciate the need to drop fences between their properties. This made great ecological sense : the animal gene pool was extended, overgrazing was avoided and it allowed for movement of animals over a far greater area. The very absence of fences was aesthetically pleasing to landowners and the shared animals meant that game that had never been seen in a particular area was now present.

By the end of the decade, almost all the landowners had voluntarily joined in this venture. The hunting was curtailed and the animals became less skittish. With the presence of landcruisers bearing tourists armed only with photographic equipment, the animals became relaxed and were photographed regularly.

Elephants were seen at Tremisana within 3 days of the fences with Kruger being dropped

Elephants were seen at Tremisana within 3 days of the fences with Kruger being dropped

The two reserves to our east between Balule and the Kruger Park are Olifants Game Reserve and Klaserie Game Reserve. The fence between Kruger and Klaserie Game Reserve came down first and the Kruger authorities soon realized that this was the way to go. It was recognized that the fence on the tar road between Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit was the obvious place to have the western boundary of Kruger Park. Once all the fences were correctly equipped with high voltage capacities and once the authorities were satisfied that Balule was ready for incorporation, it was a matter of months before the fences were removed between the Klaserie and Olifants Game Reserves and Balule was thus incorporated into the most famous Game Reserve in the world. An impressive 40 000 hectares were added to Kruger Park overnight !