The area that we are in was traditionally uninhabited in early days due to the hostile obstacles facing humans. Extreme temperatures, low rainfall, malaria, tsetse fly and dangerous animals were but some of the problems. Over time, the diseases were eradicated but the area was not inviting for agriculture and thus remained in its pristine state. This allows us to view nature relatively unspoilt by human interference.
We do still find evidence of early settlement around here – clay pots buried in termite mounds, an ancient hoe and also a spear. But this region never supported communities on a permanent basis.
The camp has a history stretching back to the 1930’s. The spruit (or seasonal stream) running through the area was named ‘Mohlabetsi’ which in the local African language means ‘place of sweet (or good) water’. The first buildings put up here would have been rudimentary and provided shelter for hunters spending winter here.
Over time, the property changed hands and was developed as a full time hunting lodge, which was the custom in the 1960’s. During the 1980’s the new owners decided to change the emphasis from hunting to game viewing and thus in the early 1990’s the fences around the farm came down and Balule Nature Reserve began evolving. These were exciting times as we began to see Big 5 on a regular basis and herds of Elephants, as well as prides of Lions began to establish themselves.
A number of other neighbouring properties also began safari lodge operations and together we have pioneered a culture of top class nature viewing, putting Balule on the map as a premier game lodge destination.