Pleasant enough but not what we were looking for
Posted Jun 10, 2014 on Hotels
Let me start out by saying that the owners, Sander and Kim, are very nice, funny, and interesting people and I enjoyed getting to know a bit about them. Both are very knowledgeable, and my wife and I learned a lot. The food they prepared was also very good, in my opinion, particularly the kudu carpaccio and the sticky toffee pudding. The problem with dining is that you don't really have options--Kim picks the menu. But now on to why only 3 stars: the location is relatively poor for game viewing (i.e. wildlife sightings). I had read that Balule was one of the better private reserves, but while that may be true, the lodge's location at the top of the park means its removed from significant game. Moreover, the bush is VERY thick, making sightings challenging, at best. I felt that Kurhula's website marketed a different level of game viewing experience, and I had significantly higher expectations. You have a very slim chance of seeing the Big Five without going into Kruger (a 2+ hour drive each way, including 13km on a TERRIBLE gravel/dirt/bumps road). So, I really left with mixed feelings. If you're on any kind of time constraints for your safari experience, I'd have to recommend that you stay elsewhere, such as inside the lower part of Kruger. That is especially key since your best chances for Big Five sightings is at sunrise. If you have time to kill and just want to relax and hope that some animals come by, however, this is a dynamite place and excellent value.