+27 (0) 61 523 5041 info@nyalasafarilodge.co.za
Cozy comforts and great game!

Cozy comforts and great game!

Cozy comforts and great game!

It's what memories are made of...

Winter is a terribly dry season here in Southern Africa. The bush is sparse as there’s no rainfall to keep the vegetation fresh. It’s a challenging time for the animals that call Nyala Safari Lodge and Nyala Sands home, as they have to spend their days searching for food, staying close to our waterholes and dams which become a focal point for game. If you sit on our decks at Nyala Safari Lodge and Nyala Sands you’ll get great views of waterholes where a steady stream of game comes to drink throughout each day.
And there’ll always be a mug of hot coffee, tea or chocolate on hand to beat the chill!
We’ve got some great South African wines on hand too, offering you the chance to sample the very best of our legendary vineyards. Designed to complement the wonderful, home-cooked meals we prepare for you, we hand-pick our wines to give you the perfect cross-section of vintages and flavours. Or try our famous Amarula cream liqueur as a nightcap or in a cup of coffee!
Our beautiful thatched chalets are perfectly designed to stay cool during our warm winter days and make you snug as a bug during our chilly nights, making the coldest months of the year an absolute breeze. They’re also a great place to relax with a good book during the time between game activities, with their verandahs and decks offering views of the surrounding bush.
Finally, there’s very little to beat a winter sunset here at Nyala Safari Lodge and Nyala Sands, when the sky turns a deep orange and the dramatic peaks of the Drakensberg Escarpment become nothing but silhouettes. It’s what memories are made of.

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3 Antwerpen, Balule Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa

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Beat the chill at Nyala!

Beat the chill at Nyala!

Beat the chill at Nyala!

Amazing African wilderness...

The beautiful warm winter sunshine here at Nyala Safari Lodgeand Nyala Sands is an absolute bonus when you’re planning a winter break. And the good news is that there’s only a few short weeks to go before spring arrives! While the rest of South Africa shivers through cold front after cold front, we’ve been experiencing some lovely hot days of late, giving guests the chance to top up their tans and give their shorts and T-shirts a good outing or two!
The nice thing is that our nights are still chilly, allowing you to snuggle down under our fluffy duvets and even fluffier blankets and enjoy the coziness of our lovely chalets.
Of course, being cooler at night and in the early mornings makes game drives a bit of a challege, as you’ll need lots of layers to beat the cold, together with a beanie-style hat, scarf and gloves! Yes, it gets THAT cold on game drives, as our vehicles are open to the elements. In the mornings it doesn’t begin to warm up until around 9am, and in the evenings as soon as the sun starts its final dip towards the horizon, between 5pm and 6pm, the temperatures drop with it.
Morning game drives usually start at around 6.30am so you have to start with as many layers as possible! Afternoon drives start at around 3.30pm, when it’s still warm, so you’ll need to take layers to add as the temperature drops.
It’s all part of the fun of an African safari, and a stop for morning coffee and evening sundowners always gives you the chance to stretch, add or subtract layers and enjoy the amazing African wilderness.

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+27 (0) 61 523 5041

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3 Antwerpen, Balule Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa

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A never ending flow of “visitors” at Nyala Safari Lodge

A never ending flow of “visitors” at Nyala Safari Lodge

A few of our favourite things

A Safehaven...

Even though Nyala Safari Lodge is fenced, wildlife inevitably finds its way through and spends time exploring our lovely little camp. Some animals even use the camp as a safehaven, enjoying in the relative safety of the lodge. We’ve had a little female bushbuck who has become a “regular” here in camp. And we’ve even had elephant take advantage of an open gate to pay us a visit – which is always a special experience for our guests.

Elephants are probably one of the favourite animals to see here on the Balule private game reserve. It’s always a thrill to come across them on game drives too and just stop and watch their behaviour and interactions with one another, learning cool facts about them along the way. For example, did you know that an elephant’s tusks are actually just two teeth? They’re incisors that keep growing throughout the elephant’s life, getting bigger, longer and thicker the older and larger the elephant becomes. Elephants favour one side over the other and can be left or right “tusked” – you’ll often see one tusk shorter than the other from increased wear and tear. This is called the “slave” tusk. The longer, lesser used one is known as the “master” tusk.

Another firm favourite here at Nyala is the spotted hyena. Although not everyone’s favourite animal (they have a bit of a bad reputation) they are actually one of the most interesting animals… Hyena clans are presided over by a single “queen” or matriarch, and far from being mindless scavengers they are skilled and intelligent hunters, able to bring down large prey such as buffalo. Although it’s true that they aren’t the prettiest mammal in the bush, their cubs are exceedingly cute and always entertaining to watch!

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A Winter Wonderland…

A Winter Wonderland…

A Winter Wonderland...

Yes, Africa really does get cold!

There’s something special about winter in the African bush. The chilly mornings and evenings have a crispness to them that you just don’t get in an urban environment, and the skies are always a beautiful, deep blue.

We are blessed here at Nyala Sands with wonderfully warm, sun-filled days with average daytime temperatures of up to 27 deg C… So you can still enjoy the African sun and give your summer shorts and T-shirts some extra mileage. While swimming may be a little bit of a push (the pool water temperature tends to drop dramatically because of the cold nights) there’s always time for sunbathing and soaking up some much-needed Vitamin D!

Our main deck area overlooks a beautiful little permanent waterhole which sees a regular stream of wildlife coming down to drink throughout the days and nights. The winter months are dry and the bush has thinned out significantly, making water of any description a magnet for animals of all shapes and sizes. So it’s always nice to sit out on the deck, with a lovely gin and tonic in hand, and watch life in the bush unfold in front of you!

Game drives in the winter can be a bit of a jolt to the senses. In the early mornings it is still quite dark (the sun is only poking its head above the horizon at around 06h30 in the mornings!) and extremely chilly – especially on an open game vehicle. But once the sun comes up it begins to warm up exponentially. Conversely, when you set out on your afternoon game drive it will still be warm, but as the sun begins to dip the temperature will dip with it. This means you need layers of clothing! In the morning you start off with them all on and peel them off as the temperature gets higher, and in the afternoons you start off minimally and add the layers as you need them.

Believe it or not but a beanie hat, scarf and gloves will also be needed for mid-winter game drives. Yes, Africa really does get cold, because there’s no cloud cover to keep the warmth in when the sun goes down. So please remember to pack for the season in which you are travelling! Ask us for advice if you’re not sure!

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A Few of our Favourite Things

A Few of our Favourite Things

A few of our favourite things

Sharing stories around a fire is very much part of African culture ...

Spot the stripes! There’s no doubt about it, one of our guests’ favourite things to see on their safari with us is the Burchell’s zebra. Named after British explorer and naturalist William John Burchell, they’re part of the extended equine family and a sub-species of the widespread plains zebra. You can easily tell them apart from other zebra species because of the “shadow” stripe between their stripes. At this time of year you often see zebra at our waterholes and dams as they come down to drink, usually in the morning and early evening. This is a dangerous time for our plains game as predators often lie in wait! As the sun goes down, the danger levels increase!

However, sunset and early evening are two of our favourite times of day here at Nyala Safari Lodge and Nyala Sands, when we prepare for our guests’ return from the afternoon/evening game drive, lighting an obligatory bush fire on our deck or in our beautiful boma, where everyone can gather and talk about the things they have seen and share amazing stories of their experiences in wild Africa. We call the fire a “bush TV” because of the mesmerising effect the flickering flames have on those who sit around it! Sharing stories around a fire is very much part of African culture and it’s wonderful that we can share this ancient tradition with our guests and make them part of our story in the process.

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3 Antwerpen, Balule Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa

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The Thrill of the Hunt!

The Thrill of the Hunt!

The Thrill of the Hunt!

Autumn is a Special Time!

Autumn is a special time at Nyala Safari Lodge. Grasses are turning brown and dying off and visibility in the bush is improving by the day. It’s a lovely time to visit as the days are still warm but nights are cooler now, with early mornings crisp and fresh. This means fleeces or warm jackets are a must for game drives and evenings round the camp fire. And as winter draws nearer you’ll need to be digging out your beanie, scarf and gloves as well!

Improved visibility on game drives means that spotting exciting things is easier and more likely. Big cats are always top of the list of wildlife our guests want to see and although sometimes hard to find, this time of year has an increased chance of finding one of our resident prides because game is already beginning to concentrate around waterholes and dams as the climate gets drier. And there’s always the chance of getting really lucky and spotting one of our elusive neighbourhood leopards, which is always a fantastic experience. But irrespective what you see on your game drives with us, it’s the fact that you never know what to expect that makes a safari so thrilling!

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+27 (0) 61 523 5041

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3 Antwerpen, Balule Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa

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