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The presence of the Blyde River in front of the lodge brings wildlife to the banks to drink on a daily basis offering superb game viewing and bird watching.


There are hyena and leopard on the Wild Rivers Reserve, and lions from the neighbouring reserve can be heard calling in the distance. Nile crocodiles are present in the river in front of camp, and some of the smaller nocturnal predators can be seen out on night drive in the reserve: jackal, mongoose, civet, and genet, among others. Game drives in Balule offer the opportunity to see prominent predators, such as lions and African wild dogs, in addition to leopard and hyena. 


Wild Rivers Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, but is not a Big-Five area, however leopard are often seen in the reserve. The Blyde and Olifants Rivers attract many herbivorous mammals, such as warthog, waterbuck, impala, zebra, giraffe, hippo, and many more. There are no buffalo, elephant, lion or rhino onsite, but one game drive takes place on an exclusive traverse in a section of the Balule Nature Reserve, so all of Kruger’s wildlife species can be seen.


Rukiya’s location on the banks of the Blyde River is the perfect residence for the elusive Pel’s fishing owl, while other speciality water-orientated birds here include African finfoot, African fish eagle, trumpeter hornbill, various kingfishers, herons, black crakes, storks, and bee-eaters. There are many birds of prey to be seen, as well as larks, orioles, weavers, babblers, shrikes, and numerous ground fowls.

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