Boulders Bush Lodge
Boulders Bush Lodge in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa is a private, exclusive lodge with a unique atmosphere and style that provides tourists the opportunity to enjoy complete privacy because a bush lodge must be reserved en bloc and only booked in residents are allowed entrance to the camp.
The the bush lodges do not have their own reception offices, shops or restaurant facilities therefore check-in has to be done at entrance gates to the game reserve or at any of the main rest camps.
Boulders Bush Lodgef provides guests with a uniquely African wildlife experience providing guests the ideal opportunity to look out of their sleeping units at the animals in their natural environment below.
The very beautiful Boulders Bush Lodge is built within a rock formation which has contributed to the lodge becoming a stunning exclusive accommodation venue and one of the top in the KNP.
The majestic rocks form the backdrop to the units that are all built on stilts, with wooden boardwalks that connect the bedrooms to the communal area. Being built up on stilts, the units give guests the best possible vantage point from which to look at and enjoy the wildlife roaming far below. The lodge has several viewing decks too.
These viewing decks afford guests an unhindered view of the surrounding mopane plains and a private waterhole.
Boulders Bush Lodge is not fenced like most other camps, which is why the rooms are built high up out of reach of animals.
Although the rooms are spaced closely together, none is losing their privacy and making it even more suitable for groups consisting of close family or friends that together enjoy an experience of nature’s tranquility.
The lodge is quite small and can accommodate only 12 guests at a time. Each of the sleeping units are connected by a number of wooden walkways but although the units are all connected, they maintain their individual atmosphere of privacy and tranquility.
The entire experience of staying at the lodge is very private as no day guest facilities exist and nobody else are supposed to visit. The lodge doesn’t have a shop or restaurant, the accommodation is equipped for self-catering with a full kitchen as well as a comfortable dining area.
Apart from the cost of the accommodation, guests should be aware of the daily conservation fees payable. There are different rates for South African citizens and residents (with ID), which is currently R100 per adult per day and R50 per child per day; for SADC Nationals (with passport), which is currently R200 per adult per day and R100 per child per day and the standard conservation fee for all other guests which is currently R400 per adult per day and R200 per child per day.
Why would you want to visit the Boulders Bush Lodge
Boulders Bush Lodge is embedded in the rocky outcrops found in this area in Kruger National Park, completely removed from any usual tourist routes.
Boulders Bush Lodge’s buildings are surrounded by large Baobab and green Syringa trees on a boulder strewn hillside, hence its name.
The lodge offers a top safari experience since it has no perimeter fence and visitors can view game from the safety of their raised cottages.
The lodge offers complete privacy since it can only be reserved en bloc by a single party of up to 12 people and with solar panels providing electrical power, Boulders Bush Lodge is a comfortable and suitable venue to visit all year round.
Boulders Bush Lodge offers waterhole game viewing from your own veranda and the lodge makes for an ideal romantic retreat.
Where is the Boulders Bush Lodge located
Boulders Bush Lodge is situated approximately 25km south of Mopani Rest Camp, one of the main rest camps in the north of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Boulders Bush Lodge is more or less 55 km away from the closest entrance gate into the park, the Phalaborwa entrance gate, and it can take more than two hours to drive from the gate to the lodge.
Guests that have made reservations to stay at Boulders Bush Lodge will usually need to check in at the reception area at Mopani Rest Camp.
How to get to the Boulders Bush Lodge
Boulders Bush Lodge can be easily reached via the Phalaborwa Gate into the KNP, which can be reached from Johannesburg in about 6 to 7 hours.
To reach Phalaborwa from Johannesburg, one takes the N1 toll-road to Polokwane (previously Pietersburg). About 40 km before you reach Polokwane, you turn right onto the R71 and head for Tzaneen. After you have passed Tzaneen, you head towards Phalaborwa and the gate on the outskirts of the town.
After proceeding through the gate, you travel about 55 km further to Boulders Bush Lodge. One should allow at least 2 to 3 hours for the drive to the camp, or even more, if you take the possibility of encountering game into account. For such viewing possibilities you should give yourself more time!
There are also regular domestic flights to and from the Phalaborwa Kruger Park Gateway Airport right next to Phalaborwa Gate.
Make sure that you reach the lodge in time for gates closing though. The Kruger Park gate times are kept the same throughout the park but change according to the different seasons. It is thus important to take note of the gate times when planning your Kruger Park vacation, as you cannot risk getting locked out of your camp.
That said, Boulders Bush Lodge being an open lodge, does not have a traditional gate, but it operates according to Mopani Camp times.
When staying at the lodge, it is important to keep these gate times in mind for when you may need something from reception or the shop at the camp.
From January to March the Mopani camp gates open at 04:30 and close at 18:30; from April to September the camp gates open at 06:00 and close at 18:00; in October the camp gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:00 and in November and December the camp gates open at 04:30 and close at 18:30.
The GPS co-ordinates for Boulders Bush Lodge are 23°36’28.8″S 31°22’30.2″E.
What to do while staying at the Boulders Bush Lodge
Guests at Boulders Bush Lodge can firstly enjoy an uninterrupted view from their veranda of the waterhole a small distance away.
Although they are not directly available from Boulders Bush Lodge, activities such as game drives (morning and night game drives) and guided bush walks can all be organised from Mopani Camp and guests should make use of the opportunity to view nocturnal wildlife on night drives.
These activities can ensure a further exciting bush experience, with sightings of the so-called Big 5 almost guaranteed.
What to watch out for when staying at the Boulders Bush Lodge
Flora and fauna found in this region of the Kruger National Park are rich in variety. Trees of interest include the Apple Leaf, Mixed Bushwillow, Silver Cluster Leaf, Leadwood, Mopane Round Leafed Teak, Buffalo thorn, Sycamore Fig, Magic Guarri, Marula, Jackalberry and Mixed Acacias.
Private self-drive game viewing will be one of the main activities during your stay at Boulders Bush Lodge. Leaving the camp before the sun has risen, and again in the afternoon before the sun sets will be the best game viewing hours. During these times, the temperature is cool enough to encourage animals to come out of the shade to graze and drink, which means you have the best opportunity to see all varieties of wildlife.
The lodge is surrounded by open mopane veld, giving guests ample such viewing opportunities and they can also expect to see giraffe, kudu, eland, impala and zebra at the waterhole and on game drives in the area, as well as wildlife like hyena, wildebeest, cheetah, giraffe and buffalo. Giant eagle owls and tawny eagles are also often spotted in the area.
What type of accommodation does the Boulders Bush Lodge offer and what amenities/facilities are available at the lodge
Boulders is an exclusive, private lodge with a unique style and atmosphere, comprising multiple rooms and bathrooms.
It provides guests the opportunity to enjoy complete privacy, as only booked residents are allowed entrance to the lodge area and the lodge had to be reserved en bloc. Boulders Bush Lodge can accommodate only 12 persons at a time, making it ideal for a large family or group of close friends.
In essence, Boulders Bush Lodge consists of sleeping units which is connected to a communal area. The lodge is designed in a way to give guests a truly tranquil escape from the world, while staying in one of South Africa’s busiest game reserves.
Boulders Bush Lodge comprises a thatched living area that is linked to 5 chalets on the boulder-strewn hill. All the chalets are built on platforms that are raised above the ground and supported by concrete stilts.
Each of the bedrooms have their own en-suite bathroom, some with baths and others with showers. The sleeping units make use of solar power, which is only provided to the fans and lights.
The chalets have sliding doors that open onto a paved veranda with a perfect view of the waterhole. One of the accommodation units is a family cottage, which can sleep 4 people in 2 en-suite bedrooms.
The living area has every amenity needed to make a stay as comfortable as possible. A large dining room and lounge area is enhanced by a long bar counter, a fully-equipped kitchen, separate toilets, storerooms and a scullery. The kitchen has a gas stove with oven, refrigerator, freezer, cutlery and crockery. Gas braais and barbecue facilities are also provided, and wood is available to be purchased.
The camp itself is not fenced and the entrance gate consists only of a chain slung between two trees. Due to the raised platforms on which the chalets are built, visitors can feel safe during their vacation even though the lodge area is not fenced.
This bush lodge is powered by solar energy and is serviced daily.
Guests should also remember that the lodge is managed from the nearby Mopani Rest Camp and has no reception area of its own.
Boulders Bush Lodge facilities include basic first aid assistance, but no plug points and electricity are available for the use of other appliances.
There is no cell phone reception and also no shop or restaurant, with both only available at the nearest camp (Mopani) which is 25 km away.
What do you need to know and bring for a safe and comfortable stay at the Boulders Bush Lodge
Guests to Boulders are required to first report to Mopani camp for check-in. Accommodation at Boulders Bush Lodge is well suited for those guests who are looking for a private, self-catering bushveld experience at affordable prices.
The KNP is a habitat conserved for wildlife and the animals are usually only deterred by the camp boundaries. While most of the camps are secure, venues such as Boulders Bush Lodge are one of a few where animals can enter hence it is very important that guests should leave the animals alone.
Should any dangerous animal get too close for comfort, park officials should be informed, and they will safely usher them out of the camp. Guests must never approach any wild animals regardless of where they encounter them.
Guests should also never feed or touch the animals, since by doing it they actually end up doing more harm than good as these animals may then pose a threat to humans in future. By feeding any kind of wildlife, you are actually signing a death warrant for them as they usually become aggressive in the long run.
While the larger animals in the camp area can be easily be seen and avoided, the same cannot be said about insects and reptiles. There are a variety of snakes, spiders and scorpions living in the camp area, and those small enough tend to make their homes within the accommodation structures.
Although not all of them are poisonous, most of their bites may be quite painful and they will most probably bite when threatened or accidently stepped on. It is advisable that guests wear shoes when walking anywhere around the lodge, and at night carry a torch with them to light the way.
Kruger National Park is situated within a general malaria area and summer times in particular can leave guests exceptionally vulnerable to this deadly infection. Malaria is carried by mosquitos and guests visiting the area must make sure that they protect themselves against being bitten and infected by this sickness.
It is wise to use reliable insect repellent and sleeping under a mosquito net. Both are great ways to prevent infection, but if you want to make double sure, using preventative medication, prescribed by a doctor, would be the best way to totally avoid the sickness.
When planning a Kruger Park vacation, the temperature should also be considered. Summers can be intensely hot and humid, even if it doesn’t really rain, while winter days are cool to warm with cool to cold nights and mornings.
The park falls in a summer rainfall region. Precipitation is usually convectional and can result in heavy downpours when the gravel roads around the lodge can become flooded during this time of the year. Guests will find that the period between March and September are the best times to stay in the park.
The lodge has limited electricity, no shops or restaurants, no reception area and no cell phone reception, so don’t rely on any of these and make sure that you acquire everything you need beforehand.
When to visit the Boulders Bush Lodge
The Boulders Bush Lodge in Kruger Park is in fact more than suitable for visits all year round, you just need to be aware of the pitfalls of each season.
During the summer months, which is roughly from September to April, day temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and with a very high humidity. Sporadic summer thunder showers, often in the late afternoons, may cool the air to a comfortable temperature and also settle excessive dust.
These showers seldom last very long so they will not necessarily spoil your stay. During the winter months, usually May to August, days can still be warm and mild, anything between 17 and 22 degrees Celsius (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit), but you will need warm clothing when going on early morning or night drives.
Where is the Boulders Bush Lodge located?
Boulders Bush Lodge is situated approximately 25km south of Mopani Rest Camp in the north of the Kruger National Park in South Africa and more or less 55 km away from the closest entrance gate into the park, the Phalaborwa entrance gate.
What to expect and look out for when staying at the Boulders Bush Lodge?
The area around the lodge is known its beautiful Apple Leaf, Mixed Bushwillow, Silver Cluster Leaf, Leadwood, Mopane Round Leafed Teak, Buffalo thorn, Sycamore Fig, Magic Guarri, Marula, Jackalberry and Mixed Acacia trees.
Giraffe, kudu, eland, impala and zebra may visit the waterhole and on game drives you may encounter wildlife like hyena, wildebeest, cheetah, giraffe and buffalo. Giant eagle owls and tawny eagles are also often spotted in the area.
What facilities are provided at the Boulders Bush Lodge and what do you need to bring along?
Boulders Bush Lodge comprises a thatched living area and 5 chalets. All the chalets are built on platforms above the ground. Bedrooms have their own en-suite bathrooms and make use of solar power for fans and lights.
The chalets have their own verandas with a view of the waterhole. The living area comprises a large dining room and lounge, a bar counter, fully-equipped kitchen, separate toilets, storerooms and a scullery.
When is the best time to visit the Boulders Bush Lodge?
The Boulders Bush Lodge in Kruger Park can be visited all year round, but summer day temperatures may be very high, with some rain showers. In the winter months, days are warm and mild, but you will need warm clothing for early morning or night drives.
Does Boulders Private Camp have a restaurant?
No, the camp does not have a restaurant.
Does Boulders Private Camp have a shop?
No, the camp does not have a shop.
Is there Electricity at the Boulder Camp?
The The camp runs off solar power for lights and ceiling fans only.