Kruger accommodation review – Bateleur Bushveld Camp

Posted on 12 June 2013

I’m in the Kruger National Park on assignment for Getaway visiting all the campsites, lodges and accommodation options in the park. By the end of it I’ll have a list of all them and, more importantly, an idea of what you can expect to find there in terms of accommodation, food, amenities, animals, mobile reception and highlights. (Check out the reviews that I’ve done so far.) Although there aren’t a lot of rest camps in the north of the park, you have a world of choices for more quiet, bushveld camps. Bateleur Bushveld Camp is one of them. Other camps that you’ll find in the north are Mopani Rest Camp, Letaba Rest Camp and Shimuwini Bushveld Camp.

Bateleur Bushveld Camp

Probably the smallest of all the camps in the Kruger National Park, Bateleur Bushveld Camp has only seven units and is perfectly remote. In true bushveld camp style, it is situated down a private road, closed to day visitors and holds a few beautiful sights reserved for overnight guests alone. Although this area is also dominated by Mopani woodlands, you’ll start encountering a few koppies around here, affording a nice change to the monotone surroundings.

The main bedroom inside a two-bedroom bungalow. Both bedrooms have en suite bathrooms.

The accommodation at Bateleur Bushveld Camp

The seven self-catering units are all positioned along a winding path that runs beside the fence. Three of the units sleep six people each and have three bedrooms, while the other four units each sleep four people and have two bedrooms each. All units have two bathrooms and full kitchen facilities. You’ll also be spoiled with rare luxuries like a microwave and mugs – after weeks of using the tiny Kruger cups, a proper mug full of coffee was a pleasant change.

The second bedroom in one of the two-bedroom bungalows

The best spots

All the units are close to the fence and on the other side of the fence is a river. Bear in mind that the river runs almost entirely dry in the winter. While unit one is closest to the bird hide, unit seven will be the one with the least traffic. Not that there’s ever a lot of traffic at Bateleur.

The kitchens at Bateleur are well equipped to fulfil all you culinary needs. It’s outside, but sheltered, creating a perfect place for lounging during the long afternoon hours.

The animals

This is reptile country, so if you’re keen to tick the more scabby animals off your list, then Bateleur is a great place to do so. You can also look out for falcons, bateleur, martial eagle, booted eagle and leather stripes eagle. The booted eagle is a particularly special find. The area is also good for water birds, like white pelican, pygmy goose, African jacana and stork. On evening game drives you might be treated to a giant eagle owl, spotted eagle owl or marsh owl sighting.

Due to the koppies and Mopani trees in the area, you might get lucky and spot a leopard on your drives. Lions also live in the area, but neither it not leopards are spotted on a daily basis. If you’re keen to spot wild dog, rhino and cheetah, then you should give Bateleur a skip, but if you enjoy watching buffalo and elephant, then this is the perfect base for you.

Bateleur is wonderful for spotting birds, both inside the camp and in its immediate surroundings.

The food

You’ll have to come prepared when you visit Bateleur, as the only things you can buy at reception are wood and ice. They do sell firelighters and charcoal too, but these run out of stock sometimes, so rather don’t depend on it. Thanks to the large kitchens and outside braais, your meals should be easy to prepare.

The private road leading to Bateleur Bushveld Camp is bumpy at times, but you’ll easily get by with a two wheel drive car.


Like most of the bushveld camps, visitors to Bateleur are treated to their very own bird hide inside the camp from which to do a bit of bird watching and game spotting.

The Tsange Lookout point is about 5km from Bateleur. You can get out of your car here and enjoy looking out over quite a vast expanse of bush.

The Rooibosrand and Silvervis Dams are both only accessible to overnight guests at Bateleur. Both are found along the winding roads that run from the camp, and although Rooibosrand is a much bigger dam, both are scenic places to stop and watch the hippos.

The bird hide inside the camp is a great place from which to watch the sunset if you’re too lazy to go on an afternoon drive.

Getting there

Bateluer Bushveld Camp is rather remote, so be sure to arrive early in order to enjoy a leisurely game drive from the gate to the camp. The closest gate to the north is Punda Maria Gate and to the south is Phalaborwa Gate and both are between 100km and 130km away from the camp. Click here for a guide to all the Kruger gates.

Just after turning onto the private road leading to Bateleur, you’ll come across a massive baobab tree on the left. These are quite prominent in the north of the park.

Rooibosrand Dam is 8km from Bateleur and consists of one massive expanse of flat, peaceful water. You can easily spend hours here, and seeing as it’s inaccessible to the general public, it’s devoid of crowds.

Nitty gritty

ATMs: No
Credit card facilities: Yes
Mobile reception: There is no reception inside the camp, but you can drive the five kilometres to Tsange Lookout where you’ll find reception if you walk around a little bit.

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