The centre is located in the midst of the Big 5 Balule Nature Reserve. Balule is a 60 000 Ha nature reserve made up of several regions of which Grietjie is one of the founding members. The Grietjie region which is where we are is a 3000 Ha reserve that had its humble beginnings as a farming community. Over the past 20 years or so the region has transformed from an agricultural background to one that is well-sought after as a Nature Reserve. Our boundary fences have all been removed and with that ensuring that we are now fully incorporated within the Greater Kruger National Park the game abounds throughout.
Regular sightings of elephant and lions occur at the waterhole just in front of the centre along with a large variety of general game and birdlife. With free Wi-Fi available throughout the centre, students will have the luxury of being able to video their favourite sightings and send them home to their jealous families.
The centre has 4 bedrooms that can accommodate a maximum of 12 guests. There are two bedrooms that have 4 single beds and two twin rooms also with single beds. Each room has wardrobes and fans above each beds for those hot summer nights. Mosquito nets can be provided on request or you can bring your own.
There are three shared bathrooms, each with a shower, basin and toilet. The one bathroom also includes a bath although we try to encourage people not to use it in an effort to save water. Two of the bathrooms have a gas geyser and the third is an electric geyser.
There is a laundry room equipped with washing machine, tumble dryer and iron where students are free to do their personal laundry at the weekends. The tumble dryer is available if required on those odd occasions we have continuous rain for 2-3 days and nothing ever seems to get dry.
In the main building our design is all inclusive with a kitchen, dining room and lounge all flowing into each other. The dining room table comfortably seats ten people. The lounge has comfortable sofas and a DSTV TV and DVD/Video player are there to enjoy those wildlife documentaries. An exercise gym machine is tucked away in the corner for those who need to work off some extra energy.
Leading off the lounge is the all-important classroom where students will spend a great deal of time soaking up all their new knowledge. The classroom is equipped with a computer, data projector and students can enjoy the essential air-conditioning. We have found this to be an absolute God-send in the hot summer months.
A comprehensive reference library and cabinets full of bones and other interesting objects help to improve the students learning.
Moving outside a small plunge pool overlooks the waterhole and many enjoyable and relaxing hours can be spent after a hard day’s work absorbing the vast array of wildlife attracted to the waterhole. A second dining room table is available for those who prefer to sit outside during their meals. A small braai area and open fire pit add to a perfect bushveld ambience in the evenings.
The centre is protected by a 2-strand electric fence designed to keep the elephants away and save the trees. However everyone should be aware that this fence will not keep any other animals out of the immediate area of the buildings and students must take the necessary precautions of being vigilant after dark. A 6-car covered parking area within the electrified area finishes off the centre description.