Recently, Emadlangeni Municipality Mayor Cllr Mzwakhe Buthelezi together with the Advisor in the Built-Environment and Planning Unit at SALGA KZN Ms Prashina Mohangi, visited Balele Game Park and Caravan Resort as part of their ongoing discussions about the development and refurbishment of these facilities.
According to the Mayor, they want to see the Game Park filled to capacity with patrons one day. “This venue can cater for all types of people and activities. We want to revive it so that schools, private individuals and holidaymakers can make full use of the venue.”
The Mayor and the team inspected the entire venue and the accommodation to see how much work needs to be done to get it back to its former glory. Their hope is that the visit and discussions will unlock various opportunities which will assist in the development of Balele Game Park and Caravan Resort and promote tourism within the area which will have multiple economic spin-offs.
Cllr Buthelezi is adamant that if Balele is marketed adequately, it can attract local and international tourists who would come to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing time at Balele while surrounded by nature and wildlife.
“The spin-off from this would be a boost in our small town’s economy. Most importantly though, the refurbishment and relaunch of all the amenities at Balele would assist in the creation of much-needed jobs for a number of people who reside in the area.”
The Utrecht Balele Community Game Park and Caravan Resort is located on the outskirts of the town. The Game Park surrounds the whole town of Utrecht, with no fences between the town and the game park, thus making Utrecht, A Town Within A Game Park.
The Game Park covers an area of over 2500ha and is stocked with more than fifteen species of game including impala, blesbuck, kudu, nyala, bushbuck, zebra, eland, waterbuck, reedbuck, warthog and giraffe. There is also a myriad of natural predators such as caracal, serval and a resident leopard.
The Game Park offers a variety of accommodation, including the Kiepersol Lodge situated high on the mountain slopes overlooking the park, with luxury self-catering lodge units and newly-built secluded safari tents, all built around a magnificent lapa and a cascading swimming pool.
The Caravan Resort is situated on the edge of the town’s large dam and has about 36 caravan stands, three chalets and nine cottages.
The caravan stands are all situated under shady trees with grassy lawns. The chalets and cottages are self-catering and are situated on the water’s edge, which is ideal for the avid fisherman wanting to cast his (or her) fishing line while sitting in the comfort of the porch.