Parson Hilltop Safari Camp
There’s no feeling like being in the African wilderness, being in the presence of wild animals and experiencing the sounds, smells and movements a safari can uncover.
We recently visited Parsons Hilltop Safari Camp, a luxury tented Lodge in the Balule reserve, a 40 000h park in Hoedspruit Limpopo that borders the Kruger National Park.
The name Parsons originated from the family of the settlers who arrived in the park in the early 1900’s to survey the land for farming use. The Parsons family built an extravagant house out of stone on the lodges neighboring hilltop which can still be seen today. A beautiful stone arch stands out as the structures’ last remains.
5 years ago the Kruger National Park dropped its fences to allow wildlife to roam a broader region. The big 5 amongst other wildlife to now enter freely into the Balule. Parsons Hilltop lives up to its name as on of the highest viewpoints overlooking a vast area of the reserve and a waterhole which commonly attracts antelope and sometimes a thirsty predator. The view is breathtaking and it gives you an idea of the expansive area of wilderness that awaits you for your early morning and afternoon/evening game drives.
Parsons Hilltop also own an original 60 year old Landrover. We were treated to a drive which took us to a magnificent picnic spot that overlooks the Oliefants river. Gin & tonics were enjoyed while we watched flocks of the seasonal Quelea birds which arrive in flocks so big you can hear the wind as they fly by. In the distance, elephant trumpet as they approach the river.
Our drives were fascinating. As it is summer season, the bush is thick and green which makes game viewing harder. We were unfortunate not to see the big 5 but our guide was skilled at finding less noticeable wildlife and tracks of animals that had passed through. There is so much to learn from the bush and we quickly realized there is more then what meets the eye. For instance, a marking in the sand can tell a complex story of what had taken place hours or even days before we got to it.
Arriving back at camp at night, we were greeted to the warm light of a camp fire at the boma. Dinner already set, we sat underneath the stars, surrounded by wilderness and night sounds as we enjoyed incredible meals each night. We wondered what or who the animals around were enjoying for dinner around us.
We loved the fact that our camps were tented, they allowed in all the Bush sounds and the evening breeze. They were luxurious and fully equipped. incomparable to a usual camping experience. There are 4 exquisite private camps and each has its own special location on the Lodge.
Parsons Hilltop is the ultimate private safari experience and perfect for family’s or a romantic getaway. Our last few hours were spent around the Lodge reflecting on our time and scouting the view with binoculars for potentially one last sighting.