Kruger and the surrounding area had just had very heavy rains and flooding when we arrived at Toro Yaka, but it did not dampen our stay at all. We went on several safari drives and a walk with Steve and his co-guide Vusi, whom considering they could only operate in around 20% of their usual patch, due the floods, did a superb job. We saw lions almost every drive. It was incredible to be able to see the lions at different points in their day and observe their behaviour. Steve is clearly very knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife, the landscape and its conservation. Going on foot thru' the bush was an amazing, new experience, giving a different perspective on Balule. Because of the rains, we did get stuck in the mud a couple of times, with everyone rallying round to get the landrover out. We never felt in any danger at all, in fact you could say it added to the whole experience! Back at the lodge itself, Nicole is a great host and fab cook....we ate well! The dinning highlight was the braai, with everyone sat around the open fire. A sociable and atmospheric setting. Other times, we ate on the deck, or by lamp light beside the pool. The rooms are spacious and nicely done, with outdoor seating and "bush shower" a bonus. Although the rooms have air con, we found despite the heat, the breeze thru' the mossie screen kept the room at a decent temperature. Nicole's extra touches, such as African animal folk tales left on the pillow at night and a local welcome gift add an extra personal touch. The pool is great for cooling off in the heat of the day and affords a good view towards the water hole. We saw wart hogs here one day.Nicole and Steve are great hosts, we highly recommend Toro Yaka. We had sad faces at breakfast on our departure day.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Owner/Manager team Steve & Nicole Baillie would like to invite you to visit Toro Yaka Bush Lodge. This special lodge is nestled in the heart of the Balule Nature Reserve, a 38 000 hectare conservancy, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park area. ToroYaka means “My Dream” in Northern Sotho, one of South Africa’s local languages, and the creation of Toro Yaka Bush Lodge has fulfilled the dreams of Steve and Nicole, by establishing a haven of peace and tranquility from which to share their passion for nature. The lodge has been designed in a modern elegant style, with a relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to sit back, relax and feel at home. The six en-suite double rooms ensure tranquility and comfort at all times. Steve has spent more than a decade sharing his knowledge and love for the bush with clients from all over the world at luxury game lodges throughout South Africa. Nicole is a qualified holistic massage therapist and takes care of all the tiny details. Together with the Toro Yaka Staff, they will ensure your stay to be a memorable one. Balule is home to a large variety of plants and animals. From the smallest spider to the largest elephant, from the tiniest flower to a 1000 year old Leadwood tree, owls at night and eagles by day, every aspect of the ecosystem is explored. The Olifants River, which flows year round through the Balule, is home to hippos and crocodiles, and the whole area is one of scenic splendor, with the northern tip of the Drakensberg mountain range being visible from many points. Together with all of this, Toro Yaka Bush Lodge offers you good home cooked food, friendly service, warm South African Hospitality and loads of enthusiasm. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Toro Yaka Bush Lodge South Africa/Balule Private Game Reserve