First & foremost, I would like to assure you that the majority "Excellent" traveller ratings are genuine. My boyfriend, Peter and I were rather sceptical about the near perfect reviews, but the experience we had at Toro Yaka proved it all.
Hosts/Service – Nicole and Steve are both hospitable and professional. They know exactly how they would run their lodge to leave an impression on their guests. Nicole is always quick to respond to our emails, our requests, managing our Kruger day-trip booking etc. Steve is informative and got us enchanted with the new surroundings the minute he checked us in. The service from the rest of the staff is impeccable. We are in awe of the additional touches; the welcome gifts and bedtime stories left on our bed every night. Their attention to details is impressive, and the little surprises sure warmed the cockles of our hearts.
Lodge/Room – Lodge is situated in the Balule Reserve, which is actually part of the Kruger National Park as they share an unfenced border. We had free-roaming animals visiting us at the lodge, giraffes and buffalos included. Rooms are huge, clean, and comfortable, with an additional private deck where the African birds frequent.
Food – We look forward to every meal that Nicole has in store for us. She caters specially to her guests’ needs, whether you are a vegetarian or a game lover. Meals are delicious and wholesome, never lacking. We got to order what we want for breakfast, lunch comes with cheese and crackers platter and a fruit mix after the mains, and dinner is usually a 3-course meal which scores in both presentation and taste.
Game Drives/Bush Walk – Special thanks to our trackers, Victor and JB! We managed to see the Big 5 because of them. We had the most exciting game drive on our last morning, where our heroes tracked down the rhinoceros for us. Discovering fresh tracks, feeling the warmth of the rhino’s dung, Victor getting off the vehicle unarmed to follow the tracks, JB flying across the terrain, their teamwork, spotting the rhino at last...sure felt like we were in a movie scene. We learnt a lot from our bushwalk with Steve, who is so passionate about the wildlife, the ecosystem, and conservation efforts. The game drives and bush walk were both exhilarating and educational. We were there for 3 nights and went on 3 game drives, 1 bush walk, and a full day at Kruger National Park, a superb itinerary. If you are hoping to check off the list of Big 5 and more, a trip to Kruger National Park is a must.
All in all, nothing more we could ask for!
- Also Known As:
- Toro Yaka Bush Lodge South Africa/Balule Private Game Reserve
- 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