This place is absolutely incredible. My review is a bit tardy as our stay was in November 2012 but better late than never.
From the moment you arrive, your worries are forgotten. The lodge ambiance and staff are warm and welcoming. Stacey, also the Game driver/guide, lead us to our room (named Elephant), which was immaculate. The room included both an indoor and outdoor shower and our private patio faced straight towards the wild bush!
The owners, Nicole & Steve, are true professionals. In addition to being an expert massage therapist, Nicole, prepares the most scrumptious and healthy food I've ever tasted. Meanwhile, Steve was busy spotting small Chameleons in pitch-black darkness. Our game walk with Steve the next morning was equally rewarding as he was eager to feed my inquisitive mind with intimate Bush wisdom.
Even the company of the family dog, Nawadee, was enjoyable and this is coming from a Cat-lover! Nawadee loved when guests swam in the pool as she pranced around the edge and begged to be splashed.
Stacey tried so hard to spot lions or leopards on our last morning drive but unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. Nevertheless, her dedication to making our experience authentic was never in question. The rest of the staff (Ridwall and others) were equally pleasant company.
We stayed from 3 nights but were able to complete 5 games drives and 1 bush walk. Other guests booked day-trips to Kruger but we enjoyed never leaving the lodge.
To conclude, Toro Yaka offers an unmistakably intimate bush lodge experience that other larger resorts cannot and at a price-point that won't break your budget. We are not usually one's to repeat vacation destinations but an exception will have to made for Toro Yaka!
- 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