Toro Yaka is a truly special place. Steve and Nicole have done a wonderful job creating a haven for enjoying the incredible scenery and wildlife of the reserve.
We stayed four nights in August and had sightings of the "Big Five" and lots of other interesting animals. We got up very close for sustained visits with elephants and lions. A great thing about this reserve is that there is no crowding, as only two vehicles are permitted at a spot at one time. The trackers and guides are very good at what they do and they know the Balule very well. In addition, the owner leads fascinating morning nature walks that allow you to get the lay of the land on foot, see lots of tracks, droppings, and show you how the animals live in their habitat. His willingness to share his knowledge about the animals, the ecology and politics of the place, and his experience working at various other reserves, is a real plus.
The grounds are beautiful and well-kept, and the rooms are comfy, luxurious, and romantic. You can even see wildlife from the room or the pool while they congregate at the nearby watering hole. The food was exceptionally delicious. Each meal was fresh, tasty, and thoughtful. It was the best food we ate the whole time we were in South Africa.
While there are many options for seeing animals and experiencing luxury while in the bush, what separates Toro Yaka is that the owners and staff are incredibly giving of their knowledge, time, and care. In short, we were thrilled with our stay, highly recommend it, and dream of going back!
- 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