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“Outstanding Lodge!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Toro Yaka Bush Lodge

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Toro Yaka Bush Lodge
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Sable Road, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
Anchorage, Alaska
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Outstanding Lodge!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

I have to say my stay at Toro Yaka Bush Lodge was so much better than I even imagined. I was met at the park gate and taken to the lodge by CJ one of the guides. Nicole, one of the owners, and staff met me as we drove up... I was quickly taken to my room. The rooms are spacious with outdoor showers and private patios. The next 3 days were just magical. You will not be disappointed with the safari walks and drives... we got to all the animals you can imagine. All your meals are included, with breakfasts to order and lunch and dinner are as good as any 5 star downtown hotel.

Everyone at this lodge is just great to be around. There is nothing Nicole and Steve won't do for you. CJ, who seems to be their main guide, is extremely knowledgeable about all the animals and the plight of the rhinos and elephants due to poachers. He also has a wonderful sense of humor.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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170 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
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Norfolk
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

This is probably the most wonderful place we have ever stayed. Every single thing about it suited us perfectly. The informal relaxed style combined with great food, comfort and service made us feel part of the family from the start. The quality of the game viewing was first class, and we were able to make several trips on foot, a magical experience. Our particular interest in birds was catered for - they even found us a hide to sit in, with a picnic provided!
If you are looking for swanky marble bathrooms, 24 hour room service and vast menu choices, you will probably be better off at one of the big game reserves in the area, but if you want small and beautiful, this is the place for you. We will return.

Room Tip: There are six rooms, all equally good.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sacramento
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

Toro Yaka was a definite highlight of our time in South Africa. The game drives were fantastic, the food was great and the rooms were immaculate. Steve is a very knowledgeable guide who effectively transferred that information to the group. This was especially evident when he noticed that our group had a specific interest in birds. He was able to call numerous species over to us and give us information on each one, it was an experience I won't soon forget. It was easy to relax at the lodge with the staff being very attentive and caring. I can't recommend this place enough.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Silverthorne
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

This is the total package in a bush lodge. The well decorated rooms were spacious with indoor/outdoor showers double sink vanity, private water closet, screened doors with the option of ceiling fans or air conditioning. The many personal touches in the rooms and entire lodge made it a very welcoming and comfortable space to relax and socialize between game viewing and meals. The meals prepared by Nicole were exceptional. Healthy, fresh and flavorful just begin to describe how good the food is. We were paired with ranger CJ and tracker Redwill, who gave us a memorable and hilarious game viewing experience. The interaction with owners Steve and Nicole, Big and Little Mike, CJ, Redwill, Deborah, Percy and the rest of the staff fostered a very friendly and inclusive atmosphere. You never felt like you were being entertained, more like old friends.
While relaxing by the pool or in the open air common areas you may find it normal to have a family of warthogs grazing on the lawn or see an elephant at the watering hole just beyond the pool. Toro Yaka is easily accessible on well maintained paved and gravel roads. Toro Yaka gives you the maximum bush experience, delicious cuisine, luxury and friendly accommodation all for an incredible value. If you don't enjoy Toro Yaka..." you might be brain damaged " .

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014 via mobile

There is no point repeating all that has been said in the reviews. This place is perfectly run, and Nicole's meals are to die for. Try and get in to the pool, with a view of the animals. Try and get Steve to talk to you about elephants and walk with him in the bush. CJ and big Michael have a fantastic sense of humour and take you for the most wonderful game drives. Make sure you have a sunset drink by the Oliphant River. And fit in a traditional BBQ. Well done Toro Yaka. You surpass all standards.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Detroit, Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

The reviews on this site are correct. My hubby and I stayed at Toro Yaka Lodge for 4d/3n during Dec 2013. We went on a few different early morning & evening safaris and had a blast. The history lessons received about the wildlife were grand...it was like we were in school. I am so happy that we had the GoPro and camera, b/c we were able to capture video footage and pictures of all of the different animals viewed. The facilities where we stayed were top notch. I loved the food. Props to Deborah and the staff for speaking to us about the cultural things of South Africa. The intimate settings during lunch and dinner were very lovely. Something new everyday. I absolutely loved the food. (I think that I was totally spoiled.) The only downside were the directions that Google gave to the Lodge. Do NOT follow their directions. Also, DO NOT travel at night to get there. Leave early so that you can see. Otherwise, a must stay. A totally economical and affordable experience. Don't take my word for it....see for yourself! Thank you Nicole for the very pleasant stay. :)

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Toro Yaka in January 2013. The owners were very friendly, as were the staff, and life at the hotel is organized a bit like in the old times, with guests truly being guests. The hotel is very small, so everyone sits together for meals, and the owners entertain as the hosts. This gives the hotel a very cozy atmosphere, but at the same time there is still as much privacy as one wants. Truly unique experience, although perhaps this is the standard for other small reserve lodges. In any case, we loved it, and the couple of jeep safaris that we took were amazing. I guess that luck also played its part, but we saw lots of animals including a couple of lions real close when they were eating a giraffe. We also wanted to go on a foot safari with the owner (a licensed, very experienced guide) but the weather did not cooperate.

Summing up, beautiful property which looks quite new but has an old-time atmosphere to it which makes it very cozy, and which is located in a great area in the Greater Kruger (Balule).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Toro Yaka Bush Lodge

Address: Sable Road, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Balule Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Balule Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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

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