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“Absolutely Fantastic!!!!”

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Toro Yaka Bush Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2012

We had such an amazing stay at Toro Yaka that I actually cried when we left! Staying at Toro Yaka was such an amazing experience for us - we could not have asked for any better anywhere else in the world! The staff are fantastic and it is run by two of the most passionate people one could hope to find. This holiday had everything - amazing animals, FANTASTIC food (still raving about it) and absolute peace and tranquility.
Steve is so passionate about the bush that it is almost impossible not to get excited about your surroundings and each game drive brought something new - which is not an easy thing to do over a 6 day stay!
Nicole is an amazing cook and each meal was fantastic - we haven't eaten this well anywhere in the world! I also had a massage which was brilliant.

We cannot rave about Toro Yaka, Nicole, Steve and the staff enough - we spent the remainder of our holiday planning the next visit!

This is one of the frontrunners in SA hospitality and an amazing example of what SA has to offer - all we can say is go and visit - you will be so glad you did!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ilsevonb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 - 255 of 350 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2011

SA hospitality at its best. A quiet place to relax and get close up with the game. Well run with wonderful owners and hosts who make you feel right at home. Healthy home cooked meals in a relaxing environment. We joined a table d'hote and had a pleasant evening. Game drives are well guided with the option of a bush walk. Our guide Vusi was very knowledgable and animated our drives with interesting facts and anecdotes.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HanoiHarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2011

Had an amazing stay in Toro Yaka with my parents on their first trip to South Africa, and we could have stayed much longer than two nights! The warm welcome on arrival was exactly what we needed after a long drive through the Limpopo National Park and the Kruger. The game drives were excellent, with Steve providing a wealth of information on the whole eco-system, and not only focused on the animal sightings (although there were plenty of those too). His passion for nature and animals comes through, as does Nicole's passion for making her guests feel at home. The food is great, the rooms are spotless and stylish, while maintaining the close-to-nature feeling, an optional massage can ease any stress away (although after a couple of days here, stress becomes a distant memory). Leaving here feels like saying goodbye to old friends... and I will be back!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank xefina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2011

I have visited Toro Yaka twice so far, in 2010 and 2011 and I am more impressed now then ever. The lodge is full of harmony! Attention is paid to every detail. Every night, there is a bush story that is left on your pillow. The lodge is clean, Nicole's food is just awesome, the value is unbeatable so far. Steve's drives are full of adventure and epic stories of living in the bush. There is so much passion for the wild life and its preservation that Steve has to share. You get a bit of Africa from every perspective. The people, the food, the animals, the stories, the history and the politics. It has been an enriching experience and I would go back a third time!
Steve and Nicole, keep it up!

Room Tip: The front rooms are the best as they have their own porch..
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank beatbox_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2011

This was our first ever trip to a game reserve so we chose with great care and came up trumps! Toro Yaka is the most amazing place, Steve and Nicole are wonderful hosts and the only disappointment was that we had to leave after four nights! We have completely fallen in love with Balule. To be honest, travelling around with Steve morning and night was more like having private tuition in nature and animal conservation and not at all like a 'tourist trip'. We don't normally do 'tourist trips' and most of the time simply backpack with our three teenagers, so this was an extraordinary experience for us. The accommodation at Toro Yaka is outstanding, the hospitality incredible, the food to die for, and to top it all - if possible - the beauty of the Balule nature reserve is simply breathtaking. We loved the tranquility and in just four simple days we felt totally restored, revitalised and calmer than we had been for many months. I now carry a mental picture of Toro Yaka with me everywhere - it's my new 'happy place'. Thank you Steve and Nicole, Christina and Victor, for making our stay so very special. We are already busy planning a return visit!! Love from Annemieke and Tim, xx

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MissMieke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

We stayed for three nights and really wished we stayed longer. Nicole and Steve are wonderful hosts. The lodge is very intimate with only six rooms. The rooms are clean and comfortable and the lodge grounds are lovely. Steve has an abundance of knowledge and a great respect for the animals and the environment. He also has many great entertaining stories to tell. On the game drives we saw so many animals including lions, giraffes, white rhino, crocodiles and hippos, the list goes on. Steve includes walks as part of the game drives so to have seen white rhino on foot was exhilarating. At all times we felt completely safe in Steve's presence. Nicole is a killer cook, all the meals were great. There were many small details that made our stay even more special. We were so sad to leave and felt like we had just been staying with good friends. We'll definitely be back one day.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Secludedbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2011

Superb hospitality, game drives, accommodation and food. A family trip with two daughters (10 & 12) and whilst we had high expecations with previous reviews, we were not let down! The knowledge of Steve was superb and along with Vusi the game drives were excellent and always rewarding. Over 4 days we had great views of Lion, Hyena, Buffalo and Elephant along with many other animals. We do hope to be back!

Room Tip: All rooms are good. We did have two rooms with an interconnecting door which was perfect for a famil...
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank BelfastBirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Toro Yaka Bush Lodge

Address: Sable Road, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Balule Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Balule Nature Reserve
Price Range: $247 - $954 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
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 Nature Reserve

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