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“Over the top service” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Toro Yaka Bush Lodge

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Toro Yaka Bush Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Alphen aan den Rijn, Nederland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Over the top service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2013

This place was recommended by one of my colleagues when I was working in South Africa.

From the moment you arrive at the gate of the lodge, the staff is guiding you to your parking spot. From there you don't have to do anything, apart from enjoy your time. They take care of the baggage and after a explanation about how the lodge works you can decide to go on their safaris.

The safaris are on foot or by car. I did both of them and enjoyed them very much.

The rooms are very nice and very well maintained. The food is also excellent. The only thing that is not so nice is that you have to leave the place at some stage...

If I ever get the chance, I'll go back!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank OmeRon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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332 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
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English first
breda
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2013

This year we went for the 5 time to Toroyaka . For us it is the best place to stay in South Africa. The food Nicole and Jessica makes is always delicious and on a special way served. The bushwalks are great and this time we were close to black Rhino and giraffes on food and Steve tells a lot over the bush and the ecosystem. Steve nows exact how far he can go with the animals. This time a herd off elephants came close to the car, very special. Steve Stacey , Ridwell and VIctor did there best to find animals and every gamedrive we have seen al lot off them. Also the rest off the staff is always very kindly. It is very quit in the bush and the 8 nights we where there we didn't wend out for a drive to something else. Ngwedi is a very special dog who likes to play at the swimming pool.
We go back next year and can recommend this wonderful place.

Room Tip: All rooms are special and nice.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank oompies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2013

Stayed 3 nights during our trip to South Africa. We wanted to experience the bush safari and were not disappointed. Everything from the lodge, room, staff, food, game drives were much more than expected. Steve and Nicole are great hosts, our guide Stacey blew us away with her knowledge of the flora and fauna of the bush. Will recommend this lodge to everyone, Gary & Marilyn, Colorado, USA.

Room Tip: We stayed in the elephant room which has it's own private deck overlooking the game waterhole.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Biggar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2013

Our 3 night stay at Toro Yaka was part of a trip through Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique. From the reviews we had already seen, my concern was whether it could really live up to expectations. We were not disappointed - in any way. Where can I start: the accommodation? the food? the game drives? the people? I think the best way to describe it is that everyone there wants you to have the best experience. They genuinely want you to appreciate and enjoy their beautiful home, the fantastic food and the most amazing animals. Nicole and Steve's passion for what they do comes across in a genuine way.

We had 4 game drives with Stacey as our guide. I never believed that we would get soooooooo close to the animals - we watched elephants bathe and play in the water, the lions brushed past our jeep and the leopard left its kill to walk past us. Stacey was incredible - knowledgeable and determined. We had a great bush walk with Steve and Stacey too - Steve's knowledge of all creatures great and small is incredible and he is keen to share it and make your stay special.
And did I mention my massage from Nicole? The swimming pool? The fantastic food? I could go on and on.
If we are ever back in Africa ....... The most memorable experience - Thank you.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BarbaraAllison88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2013

Thanks so much to Nicole, Steve and the the staff for making this one day the highlight of our trip. We felt so welcome and taken care of. Most importantly, the bush drives were fantastic. Our guide, Stacey, was a fountain of knowledge and took a genuine interest in our experience. She did not give up, and always found a way to get us up close with some of the beautiful residence of the reserve.

The size of of the Lodge was perfect. They cater to a small number of guests, so we got to know everyone in our tiny time there. We actually stayed at another, larger, more established lodge later on in the trip, and the experience just could not compare.

We spent a great week in SA. Cap Town was fantastic, and I am just about to write a review of our outstanding tour guide there. However, our time in Toro Yaka was definitely what we look back on as highlight.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wnbAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 291 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

IN starting of february i visited KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.I stayed at toro yaka. This place is heaven.I have no words to discribe such a beautiful place.The rooms r very big,clean,neat &tidy, with inside & outside showers,Bed is large & comfortable with mosquito nets around it..Its very cosey & cool inside.There is full facilitie in room which guests require.The food is superb like home.The staff STAEY ,STEVE, NUDDE, DEBRA,JESSICE & rest staff gave us very good service MR Ridwell did the excellent job by tracking animals .I saw many encounters like cheethe after geezale, great fighting of lions group v\s buffaloes huge group,,I saw hyenas frighting leapord & taking away kill. I saw lioness killing wilderbeast & than 2 males & 7\8 lioness & few cubs attened the kill. There r lakhs of wilder beasts,deers, hyenas ..Leopards on trees etc. I stayed there for 4 days .BUT my face turned pale when it was time to leave the place..I cant even think of leaving such A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, excellent care taking staff .But feeling very very sad i had to leave back for india. IF there is anything more than thanks,,,, than really its for staff.. i will really visit again .DEAR READERS WHEN GO TO KRUGER NATIONAL PARK I REQUEST U TO STAY AT TORO YAKA . just go & have your own experience NO dought u will really really love it .. ENJOY YOURSELF .....BBBBB YYYYY EEEEE !

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kapil_thackker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
66 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2013

These are supposed to be reviews, not paeans or tributes to all things Toro Yaka, but that is impossible. The people, the place, the experiences, the food (my god, the food) - there is no down side to staying at Toro Yaka. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and have all that you need for a bush stay (dressing table, cupboard, mosquito net, inside shower, *outside* shower, double vanity, comfortable bed, coffee and tea facilities, safe), and kept clean and tidy by the friendly, efficient staff. The food - well, the food. Being as isolated as it is, you can't really have dinner anywhere else (you can leave the Balule Game Reserve during the day, for lunch somewhere else if you really wanted, but...), which is beneficial, since it removes any temptation not to stay for Nicole and Jessica's meals. To create such dishes - the best we had in all of southern Africa - at a lodge in the middle of a game reserve defies comprehension. The honesty bar was well-stocked, and often staffed by Deborah and Ridwell in the evenings.

Now for activities. Toro Yaka advertise that they can organise activities other than their own game drives and bushwalks, and I believe that they can. Over the course of six days, however, we did not leave Toro Yaka and did not participate in anything except their game drives and bushwalks and had no *desire* to do anything else. There are two game drives a day - dawn(-ish) and dusk(-ish), and Stacey and Ridwell do a most excellent job of tracking animals, spotting animals, explaining animal behaviour, explaining the geography of Balule, and making each of the drives (which I had thought might get repetitive) unique and fun. It is probably not fair to comment on the bushwalk - Steve did an excellent job with pointing out the flora, the smaller animals, the game trails, and generally discussing South African politics and history, but I get the feeling that the walk we did was perhaps unusual in the amount of large animals encountered, and that people shouldn't go into the bushwalk expecting to see so many game animals so close.

There's still more - the pool, from which we saw warthog and bushbuck. The common areas, which were helped relax between game drives. The braai on Saturday night. The friendly, relaxed atomosphere, that is often missing from places that throw disparate people together and keep them away from the rest of the world. If it were possible to rate Toro Taka higher than 5, I would. Great thanks again goes to all the team there.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Surly_Traveller
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

Property: Toro Yaka Bush Lodge
Address: Sable Road, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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/Kruger National Park

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