This was truly the highlight of our South African trip. We stayed at Toro Yaka back in July, and have been meaning to post this review, but life just got in the way.
Like many of you, we planned most of our South African trip using recommendations from Trip Advisor, and the stellar reviews on Toro Yaka were not only on par, but exceeded our expectations.
The staff were so gracious and attentive to our every need, from the evening turn down service to giving our rental car a quick wash to get the dust off before we left, there was nothing to worry about while on vacation.
Nicole -- lodge owner -- made us feel like her lodge was our home from the moment we walked in the door. Her gracious hospitality, and delicious cooking truly made it hard to leave. As a same sex couple we often worry about how we will be perceived, but this was a non-issue at Toro Yaka, Nicole and her team truly made us feel at home.
The game drives were magical and unlike anything these city boys from American had ever seen in our lives. Stacey our guide did a fantastic job of not only giving us information about the larger animals we saw, but we learned so much about the environment in general. We even saw a honey badger!
We stayed for three nights, and I think our only regret is that we didn't stay longer. Toro Yaka is an amazing place, and while it's the only game lodge we've ever stayed in, if your deciding between Toro Yaka and another accommodations, pick Toro Yaka!
Tip: We flew into Hoedspruit (HDS) airport (from JNB), and rented a car to drive to Toro Yaka. Instead of flying back to JNB, we drove, and we're glad we did as there are some amazing natural sites to be seen as you travel through the Blyde River Canyon.
- 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