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“Heaven.”

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Toro Yaka Bush Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Norfolk
Level Contributor
64 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Heaven.”
Reviewed 27 February 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, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lordcranny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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342 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Sacramento
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 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, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BJMCDANI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silverthorne
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 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, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BBSilverthorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 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, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jayant B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 16 February 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, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Diamond Lady R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 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, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MarkamBey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
breda
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2014

We have been in Toroyaka for the 6 time for 8 nights because it is so very good to stay with them.
Every day is special with the bush walks, de game drives and the delicious food and the hospitality from all the staff.
For us it is also a dream to be at Toroyaka. it is peaceful and so beautiful.
Nicole gives very nice massages and we can recommend this.
They deserve a big compliment for the way Nicole, Steve and the rest off the staff take care of the guests. Go on we wood say and we come back xxx

Room Tip: every room is excellent
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank oompies
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 
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Also Known As:
Toro Yaka Bush Lodge South Africa/Kruger National Park

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