Nestled in the heart of the Balule Game
Reserve just outside the borders of the Kruger National Park, Toro Yaka Lodge
is a little gem in the African Bush. I
was lucky enough to spend a few nights there at the end of last year and I
nothing short of fell in love with the place.
Inspired with influences of the African culture,
which surround it, owners Nicole and Steve Baillie have created an elegant and
enchanting retreat that provides the perfect base to experience a South
The eight bedrooms are kitted out with an en
suite, indoor and outdoor shower, double bed and air conditioning offering
ultimate comfort whilst allowing you to still get a taste of authentic Africa.
The main lodge itself has also been specially
designed to allow you to get as close to the wild as you can with plenty of
open plan indoor and outdoor chill out areas including a pool, which overlooks
the bush. This is a great place to spend your time in-between the day’s
activities chatting to the Baillie family or the other guests over a Savanna
from the honesty bar, or just hanging out with the baby of the lodge, Shinga the
resident pup who is guaranteed to steal your heart. There are also regular
visitors in camp including warthogs, bush babies and even a herd of elephants who
had stopped by on the day of my arrival.
During your stay there are a number of
activities you can take part in, the most popular being the game drives in the
lodge’s open top jeep, which take place every morning and evening and last for
around three hours a time (with a short break for coffee at sunrise and beers
at sunset!) I’d recommend going on every single one – I went on seven during my
stay and saw something different every time, including the breathtaking sight
of lions on the hunt in a thunderstorm on my very last drive! Other ways to
fill your time include bush walks, birding and massage treatments given by
One of the standout features of Toro Yaka
was the food, breakfast is made to order on return from the morning game drive
and enjoyed round a large table with everyone from the lodge, lunch is served
in your own private party and is a selection of fresh as you like salad, cold
meats and mouthwateringly delicious fruit and dinner is something different
every night, my favourite of which was the BBQ under the stars on the terrace.
Designed to offer all the luxuries of the
big five star lodges, without the price tag, Toro Yaka has an intimate family
feel that you would struggle to find at any of the bigger resorts and the
attention to detail is second to none. One night there and you will feel like
you are staying in your home away from home with your new adopted family. If
you are considering heading off on safari, you will struggle to find better
than this place.
Rooms at Toro Yaka start from £75 pppn inc
breakfast, lunch and dinner
*I received a reduced rate in exchange for a review, however all opinions are my own.