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All reviews watering hole game drives infinity pool other guests attention to detail the reserve his knowledge extra touches his passion various parts a special place rooms are spacious south africa an excellent guide outdoor shower wonderful hosts every meal
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Reviewed 30 December 2018

Hi:
We stayed in Toro Yaka October 10 - 14, 2018
We had an amazing stay at Toro Yaka, a real standout experience in our well travelled lives. Tried a couple of times to write a review, but Toro Yaka, just about beyond words.
We had heard about Toro Yaka from a couple of other couples that had stayed there in the last three or four years. Our experience there left nothing lacking. The camp itself is beautiful, comfortable and friendly. Nicole and her staff at the camp are amazing. The food was comparable to a cruise ship or 5 star resort. Each day was amazing. We met each morning at 5:00 am for coffee and muffins or biscotti. We were out of the gate about 20 minutes later and on our way to adventure. We returned 8:00 - 9:00 for a full breakfast and then had time on our own until lunch was served. We then prepared for the afternoon safari, returning in time for a convivial dinner with other guests, and our guide, Mike, and his girlfriend Amor, who also worked at the lodge. Had very well presented, excellent healthy meals.

Mike is an amazing guide, and you can tell by his excitement at what he sees, that he loves what he is doing. He is very knowledgeable about all the flora and fauna we encountered, and made each safari special. First day we saw giraffes, lots of elephants, lions, warthogs, lots of ‘boks of various types and the back end of a few elusive grey duikers. Subsequent safaris showed us white rhinos, hippos, impalas, koodos, zebra and waterboks. Each trip Mike would stop at a waterhole or river and prepare press coffee, biscuits or muffins, or in the afternoon beers, wines or G & T’s. We saw lots of bird life, owls, eagles, and vultures. Really didn’t even have to leave the lodge, had elephants right up to our deck and giraffes just by the pool.

A stay at Toro Yaka is an experience a life time. The following is cut from an email I sent to family whom may be considering an African trip, and it expresses it all.

Africa was one of the most awesome trips that we have ever done, in fact it really is beyond words, so good I can’t even get a Trip Advisor review for Toro Yaka Bush Camp in Baluule Game reserve written. Tried a couple of times but it always sounds like a shrill. Definitely Exemplary ! Trying to express the emotions felt in the close proximity of the majestic animals is beyond me. The serenity felt while being in the presence of elephants, rhinos, and giraffes just munching away on grass, leaves, and branches. We are talking very close, 20 feet and closer. They were very aware that we were there, and they seemed curious about us, can’t explain it. We also got just about as close to several prides of lions. We spent an hour or so with a lioness, three, three month old cubs and a very fresh warthog kill. Guide said it was the first meal of meat for the cubs. Lioness not bothered with us being so close, just rolled on her back, and fell asleep with her cubs alternating between the warthog and mum’s milk. We spent 4 nights at Toro Yaka and went on 6 safaris. Saw lots of different kind of animals, only missing the cape buffalo and the leopard.

After Toro Yaka, we drove back to Johannesburg and then flew to Port Elizabeth, stayed in Addo Elephant Park, itself a very special place for a night, and then headed around the bottom of South Africa to Capetown. Stayed in Jefferies Bay, Pettenburg Bay for a couple of nights, Mossel Bay, and Hermanus. All were spectacular in their own way. We stayed in moderately priced B & B’s that we booked the day before our stay, and had no problem finding suitable places, if fact we stayed in some amazing accommodations.

After all the warnings, we had no travel problems at all. We found all the people we dealt with very pleasant, friendly and accommodating. Even the “boys” at the gas stations, couldn’t do enough for you, 4 or 5 on your car, they were very interested where we were from and some had knowledge of Canada. Customary to tip a few rand, if we got service like that here, wouldn’t mind tipping a dollar or two. None of the legendary “police scams” or fake police, and we drove nearly 3000 km.
Drivers very courteous, especially the truckers on the secondary highways. Did see a couple of manned radar traps on the National toll highways and a couple of remote speed cameras in the back and beyond. Most highway and byway speed 120 kliks. We were driving a 1.2 litre Nissan, so plenty fast enough for us. Besides once you got off the National Highways there were potholes that could swallow that little Nissan whole. At least they were well signposted, 4 x 8 “POTHOLES” every hundred feet. Think it may have been cheaper to fill the holes, but they did keep you on your toes, and the traffic slowed down

Overall we found all prices very reasonable, meals and accommodation overall cheaper than Canada and definitely more reasonable than England and Europe. Restaurant food was excellent, and I’m sorry Alberta, the best steak I ever ate was at
The “Cattle Baron” in Addo Elephant Park. Ate springbok at Toro Yaka, it was so good that I had it again at a restaurant in Capetown. I am not a huge game eater, although I have tried just about anything Canada has to offer, Springbok not gamey at all, very similar to our bison, very fine grained tasty meat.

Meanwhile back on the road we stopped on the way to Capetown at Betty’s Bay to see the penguins. Very well done, natural habitat and a re-hab centre. Lucky it was windy or we may not have been able to stand their pleasant aroma.

Capetown was as we expected, a modern city in spectacular natural surroundings, not the same, but very reminiscent of Vancouver. Parked the car at the B & B and got on the Hop On Hop Off bus for a busy couple of days. Had a great time but could have done with a couple of more days, not that I would trade it for any of the other places we had been.

Stan & Jennie Brown
Langley BC Canada

Room tip: Only 4 rooms, all great!
Date of stay: October 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Freedom367749
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2018

We stayed at Toro Yaka for four nights and we had the best time ever. Nicole and the team are doing an amazing job. The food is sensational and the lodge is located in the beautiful Balule Nature reserve. Mike, our scout, was just fantastic and we enjoyed every single bush walk/safari. Just perfect!

Date of stay: December 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Philipp K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2018

Extremely impressed with Nicole's hospitality and the excellent service and attention provided by her staff. Each member of staff knew their guests names and were always friendly and polite, an excellent example of customer service and attention. Food was excellent throughout our stay and Nicole and her staff really do make the effort to make you welcomed and feel at home. Surroundings and lodges are peaceful and the whole complex very clean. Mike, the game ranger is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and clearly has a passion for the environment and wild life. The actual game drives we took part in yielded little other than some elephants and giraffes, however there are no guarantees that you will sight all of the big five so be prepared to accept that you are visiting a natural unfenced area. If you are looking for a relaxing few days in comfortable and first class accommodation with superb hospitality then look no further than Nicole and her excellent team.

Room tip: Corner lodges offer views oacross the landscape.
Date of stay: November 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank BRINGRIFF8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2018 via mobile

This was our very first time in South Africa. We scooted here immediately after our wedding. Once into the lodge, we felt so relaxed and comfortable, simply great for both of us to unwind after the hectic wedding.

The lodge not only looks beautiful, it was very cosy and the rooms were great. Fenceless, it allowed us to feel like part of the bush, and we always had cute impalas greet us in the mornings!

Nicole and her staff made us feel so at home with their impeccable hospitality and service. Making friends with the other guests from various parts of the world and always enjoying meals together, this was a really nice gesture to make us feel like a big family.

The game drives were just simply a phenomenal experience for us as it was our first ever experience to be so close to the wild animals. Our guide Michael was so awesome, going above and beyond to make sure we had the best experience. His knowledge is vast, in our opinion he’s the best guide anyone could have!

The food was outstanding, really fantastic. Every meal was a different experience which I as a foodie, look forward to all the time. A lot of thought was clearly put into the menu of the guests. Amazingly delicious yet balanced and wholesome food.

Without a doubt, we would recommend the lodge to anyone visiting the reserve. And I’m sure we will be back again soon!

Very well done Nicole and Team!
Thank you for making our honeymoon so perfect!

Date of stay: November 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank 858junet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toroyakabushlodge, Manager at Toro Yaka Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2018

Thank you for your review June.
We loved meeting you both and we wish you all the very best for your future together.
Warm Bush Regards,
Team Toro Yaka

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2018

Exceptional friendly and personal service. All the staff knew all the guests by name.
The game ranger was surprisingly knowledgeable on game, birds and trees with amazing ability to spot game and birds
The rooms have an open air shower are well equipped with sufficient sockets conveniently placed to reach without crawling under the furniture and a bush view from a private deck.
It is a pity that the game drives are not included in the rate
The three meals per day were tasty, well presented and served at the table.

Room tip: Rooms on ends have better view
Date of stay: November 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank pieter444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toroyakabushlodge, Manager at Toro Yaka Bush Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2018

Thank you for your review.
We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us.
For 2019 we will be offering the option of and all inclusive rate.
Regards,
The Toro Yaka Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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