Rooms: 6 rooms, all en-suite, with indoor/outdoor showers; 4 have private stoeps.
Prices: From R1,620 pp per night sharing; R2,100 pp per night singles; R330 pp per game drive/walk.
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Meals: All included. Bar is on an honesty system.
Directions: From Hoedspruit take R40 towards Phalaborwa for 17kms until sign for Oliphants West gate on right. Once inside the reserve turn left immediately (Marula Lane) for 4km then right onto Sable rd. Follow Sable Rd until Toro Yaka sign on right.
Set in the heart of the Balule Game Reserve, Toro Yaka means 'My Dream' in Sotho. “When we heard that, we knew it was the place for us,” Nicole grinned. Steve and Nicole exude easy warmth that is contagious for both staff and guests alike and they are the dynamo for the hugely enthusiastic feeling here. The thatched lodge has a well-stocked library and fireplace for those cooler evenings. Beyond the lodge, red-billed hornbills swoop between the cottages (twin sinks, indoor/outdoor showers), which are set around an irresistible infinity pool. Meals are based on a 'slow food' ethos, using local producers wherever possible, and are served either on the terrace or in a wooden boma. Steve has the highest-possible guide qualifications and 18 years experience, so he’s the perfect companion for exploring the 38,000 hectares that form part of the 'Greater Kruger eco-system'. He was instrumental in re-introducing spotted hyena to Balule and has an admirable understanding of the eco-system, ensuring a minimum of three of the 'big five' are seen on most drives. On return from game drives choose between relaxing by the pool, a massage in the 'well-being centre', or you could run a 'bush bath', a stone/mosaic bathtub set at a discrete distance from the lodge. Not a bad place to sip champagne under starlit skies and listen to the sounds of the bush. Why oh why must Greenwood Guides inspectors travel alone?! As one guest commented: “Once you walk in here, the rest of the world disappears”. German also spoken.