About Us

Toro Yaka is a passion come to life.

The original idea for our bush lodge began when owners Nicole and Steve decided to create a place where nature could take centre stage. As a bush paradise, the lodge has everything you’d expect from a 5-star retreat: great food, exceptional hospitality, plenty of time spent in untouched nature, and a home away from home style of accommodation, where guests can truly relax and rejuvenate.

Just 4 days after Steve and Nicole were married, they set foot in Toro Yaka for the very first time.

They had seen the lodge advertised in Africa Geographic, and while they were in the area, decided to pay an unexpected visit. Although at that time they worked at a different lodge, owning a lodge had never been far from their minds. On the 15th of June 2006, their dreams came to life. They bought Toro Yaka, which translates quite aptly to “My Dream” in Northern Sotho, and finally had the opportunity to create the tranquil African bush lodge they had always envisioned.

The Staff

The staff at Toro Yaka are one of the reasons why time spent here is so rewarding. They spoil guests and ensure that they are always well taken care of. The staff are friendly and helpful, as well as tremendously skilled. From general maintenance and cleaning to running the lodge and preparing exquisite meals, our staff excel at customer service.

Conservation and care for the environment are always at the forefront of our minds. We only use eco-friendly products and we are committed to recycling everything we can. We also take care of the land on which the lodge has been built. Alien plants are removed and we practice mattress packing to prevent soil erosion.

Today, the lodge offers guests the opportunity to experience the non-commercialised side of Africa. An authentic African safari, along with some pampering, is what you can expect from Toro Yaka.
About Nicole and Steve

The driving force behind Toroyaka are two souls who are passionate about Africa. Married beneath a Weeping Boer Bean Tree, on the dry river bed of the Great Hlararalumi River, Nicole and Steve, the owners of Toroyaka, are truly bush babies.

Steve was born in beautiful Zimbabwe and grew up in Johannesburg, a city totally in conflict with his love for wild open spaces. Steve always harboured a love for the bush and from the youngest age, he knew he’d become Game Ranger. Nothing could stand in the way of his immense passion, and he went on to become a member of the field guide association while he also has his level 3 SKS tails guide qualification and his SKS Birding. Having spent every birthday in the bush since he was 21, his love for the wild African bush is enduring.

Nicole was born and raised in a city she loves; Pretoria. There she qualified as a reflexologist, massage therapist and kinesiologist. When the opportunity to work at a game lodge came her way, she started a life that couldn’t be more different from the one she knew! It didn’t take long for Nicole to fall head over heels in love with the bush and she has never looked back.

Angel
Angel
Portia
Portia
Mike
Mike
Brenda
Brenda
Judith
Judith
Tholapi
Tholapi

We support

Hoedspruit.HALO

A non-profit volunteer-run organisation, Hoedspruit.HALO works with domestic animal welfare in the rural areas around Hoedspruit. The organisation was founded in 2016 and helps to feed domestic creatures that are brought into the clinic as well as tend to wounds and sicknesses. They rely on the kindness of strangers and do their best to educate pet owners while taking care of animals in need.

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Blackmambas

While there are few poaching units in the area, this one, in particular, is quite special in that it is the first majority female unit in the country. The unit was founded in 2013 to protect the Olifants West area of the Balule Nature Reserve. They have since expanded and now protect all areas of the Balule Nature Reserve as well as the Greater Kruger National Park. These fearsome rangers are committed to making the nature reserve as undesirable and as difficult as possible for poachers.

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Hoedspruit Paws

Hoedspruit Paws is a local non-profit organisation that seeks to give all animals a happy, loving, safe home while they also take care of any animals in need. The team will do anything to give each pet a happy ending. Not only do they assist in helping animals find a forever home but they also aim to educate pet owners in order to reduce the number of abandoned litters. The organisation drives sterilisation campaigns to encourage pet owners to sterilise their pets and they are also passionate about ensuring that domestic animals get the appropriate vaccinations.

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Nourish NPO

The Nourish NPO is determined to create sustainable change and have a long-term impact on both the communities they work in and in the field of conservation. Nourish is working towards creating a resilient community and focuses a lot of its work on health, education and access to opportunities in order to break the cycle of poverty in poor communities. Through doing this work, they also hope to minimise the impact of poaching.

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Rhino Revolution

Rhinos are precious and on the brink of extinction due to poaching. Rhino Revolution works at the forefront to stop the poaching of Rhinos in South Africa. Based in Hoedspruit, Rhino Revolution is run by concerned citizens and not only aims to reduce the instances of poaching in the area, but also looks after the victims of poaching; the orphaned Rhinos. The focus of their work is the poor local communities who often resort to poaching as a way to survive. Rhino Revolution is turning the young people in the nearby communities into conservationists.

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