Land in Africa for the first time and there's always anticipation. All the photos, all the wildlife documentaries; is that what it's really like? Touch down and the mystique captivates, a savannah landscape stretching beyond the horizon. Look closely and nothing is still. An elephant roams alone through the bushwillow trees. Giraffes stand like sentinels to a lost world. Black dots create a patchwork; get closer and they become cinematic buffalo herds. Balule is home to all the revered African animals, making it an indelible place to start a safari. Within the first hour, the questions in your mind have been redefined. It's no longer “will I see this animal and that animal?” but rather, “how many times am I going to encounter them?”
After the short transfer from the airstrip, you check into Toro Yaka, a boutique bush lodge that combines iconic safari luxury with a pristine sense of the wild. Throughout the day, Toro Yaka is a luxurious base where the safari never stops. Dip into the pool with a zebra herd grazing nearby. Lounge on your wooden verandah and watch life approach the waterhole. Then enjoy two activities a day, game drives and walking safaris that take you across the inspiring big five landscape of Balule. Sharing unfenced boundaries with Kruger National Park, this is a fabled home of all Africa's great mammals. Nothing is guaranteed on a safari. But if you came for the big five, there's a good chance of seeing them all here, every day.