Toro River Lodge History

The lodge has been beautifully designed to match the natural colours which surround it. The buildings feature thatched roofs and strong earthy colour walls creating a warm and welcoming ambiance for guests. The main lodge and the rooms have all been decorated using traditional African patterns, designs, and artworks. The lodge is within the wildlife-rich reserve which is home to hundreds of animal species including the famous African “Big 5”.

Toro River Lodge is nestled between “The Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve” and “Pidwa Private Game Reserve” of the South African Lowveld, this special and remote location provides the opportunity for you to tailor–make your very own Safari. 

The Lodge is spread over 8 beautiful and exclusive-use, all free standing Suites. Toro River offers 5 spacious and classic  thatched en-suited rooms, a fireplace, an outdoor shower, bath and private viewing deck with an open plan area featuring private deck and a small gazebo with a sitting area overlooking the river.  All rooms connect to the shared swimming pool, lounge area, open-air dinning room called “lapa”, high-tea area next to the watering hole and a closed outside dining area with a an enclosed ´kids boma´ to keep the kids safe, all under the stars where we do all the cooking at night called ‘boma’. The rooms at the Lodge are individually decorated with African-inspired themes. The king beds provide mosquito nets.

The lodge nestles in 26 000 hectares of land which is home to Africa’s magnificent wildlife. The most widespread activity is the daily safari drives. Safari drives depart twice daily, in the morning and the afternoon. Guests are taken out of a 4 x 4 vehicle and lead on a hunt for the wildlife that calls the reserve home. If guests are lucky, they may have the opportunity to observe Africa’s “Big 5.”


We book a variety of other TOP Riverside Safari Lodges

.Toro River Lodges, will ultimately consist of three separate lodges but all on the same property, perfectly located to be used jointly for large or small group. Lodge owners, Brad and Cindy Philipps, take their Guests to enjoy the African wilderness experience. They are at the Safari lodges now throughout the year – when not Billfishing in Guatemala at the end of each year – and personally host groups specially during South African School breaks.  For the rest of the year, they have a full lodge staff, with safari guides etc. to host visitors with South African Resident rates now available.

As part of your Safari Journey, we will take you to other Safari Lodges to experience 4 of South Africa’s best Private Game Reserves – The Greater Makalali, the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and Thornybush Private Game Reserve – all bordering the Kruger National Park – .  The closest Airport is Hoedspruit. Offering the thrill of an authentic Big Five Safari Experience and the added bonus is that some of them allows for you to bring your Personal Guide, therefore we can ensure the same high standard in guiding service with Private Game Drives, which are charged at R16,500 by the lodge extra per day and needs to be booked for the duration of the stay.  Private game drives are subject to occupancy levels both at Toro River Lodge and at the Waterside Lodge, this last one will only be confirmed approximately 2 weeks prior to arrival.  All guests traveling with private guides who will be on Safari with them are obliged to book Private Game Drives.

We have years of tried and tested experience in the Safari industry, so guarantee the best out of your Safari adventure.  Going on Safari on one of the other Safari Lodges we book, comes along with the same care and professionalism as we do our own.  Our variety of lodging options will spoil a visitor to everything a truly unforgettable African Safari should be and for every budget.

We are therefore able to tailor make a Safari Package to cover an extensive area of untamed Wildlife with these River Side Safari Lodges where the name comes from.


All Safari practices follow our “Wildlife Viewing” and the pleasure to be part of a Private Game Reserve comes along with the following benefits:

  • No restrictions on access or driving times
  • Only specialized safari vehicles are permitted, no public vehicles are permitted to go off road 
  • The accommodation is more luxurious
  • You will be accompanied on your game drive by an expert nature ranger and tracker
  • Only 2-3 vehicles are permitted at a time on a single sighting 

A recommended Safari of 7-9 nights with us at Toro River Lodge + 2 or 3 extra nights near to us with access to Spa treatments and renowned Chefs to add the luxury and pampering you deserve to finish your Safaris in style or for those looking at not spending so much to keep the Spa’s back at home.

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