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“Best Holiday ever !”
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best Holiday ever !”
Reviewed 4 March 2012

We spent 5 days at The Jock Safari Lodge, in the middle of February. We have to say this is the best 5 days holiday we have ever experienced.
We arrived somewhat jet lagged after travelling from the UK and had to decline the first evening Safari from exhaustion, but we were met at the door with a welcoming drink and shown around the complex and to our very welcoming room.
The room was beautiful and the decking outside with the plunge pool and the double mattress view over the river was outstanding, the outside shower was great - being able to shower outside in the warm air in complete privacy . The communal areas including the restaurant, bar and lounges were comfortable well designed and gave access to some wonderful views over the rivers – in fact on one occasion we sat by the pool and a herd of 17 elephants graced us with their presence, a fantastic sight for us to sit and watch them. Basically the whole lodge was wonderful.
All staff without exception were friendly and helpful, I thought it was a nice touch that the General Manager Loui helped out and greeted everyone from the Safaris and was genuinely interested to hear what you had seen
The Food and wine was consistently excellent - other All inclusive places we have visited previously have compromised on the quality of beverages, this is certainly not the case here.
All the Rangers that we met were lovely and there was always a great camaraderie between them, especially Lazareth, David and Patrick.
Which brings us nicely onto Patrick – he was absolutely amazing, not only did he find us some amazing animals, on one occasion on a night drive he spotted a chameleon on a leaf in a tree, the size of his finger – we were all so shocked at how he could spot such a thing whilst driving ! He was just so informative about everything, he was funny and everyone on our truck thought he was wonderful.
We thought it was a really great idea that the people who shared a safari truck with you also sat with you for breakfast and dinner. So you made some really good friends, and on 2 out of the 4 nights, Patrick sat with us also – so we got to meet him more and had a few laughs.
We had read that taking a safari during the rainy season might disappoint, because the animals would be hidden by long grass and shrubs. This was far from the case we managed to see pretty much every species at close range, including lions, leopards, elephants, Giraffe, wild dogs and Rhino right on the road. ( we have enclosed some phots as proof)
Without going on and on I think that is all we can say really, but if anyone wants to know more please contact us so hopefully be back again one day.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PaulWeymouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2012

We stayed at Jock's for 3 nights for part of our honeymoon. We arrived around lunchtime from Mpumalanga and were greeted with a welcome drink and congratulated on our recent wedding. We were shown around the property and to our lodge where we were surprised with a small bottle of champagne - which was a lovely start to our stay. Our lodge was just how we had envisaged an upmarket safari lodge to be. It was in-keeping with the surroundings, spacious and just beautiful. There were a couple of things that could be fixed - a cracked toilet cistern and leaking air con and then it would have been perfect.
We were in time to catch the early evening drive and were teamed up with our ranger Patrick and two other guests. Patrick is truly an expert at his job and loves it (especially the cats). He's quite a character too! We got to see the Big Five and so much more. On our last day we also tracked down a pack of wild dogs which apparently is a very rare sight indeed.
The food at Jock's was really good and there was always plenty of it - you will certainly not go hungry here!
We went towards the end of Feburary and had some lovely hot weather, but we also got to witness the most impressive thunder storm. It can get chilly in the early mornings (and they are early! 4:30am wake ups!) and in the evening, so I would advise a jacket, or better still, a hoodie. A hood is very useful to stop the bugs getting in your hair and sticking to any remaining suncream on your face/body when driving at a pace following a leopard sighting! Don't let the thought of the bugs deter you though - I am well known for being a big baby when it comes to such things, and by the end of my trip I was sharing the outdoor shower with 2 spiders, a beetle and some ants (until day three I was using the indoor bath with shower attachment!). At this time of year, the bush is quite thick, so sightings are probably more difficult (not that you'd believe it with Patrick on the case!).
Your experience will, in some part, be dependant on those you're teamed up with, as not only are all of your drives together, but also breakfast and dinner. We were lucky and had great company, but this is something to be aware of.
We would recommend Jock safari without hesitation and hope to return one day.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Nadine V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glossop, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

We had a wonderful stay at Jocks. Staff were very friendly and helpful, it was also great to see the manager coming to speak to guests and helping out during meal times. As for the food and wine, these were first class, such variety considering the location

The rooms themselves are very comfortable, our only negative was the outside bed which was ant infested (not surprisingly given the location) and there was nowhere to sit in the shade. A large hammock would have got around the ant problem. The rooms themselves were wonderful and very comfortable. A big plus was that this part of the Kruger did not seem to have a mosquito problem thus even though we took our Malarone we probably could have got away without.

As for the drives, they were amazing, the guides are extremely knowlegeable and passionate. We had Lyle for our 8 drives and had a fantastic time, thanks for a great experience. We saw the Big Five and much more. All the rangers are in radio contact and report good sightings to each other. We would definitely consider going back and would like to thank all the staff at Jocks for a wonderful time...

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Tony D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

We arrived after 10 days touring the Cape. As we were travelling with children (11 &8) we were concerned about how close the bedrooms would be to each other, when Mumzi the host showed us the first room the concern continued and then as if by magic there was a door at the back of the wardrobe leading into the identical children's bedroom, This was perfect as it gave us privacy but the security of knowing the children could access our room when ever they needed. Within 2 minutes of arriving in our rooms, we saw a rhino on the other side of the river through our bedroom window, then at lunch 9 elephants paraded along the bank.

All the staff made us feel very welcome and made a real fuss over the children, including keeping my son upto date with all the premier league football results.

The game drives were every thing and more than we could have dreamed of. On the second day we saw the Big 5 in one drive. We were told that this meant you had to shave your hair off, at breakfast the next morning our guide came in with a bald head!!

Pete our ranger had only been at the camp for a few weeks but was absolutely superb, his knowledge of the bush was un ending, he was a walking encyclopaedia!
Not only did he tell us about the big things but the little things that are is easy to miss. Naiomi his wife who ran the spa was also wonderful, showing the kids the little squirrel she was hand rearing - also her massages are to be recommended.

The food was wonderful and abundant, as was the wine on the drives and with dinner.

There may be more elegant camps but I would be surprised if any meet the location, warmth and service we received at Jock's.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BEACONSFIELDS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Twickenham, London
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

We visited Jock Safari Lodge late February 2012. Probably the first hint I would give is that we landed in Johannesburg and drove the 470Kilometers up to the Malalami Gate and then in to the park. After an all night flight on Virgin with some sleep I would recommend you think long and hard about this option. There are other ways to get there. The second hint is that on arrival after a 12hour flight and a 5 hour drive we had an hour to get ready and do our first drive in the evening. Most of the other guests had, had one nights sleep before by staying elsewhere first. This was not Jock Safari Parks problem it was ours! If you are at a lodge you really do want to make the most of every drive you can! 2 hints use them wisely.

With regards to Jock Safari Lodge as can be seen by the scores it does very, very well on everything. On arrival we where met and looked after immediately with cold drinks and then shown to our room. There where very few formalities on the check in. Additionally our car was squirreled away safely never to be seen in 3 days while at the lodge. We were in Lodge 6 overlooking the river a short walk from reception and even shorter walk to the Restaurant and Bar.

The lodge we were in was incredibly well appointed with a bath, Fan and Air -conditioning. There are ample sockets but you will need an South African Adapter hint number 3, your average universal, Pan global adapter WILL NOT have the right pins. These can be bought and I would recommend 1 or 2 of them, hint number 4 you will want to keep your camera’s charged at all times, you never know when you will need it to take a photo, perhaps buy a spare battery so you can have one on charge at all times. The lodge has a fridge stocked with ample water as well coke, wine and beers. Also supplied are Bug spray and mosquito repellant. As well as a plug device which takes the small cards.

The shower is outside! Actually this didn’t bother me more than I thought it would. As someone who attracts flies and mosquitoes like dead meat in a butchers window it was perfectly fine. The huge spiders ate most of the flies anyway. Joking aside this is the bush and there are some crazy looking and sizeable beasts, nothing that will kill you, most of the deadly stuff is on the other side of the electric fence!

Safari Time! On arrival you will be paired up with your Ranger, we got Patrick, more on him later. You will also be matched / paired with other members of your group. A point to note your group is for life not just for Christmas. You will spend a lot of time with the people in your group. This includes obviously the Safari time but also Breakfast and Dinner. Lunch is on your own. We landed on our feet and got put with a couple who turned out to be superb company through out our stay. I’m not sure everyone thought the same of their own matching’s!

Patrick our Ranger was in short amazing! Having spoken with most of the rangers they are all great guys. Patrick was however a bit of character and genuinely a hoot to be with. He knows the park like the back of his hand and is a mine of information. His penchant includes describing the way you will die when a certain thing bites you, and ends most sentences of this ilk with “you will be completely dead” no half measure with Patrick. His other penchant is for the big cats, and this was a skill he definitely showed on an all too regular basis. When every one else was South we where North and lone behold 4 lions in the road hunting Impala! Hint number 5 the first few Impala you see on entering the park will be cute, but do not going wasting all your disk space on photo’s of them, they are there in abundance!! On our first drive out Patrick explained the rules they are easy, the guns the rangers carry are not for show and they are never drawn or used unless critical. Patrick made it clear he doesn’t want to kill any animal because of a tourist.

Hint number 6 on the night drives, flies are attracted to the lights and if your shooting along at truck they cannot be avoided, in hindsight it might have been a good idea to buy some cheap safety glasses to wear on the night rides. Also, keep your mouth closed, and hair product acts like fly paper at night! You will not be disappointed however, there was not one drive we went on where something of significance was not seen. Sometimes it might be an hour where nothing but Impala cloud your viewfinder then at the next turn 3 Rhino in the middle of the road or Leopard marking it’s territory.

Food at the lodge is nothing short of outstanding from breakfast through lunch and dinner as well as an abundance of snacks, everything was perfect. I cannot fault the quality of the food at all.

You need to remember that this is the bush so Internet is not on tap neither are TV’s or mobile phone signals. The lodge generates its own electricity and services all of it own needs. Do not expect to be online at all!

I cannot fault Jock Safari Lodge we had an amazing time there, hint number 7 I would suggest 3 days is probably enough, it’s quite intense and your out and about nearly 8 hours a day, with a fairly rigid routine to make the most of seeing the animals. But I would happily got back to Jock Safari Lodge.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JimbobK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
75 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Amazing very friendly staff who go out of their way to make you feel at home. Wonderful imformative and committed Rangers who make sure you get the most out of your time here. Thanj you Lye for all your efforts in trying to fine the Big Five we came cloae but great to get so close to so many elephants, giraffes and Lions.Food was great and lots of it but not quite fine dining. Rooms comfy outdoor shower different but good. Loved it thank you all so much. Nature gave us a special treat with the longest light show ever. Would love to return

Room Tip: All great only a small resort
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LA143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

My family and I travelled to Kruger in the Spring of 2011. It was our first safari in South Africa. Having stayed in a couple of Mantis properties before, I was anxious to stay at Jock. I wasn't disappointed.

The staff was extremely courteous and helpful. They prepared vegetarian dishes for us whenever we asked them (and so much that we couldn't finish it). Delicious. Our ranger (Lazarus) was very knowledgeable and could even spot a chameleon in the darkness.

The views from the room were great. Since the lodge is located close to a watering hole, you could see animals all the time (making it a perfect wildlife experience), especially around 10 in the morning. The rooms themselves were spotless.

The highlight of our stay was probably the African style dinner where we eat delicious food and Lazarus shared his experiences with us. If I can, I'm definitely coming here again.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank psmehta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jock Safari Lodge

Property: Jock Safari Lodge
Address: Nearest Town Skukuza | Inside Kruger National Park, Kruger National Park 2060, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 174 Speciality Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Jock Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Jock Safari Lodge is nestled where the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers flow as one, situated in the South-Western corner of the Kruger National Park. The lodge offers 6,000 hectares of exclusive traversing rights in an area of the park which is celebrated for its big five game viewing. Jock of the Bushveld, the legend that was, served as an inspiration for the aptly namely Jock Safari Lodge. The tale, linked to Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, highlights the canine devotion and stories of African adventures that have excited exploring travellers.Accommodation offered:Main Jock LodgeCarefully screened by lush trees and reed walls, the 12 individual thatched rooms at Jock Safari Lodge, impart a sense of aloneness and oneness with the landscape.Fitzpatrick’s Lodge, offers personal service in an intimate atmosphere. Perfect for small parties and families.The lodge is easily accessible by road, just over 5 hours drive from Johannesburg, or 1 hour Skukuza and 2 hours from Kruger International airports. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jock Safari Hotel Kruger National Park

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