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“Fantastic!”
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 May 2014

To all the staff at Jock Safari Lodge - "Sawubona!". Hard to find words that haven't been used already to describe this fantastic place. This was without doubt an experience of a lifetime. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel so very welcome. All the staff without exception go out of their way to make you feel at home. The lodge is situated at the confluence of two rivers - so we saw loads of animals coming down to drink right outside our lodge. One afternoon we were highly entertained for about an hour by a troop of baboons who came down for a drink and some high jinks. Then it just gets better! The game drives - superb! Yes - you could drive around the Kruger in a rented car, but you will not be able to go where we went (off-road), you won't get the view we had, and you won't have someone with you who can read the animals' behaviours etc and get you as close as possible without stressing the animal, or putting you at risk . Sitting comfortably up high in our 4x4, ably driven by our ranger, Ben ( special mention here : Ben - we can't thank you enough for all you showed/taught us. You made this trip so special and "went the extra mile" to make sure we saw every animal we possibly could have ) we saw the Big Five and more. Lions lying in the middle of the road! soaking up the last of the heat from the tarmac. Elephants - big males, females, babies. A pack of hyenas with half a dozen pups, water buffalo, rhino (poor, poor rhino - what can we do to protect them?). Hippos, giraffes, zebras, kudu, impala then the little fellas - mongoose, tortoise, scorpion( Ben - are you sure that scorpion wasn't plastic!!).... and so it goes on. All very close up. Then the "sundowners" whilst on the afternoon drive, the smiling welcome and "Amarula" with hot milk on return to the lodge. The quality of the food was great - you can have game, but there's always an alternative if you don't fancy it. The accomodation is also first class - your own decking/plunge pool etc etc. Yes- it's a long day and there isn't a lot of time to get ready for dinner when you come back from your afternoon game drive at 7.15pm and are expected for drinks at 8pm, then dinner at 8.30pm, but hey, just go with the flow - it makes the experience more enjoyable. Nobody cares how you look - most of us were sat having dinner with our jackets/jumpers on, so glad rags not required on this trip. I note that some people have said they missed out on game drives for various reasons - there is no way we would have missed any of ours!! Our first time in South Africa - it won't be our last. Thanks again to all at Jock Safari Lodge - we will never forget you!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Sammyboy14996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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299 - 305 of 592 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2014

I don't think I will actually be able to do justice on how fantastic our stay at Jocks Safari Lodge was!

We arrived mid afternoon and we got transferred directly to Jocks. On arrival we had welcome drinks and shown to our lodge. We have stayed in some lovely hotels during our travels but this took our breath away! The room was beautiful, had all the comforts you could think of but still had a rustic (well posh rustic!) feel which blended so well into the experience. And that was just the room. We then were shown our private outdoor space which consisted of a day bed, a plunge pool, sun beds and a stunning view over the river.

There was a game drive happening about 15 mintues after we arrived, they waited for us and we got on our assigned truck with our ranger for the week - Patrick. I think myself and husband feel a little bit in love with Patrick!!!!!! He was great, so helpful, made you feel at ease, was so knowledgable about the area and the animals and just was fun to be around.

The other thing that MUST be mentioned is the food. Before we went to Jocks we had a search on what the food was like here and we couldn't really find anything. As we were mainly going for the Safari we didn't worry too much but the food we had must have been some of the best food we have ever eaten! Before we went on a game drive we had coffee and cake in the morning, when we came back there was a choice of continental buffet and a choice of breakfast from a menu. At lunchtime the food was a choice of BBQ food and in the evening we either had a sit down meal with the group from our truck or a 'Boma' which was a large outdoor grill and the tables arranged around a fire pit. There was 'normal' food but also a range of different meats to try - warthog, buffalo, imarla.

I guess I should also discuss the game drives! These were fantastic, as mentioned, Patrick was fantastic and so knowledgable about the area and the animals we saw. We saw the Big 5 on a regular basis and even a leopard kill!

If you are booked to go here you are in for an amazing time. If you are trying to decide to book - just DO IT!!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JenLH2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

We spent 3 nights at Jock as part of our honeymoon before heading on to Mauritius. Without question the best place we have ever stayed!!! We were in Room 1 and it was fabulous! All the staff- very single one we came into contact with were warm and friendly. Jacob our Ranger was amazing- his enthusiasm and passion spilled over- on the first 2 game drives was saw all the Big 5. On the last night we even managed to see a cheetah!
The quality of the food was exceptional! The drinks were very reasonable too- can of beer from the mini bar was only £1! After the first night game drive, we came back to our room and the staff had ran us a bubble bath and surrounded it with flowers and candles. Then we were served a private dinner on the veranda at our room- they rally went above and beyond expectation.
Just amazing. Very fond memories and already looking to go back!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

My wife and I finished our South African honeymoon with 4 nights at Jock . After the initial shock of the regimented timings (we had 20 mins to get ready for our first game drive) the lodge grew on us steadily . Attie the chef , and his team , are outstanding , we stayed in 5 star all around Cape Town and Camps bay but Jock was the best , with well thought out menu's and lots of variety . The location is stunning , being on a private concession gives so much more access to the animals than being outside the park and having to drive in . Lazarus our ranger for the whole stay was incredibly knowledgeable and you could tell from the length of service of the majority of the staff at Jock its a happy camp . Only criticisms are very minor , the bar doesn't generally stay open (lunch time and just before dinner) , and whilst its fine to use room service/mini bar that does cut down on the chance to yarn with the other guests about what you've seen . Also apart from Walking safari there are no other activities available during the day, the pool and room pools really are more for show than function . I highly recommend Jock and would go back again tomorrow .

Room Tip: Go for a River room if you can , we saw Rhino , Cape Buffalo and Elephant as well as Baboon , Impala...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2014

Where do I start!! From the minute we arrived, it was such a special experience. The hotel staff were so friendly and everytime we arrived back from the game drives we were greeted with happy staff (not to a mention glass of sherry on the evening drive!).

Our lodge (no 1) was amazing, there are only 12 and they are all private and overlooking the river. You get plenty of free water in the room, mozzie spray, bug spray, biscuits, tea & coffee and a little treat on your pillow at night.

The food was amazing! Attie the chef (aka Charles, his real name) took the time to ask you what you like/dislike and you just HAD to eat his wonderful food LOL! The game we tried was fantastic except for impala sausage, didn't like those :( Eating outside was different, especially the first night when so many bugs wanted to join us but you soon got used to it! From breakfast after the first game drive to lunch, high tea and evening meal, all was just amazing!

Our Ranger was Jacob and he was great. Being with the same group for the 4 days became Jacob's family and we had a good laugh. Jacob knew so much and how he spotted the animals so far away and especially in the dark was amazing. We ate as a group at Jacob's table and he joined us for a few evenings and for every breakfast which was nice.

We saw all of the BIG 5, SMALL 5 and UGLY 5 (per Jacob's instruction LOL) and lots more! I wrote down what we saw as we just couldn't have remembered it all.

If I was to suggest any ways to improve this amazing place, perhaps go out on the evening drive a little bit earlier and come back a little bit earlier, a lot of guests agreed and it would have given us a bit more time to get ready for the evening meal, often we were a bit rushed so we didn't feel we had much time to relax. We decided to not go on the last evening drive as we had seen so many animals and just wanted to enjoy the lodge which was lovely. We virtually had the place to ourselves, we relaxed overlooking the river, I had a massage and when we walked back to our lodge, we saw 2 Rhino just the other side of the fence which was a bit scarey but also amazing!

Recommend taking light layers as the early morning and evening drives can get a bit chilly but during the day, very warm and lovely. The jeeps are great as they are open and we saw loads that were very enclosed and not for us. Jocks is also the only lodge that is allowed to drive on the dry river beds so that is another reason to choose them, they get to go "off roading" where others can't.

Drinks and treatments are all you will spend your money on (and stafff tips at the end of the holiday) and you can't spend your money it sooooo cheap in South Africa and also at this Lodge.

Overall very very special experience and the staff at the Lodge played a huge part in this. Special thanks to Jacob for helping to make this a memorable experience we will never forget.

Room Tip: Any, all overlook the river and are private
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank DeeScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We stayed for two nights and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The stay is full on with a wake up call at 5am for our morning drive of 3/3.5 hours. Breakfast and then a bush walk lasting 1hr+. The evening drive started around 4pm and again lasted for 3/3.5 hours. Our guide was very knowledgable and interesting and did his best to try and find the big five, which he did. The early morning drives and after sun down it was cold and warm jackets and hats were needed. Blankets were provided in the vehicles and were appreciated when it got really chilly. The lodge is rustic which added to its charm, but very comfortable and the staff were very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank A R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

We so enjoyed wrapping up our travelling this past spring in Namibia and South Africa by spending 5 nights at Jocks. We thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the food, and the safaris there. Essentially everything was fabulous. I personally didn't use the spa, but was told by a friend that she had the best massage ever there. The staff are all very friendly and very helpful. Louis and Attie have an amazing Lodge going here, and I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TorontoTess42
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

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 #32 of 176 Speciality Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: £644 - £913 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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