Having spent 5 days in a private concession on the edge of the park (Gomo Gomo Lodge in Timbavati/Klaserie) we had a 5 hour drive through the park to Jock. We went with Ilios and Clint (the driver) was excellent, so we talked politics, wildlife and South Africa in general..... A great trip to Jock from the start, and the 5 nights there just outshone everywhere else!
Everything from the moment we got there was excellent. Whilst the routine takes a little learning (not difficult, but nice to have some routine), everything is done so well. The rooms are beautiful, private and have amazing views across the dry riverbed. There is wifi (and our room - 3 - just managed to get wifi from the reception which was handy) but to be honest, if you need costant wifi then perhaps the wilderness isn't for you!
Some key things:
1. Rooms are very clean, well appointed and have phone (for the 5.30am wake up call!) and a minibar. Outside shower was great too ;-)
2. Food...... Well, the only way to describe this was "fabulous". Attie (the head chef, and a very welcoming Bon-viveur character) creates unbelievable food (I've never eaten so much fabulous food and am now on a diet). The boma food was stunning (if you see it on safari, you are quite likely to eat it!). Kudu, elan, warthog, buffalo, springbok, impala....... Fantastic meat! The soup and puddings are also excellent. A bit like Michelin food in the wild.....
3. The safari drives..... Well, we were lucky to have Patrick as our guide, a welcoming, humorous and unbelievably knowledgable guide with a great sense of humour. Each drive (we did 10 in total) was excellent, and we saw the big 5 on many occasions (so many in fact that it was sometimes a decision to 'move on' rather than watch). The lions, hyena and leopard were plentiful - we even saw a Cheetah from a distance. But it's not just that, the scenery is breathtaking too....... Savannah, hills and koppies. Sunrise and sunsets were stunning - but do bring warm clothes too!
4. Wildlife.... From the large to the small, everything is spotted and discussed (from rhino horn poaching to chameleon health), and the guides do what you suggest - but suggest you listen to them as Patrick's predictions were almost always spot on. Following a leopard to one of the cafe stops at night to find (no more than 10 feet away) a hyena sitting among the benches, through to spotting a baby hyena (they are really sweet) playing, to a male and femal lion (ahem) getting it on.
5. Overall impression..... We will definitely be back, one of the few places we have been to where we have openly cried when we left. We met some lovely people as well and have made some great new friends.
Tips - bring warm clothes, and expandable stomach and the biggest camera card you can find. Also bring some tissues for when you have to wipe your eyes when you leave.
Faultless, amazing and a safari experience everyone should have (but please can you take us with you?) ;-)
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Jock Safari Hotel Kruger National Park