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“Stunning, amazing, fantastic (we could go on...!)”
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 July 2014

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?) ;-)

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Herefordnomads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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272 - 278 of 583 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2014

This is our most memorable vacation to date. My friends and I stayed in both Jock Safari and Little Jock for 3 nights a couple of years back. Our rooms were private and so comfortable. The food was absolutely gourmet for every single meal. The snacks on the hunt were refreshing. The staff is so friendly and hard to forget even till this day. This place was so amazing I drew tears as we drove off to our next destination. I did NOT want to leave this serene and luxurious place.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kclark850
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Jock Safari lodge is a very intimate game lodge located in the Southern part of Kruger National Park. Located at the intersection of the Mitomeni and Biyamiti riverbeds (which are about 90% dry in their summers,) the lodge has unrivalled views of the game life which adds to an already amazing experience. With only 12 luxury rooms, which comprise of 9 King beds and 3 Twin bed rooms, the attention to detail and service here cannot be understated. The rooms are very spacious, and have the old-world luxury feel to them. Every room has a massive veranda with its own plunge pool, outdoor shower and day bed overlooking the riverbeds. When we arrived there were 9 elephants just going for a stroll right outside our room!
Louis, the general manager, and his head chef, do a superb job of ensuring the guests are very well looked after and absolutely never hungry! Pre-dinner drinks after a day of animal spotting at the wonderful outdoor bar located under a 400-year old Jackalberry tree is a must. There are a number of different dining options including fine dining indoors or a gourmet BBQ experience in the Boma under the starry night. From excellent soups to local game meat including Impala, Kudu, Springbok, and Warthog, your taste buds will thank you.
The game drives are superb owing to Jock’s excellent location in its own private concession located within the park. This enables the vehicles to go wherever they want although they do have to stick to the main roads outside of the concession. Our ranger, Jacob, who is from the local Shangani Tribe of that region, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly throughout our entire stay. The vehicles seat a maximum of 9 and are spacious with a canopy roof. You stop every evening for sundowners in very scenic locations, which give you a great appreciation for the vastness and beauty of that area.
I cannot rave enough about this place - I even got an epic neck and foot massage at the spa. I have done camping safari's before and something has to be said for doing it amazing luxury here. Wonderful stay and I better be back sometime! Simply cannot recommend enough.

Room Tip: You can't go wrong with your room type so don't worry.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank JWalker610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

We stayed at Jock Safari Lodge from 29th June for 3nights and we had a most wonderful and exciting time.

The Lodge was beautiful, very private, with views of river bed from our suite as well as the outdoor area. The staff were All very attentive and well trained as would be expected. Food was great and plentiful, from early morning before our game drives to evening dinners after our evening game drives and everything in between.

From our suite we saw a big herd of elephants with their babies walking along the side of the riverbed, as well as Rhino.

We saw all the Big Fives on our first Drive and wondered what else our guide Ben could Offer. But rest assured it got better and better each day! We saw big herds of buffaloes, elephants galore, plenty of rhinos, prides of lions and couple of leopards, all of these up close. Plus lots and lots of Girrafes, Zebras, Impalas and just about every other animal present in Kruger including three bush babies.

On our second evening drive, Ben delivered us a most exciting and from what we were told a rare experience. We witness a leopard kill, starting from the Leopard walking beside our safari vehicle, and then sitting at the side of the road waiting to pounce, to the finish of a Warthog. The screaming of the warthog attracted a laughing Hyena trying to get itself a share of the kill, but was promptly given a smack on its face by the leopard and so ran away.

Not giving up on a good feed so easily the hyena called in a reinforcement of about ten. The leopard knowing its in no position to fend off this many hyenas, decided to retreat with a chunk of warthog to a nearby Tree.

The following evening we followed two lions on its way to hunt an impala, which eventually had a very lucky escape.

Our walking tour one afternoon, brought us close to a huge rhino, but we felt very save in the very experience hands of our three guides. They tried very hard to impart to us their extensive knowledge of the Bush and we even saw a honey Beaver's hole, told us some incredible stories and managed to persuade us (or was it tricked Patrick? :) ) into a dung spitting competition.

A most remarkable and memorable experience in Kruger professionally and cheerfully delivered by everyone at Jock Safari Lodge. Thank you!!!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Work2play366
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

We stayed at Fitzpatrick's at Jock Safari Lodge from 16 to 19 July 2014 as a family of four.

This is truly a great experience - we have previously stayed at the Kruger Park in the park facilities but this time decided to treat ourselves...and it really was just that.

Estian our guide was incredible considering that this is not a private game reserve but a concession inside the massive Kruger Park he does a superb job. Showing us "game" from the small - chameleon - to the large - elephant - and with knowledge to boot. He also took the time to share some of the unique viewing spots. Unlike other game lodges he is happy to spend as much time on a viewing as the client likes - there are not another 15 vehicles trying to get on a sighting.

The Jock concession includes some river beds that can be driven in the wet season, so that was another unique experience.

They also consider the children and on occasion entertained them with the likes of baking cookies in the kitchen.

A lodge like this does come at a price but this is exceptional value for money based on what you get out. The service is prompt, subtle and excellent. The food is bountiful and tasty as expected of a 5 star establishment. The rooms are all well appointed. The could however do with a little bit of general maintenance of the buildings.

We went prepared knowing what the early morning and evening game drives entail - so make sure you pack additional warm clothing if you go during the winter months as particularly the mornings a bitterly cold.

Room Tip: There are only 3 rooms at Fitzpatricks, all of them have a deck that overlooks the river and have th...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank RSA_Traveller74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We stayed at the Fitzpatrick house with our family of 8 and it was everything we could have asked for. The rooms and beds were extremely comfortable- it felt modern but rustic. There were also several nice living spaces that were great for socializing when we weren't on a game drive- they looked out over a riverbed where lots of wildlife passes through. Our personal ranger Jan was incredible. Very knowledgeable and didn't feel the need to fill the silence with extra chatter. He asked us which animals were most important to us and made sure that we stayed on track to find them. We saw all of the Big 5 on our first day!!!

As a bonus, the food was some of the best we ate on our entire trip. Outdoor dinners at the boma with a huge selection of protein veggies, sides,and salads. They kept us very well fed :):)

Only thing I would do differently is pack more warm layers, as the early morning/late night safari drives got very cold. We were provided with lots of warm blankets, but still battled with the cold.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Liz B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Our family of 8 had the entire Fitzpatrick Lodge, while 2 more members stayed at the Jock Main Lodge. The entire experience was exceptional. The staff, led by Lillian, were highly attentive. Breakfast, high tea and dinner was consistently fabulous.

And finally, our safari guide, Jan, was terrific.

We wouldn't change a thing about this one of a kind vacation!

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
Thank 114jerryb
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
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 175 Speciality Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: £743 - £954 (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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