As seasoned travelers my husband and I know the difference between authentic caring hospitality and the pretenders. This is the real deal! No doubt about that. When you leave you will feel like you just left favorite family or friends.
From the arrival where the greetings are informal and friendly, through the amazing homely stay to the last wave as you sadly leave this place is amazing.
With just a few rooms you feel you can stretch out on the property.
Their attention to detail includes a huge African styled bowl of bath salts, sewing kit, bath slippers, robes and other away-from-home necessities. I needed dental floss which I did not expect them to have, but they had it fetched from town! Miles away on flood ridden muddy roads to the nearest village. And they did not want me to pay for it!!
The staff learnt our names and never faltered to remember who was who. Then they remembered what we liked to drink and eat as well as our likes and dislikes. I do not like vegetables whilst my husband does. I was compensated with larger portions of starch and protein and my husband was given more veg. Pure heaven in their wilderness. If it is the big five you are after that's all you will see here. Maybe the odd antelope, giraffe or smaller mammals but this is Big 5 country. Unashamedly. By our first game drive we had seen the Big 5 and saw a variety of gatherings and behavior of the Big 5. Bloodied cubs after a feed, In excess of 100 Buffalo in a pond and around nervous and twitching before a storm. Elephant bull in must (!) chasing cows who were carefully evading his attentions. The female Lion we found was not so lucky and mating Lions then added to our sighting over the years. Many firsts for us.
The rangers, trackers, cooks and bar staff all worked so well as a team. Will avoid mentioning any by name as the team is what we remember.
Thinking back we find ourselves wondering what each are doing and will do and realize we think of them as friends and family.
As I said we are seasoned travelers and collect experiences and this was definitely a very unique experience.
Often these lodges get one chance to Wow guests. They made excellent use of their one chance impress us and we suspect if we returned will find all the same. I suspect their brand of hospitality is natural borne from a passion for what they do. So I do not think their great hosting of us was a lucky break for us, but just the way they roll in the their special corner of the world.
So happy I was allowed into their world and showed their wonders. Thank You Jackalberry - You all Rock!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jackalberry Lodge is a small, intimate establishment set deep in the Thornybush Nature Reserve, on the edge of the Kruger National Park. With just 7 rooms, all en-suite and tastefully furnished - you are guaranteed peace and tranquility during your stay. Locally sourced and expertly made meals are served outside under the stars, or pool-side depending on how you feel that day. Morning and evening game drives take you exploring in open vehicles with professional rangers and trackers, as you experience the abundance in wildlife, fauna and flora that that the African bush has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jackalberry Hotel Thornybush Private Game Reserve
- Jackalberry Lodge Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa