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“March 2014”
Review of Jackalberry Lodge

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Jackalberry Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 April 2014

We stayed at Jackelberry Lodge while on a "South Africa in Absolute Style" tour planned with Lion World Travel. The experience was 1st class in every way. Great lodging, food and safari's and a great staff. Special thanks to Brad, Luke, and the whole staff for a wonderful 1st adventure to SA.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank WLC1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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116 - 122 of 281 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2014

Amazing experience,
food and amenities were great, we had a large group of New Yorkers and left entertained and content.
Very intimate, Brad was an awesome guide.
it is a small lodge and you get personal attention to detail.

Once and a life time experience, saw big 5 first 3 hours out.

So many leopard and lions sightings it became common.

Room Tip: We got the worst room in the place and it was great.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank AlexShiyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Stayed at Jackalberry back in January with friends. From start to finish, the trip was amazing. Everything was well organized, food was great, accommodations were very comfortable, and we saw the big 5 almost everyday. Karlien, Brad, and the whole entire staff made our trip well worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank BrightlightsBigCity1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

Six of us visited Jackalberry Lodge for three days on a Lion World Tours package this month and had a fabulous experience. We have done these South African Game Reserve trips before and this Jackalberry visit was excellent. This is a small lodge and the whole staff proves wonderful personal and engaging service. The food was outstanding , lots of interesting South African touches and recipes that Marsha willingly shared with us. Our guide was Tom, a very experienced, really knowledgeable guide who paid attention to each guest's interests ( we had South African birders with us and Tom made sure that he attended to their special interest ). Unusually wet conditions with 8 inches of rain before we arrived made conditions exceptionally difficult. Tom toughed it out, worked really hard and did amazingly well. The ThornyBush guides work collaboratively on game spotting so a good cheetah sighting was shared through well coordinated radio contact. We came away with nothing but praise for the Jackalberry staff and thrilled with this visit.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

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!!!!

Room Tip: Does not matter really. All good. We stayed in Room 7 and loved it. Could not see any better or less...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank CapeTownBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2014

We flew into Hoedspruit on Dec 24 and arranged a transfer to Jackalberry lodge, approx 40 min away. From the moment we arrived, the staff were attentive and friendly. We travelled with our good friends from Canada who had 2 children, ages 13 and 11. They were given a lovely family suite and we had a comfortable separate unit close by. The staff all made an effort to learn our first names - impressive. We saw all the big 5 plus plus while in the bush and got quite close to a few animals. It was a magical Christmas experience that will always be in our memories. Thank you!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank SusanW51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

We spent the New Year's holiday at this magnificent lodge. On every measure, it surpassed our expectations! We can't say enough about the hospitality of everyone at the lodge. From Atasha's warm welcome back after each game drive, to the chef and servers and most certainly ranger Willie and John, our spotter, it was very personal and we were made to feel welcome and at home. The lodges were beautifully decorated and felt like a five star resort in the bush. The home cooked meals were delicious with the New Year's eve bbq of African cuisine a highlight. But what made the trip extraordinary was Willie, our ranger whose knowledge, expertise and professionalism made our games drives an experience none of us will ever forget. We really learned about the 'circle of life' in the bush and learned to appreciate the role that even the insects play in this web of life. Willie went over and above to make sure that we not only saw the 'magnificent 7' but experienced them upfront and personal! Everyone who works at the lodge is dedicated and passionate about what they do and their pride shines through to all who visit. We would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a top notch safari experience. We hope to return the next time we are in Africa.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank lindjess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jackalberry Lodge

Address: Guernsey Road | Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park 2128, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Price Range: £540 - £669 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Jackalberry Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 7
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

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