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“I actually cried when we had to go!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Nearest Town Skukuza | Inside Kruger National Park, Kruger National Park 2060, South Africa   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“I actually cried when we had to go!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

What can I say? I am in love with Jock Safari Lodge! Five Stars for this lodge for sure and TEN stars for it's staff! Everyone was more than wonderful to us during our six night stay and we enjoyed them for the great personalities they were! Lyle, our guide was humorous and incredibly knowledgeable, testing us at every corner and sharing in our excitement over seeing the Big Five (several times) and even seeing 5 out of the 'Secret Seven'! We were so lucky to see everything we did! Lyle is a true gem and great fun as a guide!! Naomi, the massage therapist was professional and funny to chat with, not to mention the treatments I indulged (tri-scented Shea Butter massage and a mud wrap) in were fantastic! Jayvee (Sp?) was a wellspring of knowledge about the history of the area and a riveting storyteller when he told us about the story of Jock of the Bushveld. We were so riveted, if fact, we even ignored the call to dinner! The buildings at Jock were clean and well laid out, the grounds impeccable and the rooms were beautiful and cozy. Edward, another host to us like Jayvee, treated us like best friends and was genuinely sad to see us go, as I felt from other members of the staff. The food was excellent and the service was divine. Everyone who works at Jock is truly some of the best people we came across on this trip. This was an unforgettable experience that left me a changed human being and I'm going back to my regular life with more understanding, education and a hunger to see more of Africa. Jock Safari Lodge was the shining highlight of our South African trip. I would recommend this wonderful place to anyone and also ask them to be a stowaway in their luggage!!!

Room Tip: It's my understanding that 'Little Jock', a short distance away from the main Jock, is e...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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340 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Austria
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

We stayed for three nights in former Little Jock (they changed the name to Fitzpatrick) and it was just amazing. We had great game drives with Dave, who was Ranger and property Manager in one person and he did it absolutely great. There are just three rooms with totally 6 guests and the staff gave you the feeling to be one big family. The food was absolutely great and the rooms very comfortable with a wonderful terrace with spectacular views to the river, sometimes you could see Buffalos and Elephants.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed at Jock for my 40th birthday. We were there for 6 nights on a deal that I bought through Jetsetter. This was simply one of the best holidays ever! We arrived and they had a bottle of wine and a birthday card waiting in our room. We went on our first drive that day and saw 4 of the Big 5 in just about 30 mins out of the gate. When we got back for dinner they sang me Happy Birthday and made me a cake. This place is pure class! I cannot possibly say enough good things about the staff. The rangers are all great people. We had Lyle as ours for the weeks and he is the awesome! We had what many of the other people staying there referred to quickly as the "fun vehicle", because we were all a very laid back group and Lyle was so great at catering to our collective and individual senses of humor. We got very lucky as well and not only saw the Big 5 (several times), but also quite a number of other very rare and hard to find creatures including 5 of the Secret 7 animals (serval, genet, wildcat, civet and porcupine). The animals just seemed to be coming out of the woodwork for us! It was such a joy and adventure! We got so lucky that the rangers in training and the chef started coming out with us when some of the other guests in our group had left. The other staff, from the spa to the kitchen are all wonderful people! We were so sad to leave and we got a genuine sense that they were sad to see us go. The rooms are excellent and so comfortable. The grounds and the main lodge areas (reception, bar, dining room, and bomas) were wonderfully laid out, clean, and had the most welcoming atmosphere. We'd come back again and again!

Room Tip: I'm not sure that there are any bad rooms. We liked the rooms next to the river (when the river...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

We spent 24 hours here at the beginning of our honeymoon on the way to Mauritius. It was always going to be a bit of a whistle stop tour but it was excellent and definitely worth the money with the 2 included game drives. The accommodation was lovely and in a perfect location - we saw 3 of the Big 5 without even leaving the main deck and the staff were very sweet and helpful. I totally recommend Jock Safari Lodge.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

Our visit to Jock was part of a "Retirement" holiday, with Cape Town and Mauritius providing very chunky bookends to our four nights in the Kruger. This was the first time for us in this sort of place, and our memories of our time there are wonderful.
I will admit that when we arrived, loaded down by luggage and after a flight from Cape Town and then a long drive to the Lodge, with half an hour before our first game drive, we were just a little bit bemused and slightly disorientated, but then on the last morning, after seven wonderful drives, we knew we had been very fortunate to be at Jock.
Other reviewers have spoken about Dave Olsen, one of the rangers at Jock. There are 12 lodges at the main Jock site, 24 people in all, divided into parties of 6, and that party has its own ranger throughout the stay. You have breakfast with him/her, usually dinner as well, so you get to know the ranger very well, and also the other members of your party so long as there are not too many departures, and thus changes of faces, during your own stay. We considered ourselves extremely fortunate to be allocated to Dave. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge, he is passionate about what he does and he is also a very accomplished semi-professional photographer, which for a camera fan like me was great.
You have to understand that a visit to a place like this is about the game drives. You are up by 5.00 a.m., back for a late breakfast, and then off again by 3.00 p.m., so there isn't much time to change for dinner when you get back: slightly joking there as this is a very informal place! But what you will experience, in a very small party and with a dedicated ranger, is stupendous.
The lodges themselves are not really "luxurious" in the manner of a top 5 star hotel. But they are very comfortable, very private, and cover a lot of ground, with spectacular views. You aren't at Jock for that anyway, although comfort (which you certainly get here) is a bonus. The food is very good, the staff are really friendly, and you are pampered from start to finish, although that pampering does involve making an effort because you won't get the full benefit unless you get yourself involved properly.
For us the highlights of our stay were the evening drives, and stopping in the middle of the bush as the sun went down in a spectacular way, and standing around the truck sipping gin and tonics! Absolute heaven!

Room Tip: It doesn't matter, all the lodges are pretty much the same.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

Just got back from 4 days at Jock Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park. A great example of "you get what you pay for". There were 8 of us in the group (4xadults, 4x >12 years olds). Perfect combination of early morning rises, late afternoon tours and mid afternoon gym or siesta's. We had the good fortune to have David as our guide/ranger. He know's his stuff - wildlife, photography...and any other subject of you want to get engaged in a discussion about anything.

Dave educated us, with a passion, not only on the Big 5, but every other bird, reptile, animal, insect or flora that exists in the park - just ask away and he will enjoy the discorse.

Remember you are in the wild, so do not expect up market city hotel style, but do expect the best you can find on safari.

We all loved it and look forward to a similar trip in the not too distant future

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

Being a wild life junkie and regular Kruger Park visitor it has always been a dream to visit one of the upmarket private lodges. The wife and I decided to take the expensive plunge - and boy was it worth it ! Superb accommodation with private pool, five star service, great food & wine and a delectable spa experience. From the first moment to the last, there was never a moments disappointment.

Lucky to get the ranger manager, Lazarus as our guide - what a guy ! We saw the big 5 on our first game drive, lions kill a buffalo on day two, and a leopard unsucessfully stalking a family of warthogs on day three. Game viewing in private safari vehicles with professional rangers is a whole new game. The teams communicate with each other, track animals and have acess to private land not available to regular park tourists on which the are not bound to roads - and their knowledge of the bush is astounding.

Tip: Stay at least 3 night and if you are from SA - there are special packages avaialble for locals which make it more affordable.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same, but the ones on the Byamati river have much better views !
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 #15 of 144 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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