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“The best experience of my life!”
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 6, 2012

My girlfriend and I spent this past weekend at Jock's and the experience with forever be etched in our minds. The staff and amenities are top-notch. Upon check-in, we were greeted with a cold glass of fresh apple juice. We were given an awe-inspiring tour of the place and once we got to our private room, we were stunned by how pristine the place was. An outdoor shower, plunge pool, private viewing deck (I took a hot shower in the rain and saw water buck in the distance), comfortable bed, stocked fridge, spacious bathtub...the amenities were unbelievable. Did I mention the game drives? Our ranger, Ethianne, was very knowledgable and an overall great guy. He went above and beyond his duty to ensure our time at Jock's was outstanding. My profession is a chef and I must admit, the food was ambrosial. I wish I could work there. We had a lot of delicious, traditional food and the setting was spectacular. We had a braai for lunch and we saw three rhino's, 5 cape buffalo, then a herd of about 35+ elephants came trampling through. I'll never forget it. We made a lot of nice friends during the safari as well...shout out to Burt and Barb, Albert and Nadia, and Rangi and Mina...what an amazing weekend! I would go back to Jock's in a heartbeat. -Brian and Debra

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brianhatch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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365 - 371 of 572 reviews

Reviewed November 26, 2012

It was our honeymoon and everything from the moment we arrived to the moment we left was perfect. The game drives were fantastic and the food by Chef Ati and his team - top notch. The spa facility offered very good and affordable treatments. Certainly great value for the amount of service and attention to detail

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank TheLourencos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

My Wife had always wanted to go on a safari but I had always used the very high cost as the reason to divert her attention elsewhere. However silver wedding anniversary promise had to be honoured so that is how we arrived at Jock in early November.
Sadly Lyle our Ranger is leaving any day now and this will clearly be a huge loss to Jock. He was keen, friendly, highly knowledgeable, approachable and above all passionate about his care for nature. He could pick up an animal like nobody else I have ever seen in action. His bushcraft was an eye opener to the city Brit, using skills I thought had died with Rudyard Kipling.
Staff were universally incredibly friendly, helpful, welcoming and accomodating at all times. With 24 only guests, the staff ration was clearly well above 1member of staff per guest and this must be some of the reasoning behind the high price tag. Also remember you are 40+ km from the nearest town so everything has to be bought in; its not round the corner! To those reviewers who think this is not quite 5 star, just bear that in mind. I have no difficulty in placing the quality of this camp well into the 5 star bracket.
Each of the 12 (semi detatched) thatched chalets has its own sun loungers, open air shower ( lovely), canopy and bed overlooking the bush - I am told staff will put mosquito nets around should you wish to sleep out- and a plunge pool ( unheated and too cold for me in November). At times one sees nothing for long periods of time but we suddenly found 2 large rhinos almost cuddling up to the fence underneath- we can't have been more than 10 metres away! The room is pleasantly furnished with a free minibar. Bottled water, still and sparkling, available liberally.The bed is beautifully comfortable.
Food is too much if anything and the standard of cuisine is very high. Alcohol ( included in the price) flows liberally though I could not contemplate sparkling wine at 9am when we came off the morning drive for a very full breakfast. there is a lunch at 1 pm and tea at 3.30 prior to the evening drive.
One is somewhat dependent on the weather: animals are at their most acitive at dawn and dusk hence the 5am phone call summoning you for coffee at 5.30 and departure soon after that . It is still cold at that time of day especially when one is in the open truck at 30mph. the blanket provided was used surprisingly often. In the morning sightings are commonest at the start of the drive- at sunset in the evening.
Theer are 2 major advantages of staying in the park 1) you are where the animals are and you do not face a 45 min treck when the park opens to get there: addiitonally you are allowed out with your ranger after dark when the park is officially closed and 2) the lodge has its own concession where you are completely alone: the drive along the dry river bed often produced some of the best sightings including all the buffalo we saw on this trip. On one drive we got the big 5 in less than 1 hour- on other drives we saw relatively little: that is the way it goes. In our 5 days we saw 2 leopards: how Lyle found the first of these I will never know.
One of our drives was cancelled due to heavy rain and another curtailed- the animals lie low so one sees nothing and also one rapidly gets seriously soaked: far from pleasant.
There were massage facilities but not used by us. There was also a small shop. Other than this there was no opportunity to spend money so the admittedly high cost of the safari was eased by the inability to hit the wallet.
What could be better, the pedantic amongst you may ask? Little but 2 not one armchair in the room would have been nice for the day it rained. Also the safari truck design could be modified so that both the ranger and the passengers are protected against rain. We did see such vehicles on the road without affecting the intimacy of the viewing.
These are minor issues and should not detract from this being a lifechanging experience for us to see such a massive array of wildlife in their natural habitat. Cant wait to come back.

Room Tip: theer are only 12 rooms and they seem equal
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank theflyingdoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

We stayed 3 nights in October. We saw all of the big 5 within 24 hours. Lazarus was an excellent guide and had amazing ability to spot the slightest movement in the distance. Our room was lovely and comfortable. The food was very good and plentiful.

Room Tip: All the rooms in the main lodge sure similar.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank maddoan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

We spent 2 nights here and had a lovely time. Lazurus our Ranger was passionate and we couldn't have been happier seeing all of the big 5 and more... Artie the chef was very accommodating with making us a special buffalo Carpaccio, beautiful! We picked up a car from Nelspruit Airport and drove. Hassell free and not expensive. After Kruger Sabie Village is worth a stay for a few nights as a base to visit many great scenic locations.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Neish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We spent a wonderful night at Jock Safari Lodge - November is a time of the year to go because we saw plenty of animals all of the 4 of the big 5 except the leopard . The accommodation is very good an comfortable with plenty of space, a small but private plunge pool, bed overlooking the bush, outdoor shower, lovely linen and very comfortable bed . The accommodation was very clean and well maintained.The only criticism is that at first our ranger seemed obnoxious and racist but after I started chatting with him the next morning on the morning drive he stared to warm up to me but my question is does it need a guest to initiate hospitality? Management and staff went out of their way to accommodate our dietary requirements and the dinner and breakfast was well presented and prepared. The rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful with good service, except that although we had a do not disturb sign on our gated door we had a staff member walk right in just as I was about to step into the open shower a big oops and a no no in my books . Overall Jock Safari lodge is a good choice for a luxury weekend retreat.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Shube1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

We (3 couples) stayed at Fitzpatrick's Lodge - about 5 min drive from the main lodge. Fitzpatrick's has 3 rooms so if you are in a party of 6 you MUST stay here if you can. It is completely self contained - own cooks, servers,cleaners, manager etc. All drinks free and at any time. A huge lounge, library, a pool for the 3 couples to share. Rooms are huge with big bath, shower looking out into the bush, mossi nets, 2 sinks, dressing room, huge beds,private outside sitting area and also communal sitting area outside. Breakfast cooked to order. We ate round an open fire on the first of 3 nights. I have to say that the whole accommodation experience was FANTASTIC. Now, add to this the really WONDERFUL safari experience and I challenge you to do any better. OK it is very expensive, but if you are going to do a safari once in your life then come on, fork out the cash and you'll certainly get what you pay for. Morning safari 3.5 hrs, Walking safari of about an hour, Evening safari of 4 hours. All these are included in the price. Drinks and nibbles on the safari. Our ranger was the chief one - Lazarus. He is an absolute DELIGHT. His knowlege is phenomenal and he is also a delight to talk with. He joined us for 2 of our evening meals.
You can tell I am waxing lyrical about this place, but it is all heartfelt and genuine. Thank you to Jocks.

Room Tip: If you are in a group of six go for Fitzpatrick's Lodge.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Daisy3178
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 #33 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $1,012 - $1,298 (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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