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“Never been so happy to get up at 5 am in my life - Amazing”
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 13, 2008

As part of our multi stop (Cape Town, The Kruger & The Seychelles) honeymoon, we stayed for 3 days and 3 nights at Jocks. To say it was the highlight would be an understatement.

From the accommodation, to the staff everything about Jocks is amazing. Even getting there from Joburg is an adventure, as you travel from the most laid back departure lounge (free booze - yay!)in the world, to one of the smallest airports I've ever laid eyes on at Szukuzi (sp?).

We were met by two of Jocks guides (whose names, forshame, escape me) and were driven the hour's drive, seeing plenty of wildlife with expert commentary before we'd even got to our destination.

On arrival, we were shown to our room, which was luxurious in the extreme and treated to an outstanding lunch in the company of some vervet monkeys (don't feed them - we were warned), which to a primate loving young fella like myself was heavenly.

Before long, it was time for our evening game drive, which was absolutely superb. Both evening and morning game drives are included in the price, as well as all meals, drinks and afternoon bushwalks, should you feel the urge. Never in my life have I been so happy to get up at 5am.

To list the wildlife we saw, would take up the whole review, all of the big 5 and a miriad of other animals were spotted and photographed (take a load of memory cards and batteries). Our guide Lazarus was very knowledgable, personable and had a wicked sense of humour. How he could spot the animals he did through the bush whilst driving and on occasion in the dark still amazes me.

When not on the drives the lodge is the perfect place to relax, having a snooze in the 4 poster bed, reading your book on your veranda keeping an eye out for any wildlife wandering past in the dried river bed or having a wee drink at the bar.

Then a spot of food with the rest of the people on your jeep and your guide before going out on another drive.

I went on two bushwalks, accompanied by armed guides, but as they know the things to look out for through any of the 5 senses when walking through the bush we were never in any trouble of stumbling across an enraged animal. We were given handy tips on tracking with animal tracks, vegetation, dung all being investigated for clues. We also saw various birds, insects, tortoises and bigger mammals from a distance. We were also treated to some cave art. Walking through the bush in the knowledge that wildlife is all around is simply exhilarating.

I'd recommend Jocks to anyone who asked. It was easily the best destination I have been to thus far.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MoogyWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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501 - 507 of 588 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2008

It was our third visit to Jock and it was even better than the first time, as it was just like coming home. To be received with open arms and big hugs from many of the staff who could remember us from our first and second stay was a fantastic feeling.

The lodge is beautiful and the staff is very friendly. You go on your morning drive and when you get back your rooms have been cleaned and when you return from your evening drive your beds are turned down. It all seems to happen by magic!

It's the little touches that count. Like, the staff welcoming you back from safari - in the morning with juice and in the evening with sherry or hot chocolate. Or the way our personal ranger Paddy looked after us when on game drives and joined us at breakfast and dinner.

Anyone going on safari must know that seeing (or not seeing) animals is totally the luck of the draw. A trip to a zoo is a sure thing, but hardly gives the thrill and excitement of seeing them in their natural surroundings. We were amazingly lucky, but at the same time we had Paddy as our ranger who is highly knowledgeable, and willing to please.

Jocks is fantastic - make it top of your list! We hope to go back again one day.

Next time we'll ask Paddy to find us a tiger..................................

P.S. A plea or reminder to all guests planning a stay at any lodge in South Africa. Income levels are very low so be really generous with tips when you leave. And we mean tips not just for the staff that you encounter face to face on a daily basis, but also those working "behind the scenes", for instance your room maid. They all go out of their ways to make your stay a wonderful experience you just have to try again.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank QE2DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2008

First impressions is always important and I think that was our a led down. We arrived at Little Jock earlier than check in time but we did phone the lodge to advise. When we arrived there was nobody at reception, we could hear voices in the kitchen but nobody came out. After about 10min we saw someone in the back and they eventually helped us. But other than that there was nothing to complain about. The food was very nice, had breakfast, lunch and dinner. Game drive was also very nice, it was 6 seater only vehicle which was very convenient. We saw the big 5 and had very nice sightings. What I would recommend is that they upgrade the main area a bit so that it is cosier to just go and relax. What I really enjoyed about this lodge is that there are only 3 rooms so we could basically plan our own schedule for the day. Like on Saturday we could choose between a full day game drive from 13h00 - 18h00 instead of just the afternoon game drive. It was very nice we saw much more game during the day than at night. I would recommend this lodge if you do not like allot of people around you and just want to relax, eat and do game drives.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank TravelR0cks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2008

We stayed at Jock & were far from impressed. We were picked up from the aistrip by a surly ranger (not offered any refreshment) the drive to Jock was done in silence but our welcome when we got there was pleasant enough.

Our suite was shabby, hot water could be sporadic, the roof leaked, the toilet had a very unpleasant smell, nobody had bothered to check if the light bulbs were working (half of them didn't), our splash pool was dirty, the fan didn't work, I could go on.

Our ranger was not at all forth coming & could be moody (not just our opinion). We had to persist in asking for a game walk & thank god we did, the other ranger who came with us was fantastic, very informative with a true love for the animals of the bush unfortunately I can't remember her name but she was the only female ranger I saw there.

I am surprised to read all the fantastic revues for Jock & at this point I would like to add that we were not the only people staying there who felt it was in need of a "face lift", that some of the staff could be surley, the food wasn't up to much & there was a definite under current running through the camp. So we are just not grumpy travellers!

We have stayed at another luxury safari lodge where unlike Jock they know the meaning of the word luxury, we were really looked after by fabulous staff & informed rangers & the cost was much the same.

The one good thing about Jock was the space you were afforded for your the suite.

We left Jock & spent 4 days travelling around Kruger staying in the camps in the park (book well in advance) this was far more enjoyable not to mention a fraction of the price & we saw far more anilmals including the big 5 in 1 day. I know you can't guarantee seeing the animals but to not see lion or bufalo on a 3 night stay at Jock was to say the least very disappointing especially when other guests saw them, choose your ranger with car.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank rooksnest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orry_9, General Manager at Jock Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2011

Please take note that this review is over 3 years old. Since then Jock had a refurbishment of both Main & Little Jock, a Management change and staff (especially Rangers) underwent some intensive training. The results are reflecting clearly in our recent TA review's. I do however apologies for the poor stay that you had at the Lodge.

Louis Strauss

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2008

My husband and I got married at Jock Safari Lodge on May 28th 2008. The whole stay from start to finish was absolutely wonderful and we can't wait to return for out 1st wedding anniversary! We booked 5 rooms for 1 night for us and our families, each of the rooms was beautifully appointed and the luxury and attention to detail was spot on. All of the staff at Jock went out of their way to make our wedding day special and the people involved in the wedding package (pastor/flowers/cake/photographer/hairdressing) were all excellent. The food was divine and having our own rangers for the duration of our stay (including the wedding ceremony) was a real treat as they were extremely friendly and informative.
All in all I can't recommend highly enough that you go and experience a stay at Jock and as a wedding venue it is unbeatable. You'll love it!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank wepener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2008

Let me be clear.......if you think Safari and the film Hatari in the same breathe, then maybe Kruger is not for you. Speeding across the veldt in an open jeep chasing Rhinos won't be your daily activity.
However, if you like dining well, in comfortable, air conditioned rooms and being treated like - well a king (but don't tell the lions) and go on safari twice a day to boot, then you simply must try Jock Safari Lodge.
Actually, we stayed at Little Jock Safari Camp, about 1km from the main camp. In my humble opinion, this is better than the main camp. There are only rooms for 3 couples. There is a pool....more a giant sized bath, but it was fine to splash about in. There is an indoor dining room (see image) and an outdoor dining area, where you can enjoy the complimentary wines and beautiful meals as you watch the sun set, after being out on safari.
The rooms, more like suites, are huge. With a balcony overlooking the bush and river, separate bathroom, changing room and the biggest bed you've ever seen.
It's the little touches that count. Like, the staff welcoming you back from safari - in the morning with juice and in the evening with sherry. Or the way your personal guide looks after you when on safari. Not only do they know their wildlife, but they mix a mean G&T too.
If you prefer to pitch a tent, then maybe this isn't for you. If you like being spoilt a little.....go - now!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Jorgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2008

The visit to Jock's was the most amazing experience. We stayed for three nights as part of a multi-stay trip in South Africa and this has to be the best place I have ever been.

Every need for the duration of the stay was catered for. The accommodation was simply stunning - gorgeous 4 poster bed, roll-top bath in the centre of the room, stunning vista over the river bed enabling you to watch the wildlife coming down to drink.

Afternoon tea and cakes in old colonial style was an absolute treat, as was dinner around the fire at night. The food was out of this world.

The safari itself was thrilling (if not a little scary!) and our expert trackers were able to find all of the big 5. Sundowner cocktails in the bush rounded off each day very nicely.

The most perfect wildlife adventure in luxurious accommodation.

Awe-inspiring...

  • Stayed: April 2005, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Undertheoaks
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 176 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $859 - $1,187 (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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