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“don't eat the fish”
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 9, 2008

my brother has just come back from 5 days at Jocks. He had the yellowtail for dinner one night and went into toxic shock.after being rushed to hospital etc, the management said they would look into it. anyway they came back saying it was a nut allergy. strange considering his doctor and the environmental officer confrimed it as fish poisening. the management has not offered an apology.

Stayed: September 2008
4  Thank jungleking
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 5, 2011

Please take note that this review was posted 3 years ago. We've not had any similar incidents. I was not the General Manager at Jock during this period and would not be able to give an explanation for the incident. If there was indeed a problem with the fish, I aplogies on behalf of Jock Safari Lodge. We cook all our meals fresh on a daily basis and comply with all health & safaty regulations regarding food service. Louis Strauss

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477 - 483 of 572 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2008

If you are planning to go to Kruger Park, we suggest you stay at Little Jock. Little Jock provides the same services as the main camp, but we enjoyed more personalized attention and the opportunity to interact with other guests and the friendly staff. The three suites are lovely. We were thrilled to see elephants while relaxing on our terraces. Our ranger, Raymond, was an expert and very determined to find the most animal activity. Everything was fantastic and we have absolutely no complaints!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SlowTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2008

We stayed at Jock's with our 7 yo son for 2 nights as part of a 3 week trip to South Africa.

Jock's is a very nice place, just 12 rooms which each have their own private fenced-off garden with splash pool and a walkway to your very own outdoor viewing area with comfy chairs (sala). The room was comfortable, furnished in old colonial style with a huge bed shrouded in mosquito nets at night (fortunately, none about this time of year). The free-standing bath was separated from the room by a screen, and from it you looked out over the riverbed. We had a plumbing problem with the sink when we were there but it is in the middle of nowhere, so anyone who has travelled comes to expect such things. The staff were quick to resolve it and offered to move us if it recurred.

The whole compound has an electric fence round to keep out the animals, though the vervet monkeys have access and were a great source of entertainment. The focal point within the camp is the two storey central lounge/bar/dining area complete with a small but inviting pool (for a 7 year old at least!) and viewing area over the (at this time of year at least) dry river bed. There was always some animal activity in the river bed to keep you entertained during meal-times including elephant, giraffe, kudu and bushbuck.

Meals were very pleasant with excellent cooked breakfasts (much appreciated after returning from early morning game drive) and 3 course sit-down lunches offering 3 choices for each course. Evening meal alternated between table d'hote and a barbecue in the boma (outdoor open area). Breakfast and lunch were taken with your game drive party and ranger (though Rodgers is a bit on the shy side so did not always join us). The food was well presented, varied and more imaginative than I had expected after reading some of the reviews (eg chargrilled pepper and pear soup). All local drinks are free - at the barbecue, the staff just kept topping up the wine which was great - until the alarm went off at 5am next morning!

All the staff were really superb, from front of house to restaurant to rangers, and this added considerably to the pleasure of our stay. Rodgers our ranger was a really nice guy, not as flashy as some of the others but he quietly gets on with the job when out on safari, has great anticipation of what the animals will do and trusts his own instincts rather than tagging along with the rest.

Jock's has its own traversing rights over an area around the lodge but we still spent a significant amount of our 4 game drives on public roads within Kruger. Top sighting was a leopard stalking in plain view on the tarred road. We missed lion, which we've seen several times in Kenya but were hoping to see for our son. But he was more than happy with all the other things we saw, including Bushbaby (one of Rodgers' favourite animals) and Chameleon. And the whole game drive experience is really nice, with a very civilised stop for drinks and nibbles.

We also saw plenty of birds, which we have a particular interest in. On our first evening drive, there were two French ladies who appeared interested only in Big 5 and seemed annoyed that Rodgers was stopping to look at anything else. They complained about him when we got back to camp, which was grossly unfair to Rodgers - you miss so much if you take such a narrow focus and some drives are inevitably quieter than others - this is the wild after all, not some theme park! Fortunately, they left the next day which meant a vast improvement in the atmosphere within our vehicle, as everyone else was very nice. But it is potluck who you get both as ranger and fellow passengers - you are allocated and can't simply choose, 6 people to a vehicle when the lodge is full , 7 in our case because of our son so one of us sat up front with Rodgers. We are used to self-drive safaris or organised tours with like-minded people, so had forgotten just what a lottery it can be!

We found two nights just right for our son and for us, to be honest. We were ready to do our own thing again. Most people at the lodge are honeymooners on a Cape Town/Kruger/Mauritius loop, though there was one other family with older children when we arrived. It was a great experience for our son and he was made very welcome, and enjoyed it, though the games drives were a bit long for him.

In summary, a quality experience - expensive, yes but then these types of operation are. It compares well with other luxury lodges we have been to around the world and I would certainly recommend it.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank LiztheWhizz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2008

Drove from Johannesburg to Jocks Safari Lodge had no difficulty finding it. Got there at 3.45 in the afternoon. We were met by very polite staff and told we had 15 minutes before our 1st ' drive' the staff would take care of our luggage. We were introduced to our guide for our stay 'Big Ray' who was brilliant and a mind of information. We set out and saw eleants and giraffe straight away. After a while as the sun started to go down we pulled of the beaten track and stopped. Big Ray then got out a small table with crisps and nuts etc and started to mix Gin and Tonics. Stood in the middle of the bush as the sun went down having a G & T was magical.
On one of the days Big Ray suggested instead of an early 6 o'clock start we went all day after breakfast as we could go further. The 6 off us in our vehicle agreed. It was overcast which Ray said was good for seeing big cats as they wouldn't seek shelter from the sun. How right he was we saw a pride of 3 lions and a leopard. We had lunch and then saw Hippo one of which had a very young calf. On the way back we came across a recent Cheeta kill but it had been chased of by the voltuers who were busy picking the carcuss. Around a bend we then saw another Leopard, this one was up a tree and it had its kill with it. Thanks for the suggestion of the day trip Ray.
Jocks is a great place the staff, accomodation and food are all 1st rate and I could not fault anything. As others have said take warm clothes for the morning drives its cold at 6 in the morning before the sun comes up.
One of the nice things about Jocks is we kept in the same 6 for all the drives and at meals we all eat at Big Ray's table together and we met some really nice friendly people, a couple from Ireland and another from Italy.
GO to Jocks you wont be disapointed.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Alpina1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2008

My husband and I began our honeymoon in Mauritius and then headed to Kruger for 3 nights staying at Jock Safari Lodge. The transfer from the airport is a bit long, but for about 1 hour you're driving through the park, so be on the lookout for animals!

We arrived just after the afternoon drive left (it goes out at 4pm), so if you're arriving in the afternoon, try to get there in time for that. We were greeted by the nicest man, huge smile and lots of information -- and a champagne cocktail. He walked us around the property, which is in the park, separated from all the wild animals by an electric fence. The property looks really rustic and totally fits into the outdoors theme, and the rooms are in the same type of decor, but very luxurious. We loved the canopy type beds and claw-footed tubs. Everything in the mini bar is free so drink up!

Outside the room is a private terrace and plunge pool, plus outdoor shower. Great spot to sit if you miss the afternoon game drive.

The meals were excellent, don't expect sandwiches for lunch, it's a full meal with steak, chips, etc. Breakfast is more than enough with a buffet of cold items plus you can order eggs and other things from the chef. Dinners were excellent, you sit with your game drive group (usually 4 other people). It's a 3-course dinner, with lots of wine, or a bbq which was also really good. We even had kudu (which we had seen that day on our drive!)

Game drives are at 6:30am (you get a wake up call at 5:30, meet for tea and coffee and biscotti at 6, then leave for the drive at 6:30). You're back by about 9 or 9:30 for breakfast and are then free until lunch (which you take by yourself/not your game group, between 1-3pm). Meet again at 3:30 for tea before heading out at 4 for the afternoon drive. The morning drive we thought was better, more daylight, easier to see animals and we saw more of the big 5 during that time. The only animal we didn't see was the buffalo, but overall the drives were so much fun. you stop for coffee in the morning and stop for wine/beer and snacks in the afternoon.

As others have warned, if you go during Africa's winter, make sure to bring warm clothes, including scarf, hat, gloves, multiple layers, etc. You'll still be cold on the morning drive. It gets really windy as the cars are open air vehicles, so a windbreaker is good too. Even during the day it wasn't very warm, but most people we saw were very unprepared, coming with only a sweatshirt or jacket.

During your free time during the day, it's actually hard to be bored. Usually a nap is in order after breakfast and one day we got massages at the spa. The spa is a bit underwhelming as far as the changing room area and the sauna wasnt' working, but the massage was excellent and very inexpensive, about £30 per person.

Overall everyone was very friendly and helpful at the safari lodge. The game drivers were very knowledgeable. We loved the feeling of the resort, in a way rustic with animals (don't worry, just monkeys and deer) roaming around, but also extremely luxurious. If we get the chance, we will definitely go back although we may want to try a safari in a different place too.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank laurengucsb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2008

We stayed at the Jock Safari Lodge as part of our multicentre honeymoon. When we arrived we were greeted with cold drink and a friendly smile which we were most grateful for after a 2 and a half hour drive from the airport. We were then shown to our rooms which were very nice with a big kingsize four poster bed, bath and outside shower, plunge pool and viewing area over the plains. The lodges are very private so there is no need to worry about using the outside shower.

The games drives are scheduled at 6am and 4pm in the winter season. Our guide Rodgers was very knowledgable and did his best to find as many animals as possible. We saw all the big 5 except disappointingly lions but that was not for Rodgers lack of trying and I was told by other guests they had seen lions the morning we arrived and the drive after we left so they are out there! Only warning I will make is that it is very cold first thing in the morning and later at night on the drives, something we did not expect as during the day it is bikini weather but at night the temperature drops like a stone so make sure you pack a few jumpers and a warm hat, also a wind breaker may be useful becasue the main reason you are cold is wind rushing you during the drive.

The staff at the hotel were very helpful and and the food very nice, we were told by other guests the food was awesome and although very nice and varied it was not the greatest food ever.

During the day we had worried we maybe bored but if you don't mind relaxing by your plunge pool or watching the plains you won't be bored. The spa is also very nice and worth a visit.

Overall an excellent hotel with good staff and a very relaxing atmosphere, and the monkeys deserve a special mention who are great fun.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ssmith25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2008

Jock Safari Lodge is an absolutely beautiful place to stay in. We were there for 3 nights on our honeymoon in June 2008 and we loved it. The food and all the staff were great. We felt as if all we did was eat and sleep you were being that well fed. The game drives were excellent very very cold but great fun and so exciting to see all the wonderful animals and so close to you too. Our ranger Rogers was excellent was very well educated in all the animals and wildlife.

The hot chocolate after the evening game drives were yummy. All the food was fab breakfast lunch and dinner and plenty of wine on the go and as it was all inclusive it was so good not to have to be carrying around cash. Saw all the animals and no doubt about it the Safari was the highlight of our honeymoon.

The outdoor shower was a bit of a shock at first but the water was lovely and warm so cant complain really. If i had one complaint it would be that there was very little space to go for a walk around because we were literally in the middle of the park there was an elephant electric fence up around the lodge so that none of the animals could get in near us.

All in all it was a lovely experience and would definately go back again and would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MichelleIreland
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 #34 of 175 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $1,009 - $1,297 (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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