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“A Memorable Experience Backed Up By Luxury”
Review of Jock Safari Lodge

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Jock Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 April 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, travelled as a couple
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Thank FORRES33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 April 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, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ramsay1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 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, travelled as a couple
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Thank DieterKemp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2012

I stayed at Jock Safari Lodge last september for 2 nights and really loved it. The Suites are amazing - the plunge pool, the outside shower, the sala with a great view over the dry river bed. The amazing bedroom and bathroom. All really fantastic. I also liked the "order what you want" lunch, the upstairs bar with great views, and the "everybody sits together" dinners.

the most important part of a stay in the wild is definitely the ranger, and JV is fantastic. he knows and shares so much about the wildlife, the birds, the park - just great. in the sabi sand and timbavati, its easier and quicker to see animals up close. in the kruger its a bigger challenge. and so, when we spotted a leopard, and for a long time "chased" her, it was much more rewarding and amazing than simply driving up to a leopard - which can sometimes happen in the sabi sand (but is still amazing).

Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
Thank nathalieyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

stayed two nights four game drives fantastic, our ranger Dave was great what he didn't know about wildlife,nature etc, also great with tips on photography.
We loved the layout of the lodges very comfortable also very private,food was really good too.Unfortunately my huaband left his medication in the lodge, after contacting jocks ,the manager very kindly air freighted them onto our next stop along the garden route.
All in all it was a fantastic holiday,would love to revisit sometime.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank 940Kevinb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Safari:
We stay 3 nights /4days and we went out on Safari 6 times (4 hours each).
Our safari was better than our best expectation because of our ranger JV.
JV is so knowledgeable about wild life,birds,snakes,galaxy........
The most important condition on a safari is your ranger, he is always with you ,so if you choose Jock ask for JV and will be assured of a 1er class safari with a one of a kind ranger!!!
Food;
The food was 5 stars,every things was perfect.
Lodging:
The layout is perfect,very intimate,big bedroom and bathroom,outdoor shower,
camp bed outside for day rest,plunge pool,and sun bath long chairs.
The only complain is that it's need maintenance to be 5 stars.The pool has to be paint,the camp bed sheet was stain and appearing not very clean. It is not so wear off that it's a no go but to be call 5 stars you need to be impeccable!!!
But the layout and room are well thought of and have potential to be easly 5 stars.
Getting there:
We flight for JoBurg to Skukuza air strip with Bateleur Air a private chartered air.
Small 8 seats plane landing directly in Kruger Park at 40 minutes very slow driving to the lodge and able to see on your way some animals.
For us it was wroth the money since the other option is to commercial flight to an airport outside Kruger Park and commute for 1.5 to 2 hours drive to lodge.
Booking;
All our airport transfer from JoBurg to BateleurAir and the Jock Lodge booking has been done by Rudie of Felleng Tours who is a very very good and experienced private tour operator in JoBurg.(go see on TripAdvisor-Felleng Tours)
All went very well and was one time because of Rudie.

Recommendation:

Yes ,yes go and book with Rudie (Felleng Tours)and ask for JV ,it's a must!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Yves48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2012

We stayed here in April 2011 with a small family group for 2 nights. It was great hotel in the middle of the national park. The rooms overlooked the plains with a small plunge pool outside. All meals and drinks were included, all of which were delicious. As a vegetarian, I often struggled in South Africa, but special dietary requirements were not a problem at all. During the day we had the pleasure of doing several safari tours with Jaques - a highly personable and professional guide that ensured we got the most out of our time in Kruger. So much so that we managed to see the Big 5 for 2 days in a row! It was an awesome experience and made the very early sunrise starts all the worthwhile. Highly recommend this hotel and would easily stay here again if visiting Kruger again!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank grahamau
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:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Speciality Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $1,228 - $1,574 (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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