We visited Jock Safari Lodge late February 2012. Probably the first hint I would give is that we landed in Johannesburg and drove the 470Kilometers up to the Malalami Gate and then in to the park. After an all night flight on Virgin with some sleep I would recommend you think long and hard about this option. There are other ways to get there. The second hint is that on arrival after a 12hour flight and a 5 hour drive we had an hour to get ready and do our first drive in the evening. Most of the other guests had, had one nights sleep before by staying elsewhere first. This was not Jock Safari Parks problem it was ours! If you are at a lodge you really do want to make the most of every drive you can! 2 hints use them wisely.
With regards to Jock Safari Lodge as can be seen by the scores it does very, very well on everything. On arrival we where met and looked after immediately with cold drinks and then shown to our room. There where very few formalities on the check in. Additionally our car was squirreled away safely never to be seen in 3 days while at the lodge. We were in Lodge 6 overlooking the river a short walk from reception and even shorter walk to the Restaurant and Bar.
The lodge we were in was incredibly well appointed with a bath, Fan and Air -conditioning. There are ample sockets but you will need an South African Adapter hint number 3, your average universal, Pan global adapter WILL NOT have the right pins. These can be bought and I would recommend 1 or 2 of them, hint number 4 you will want to keep your camera’s charged at all times, you never know when you will need it to take a photo, perhaps buy a spare battery so you can have one on charge at all times. The lodge has a fridge stocked with ample water as well coke, wine and beers. Also supplied are Bug spray and mosquito repellant. As well as a plug device which takes the small cards.
The shower is outside! Actually this didn’t bother me more than I thought it would. As someone who attracts flies and mosquitoes like dead meat in a butchers window it was perfectly fine. The huge spiders ate most of the flies anyway. Joking aside this is the bush and there are some crazy looking and sizeable beasts, nothing that will kill you, most of the deadly stuff is on the other side of the electric fence!
Safari Time! On arrival you will be paired up with your Ranger, we got Patrick, more on him later. You will also be matched / paired with other members of your group. A point to note your group is for life not just for Christmas. You will spend a lot of time with the people in your group. This includes obviously the Safari time but also Breakfast and Dinner. Lunch is on your own. We landed on our feet and got put with a couple who turned out to be superb company through out our stay. I’m not sure everyone thought the same of their own matching’s!
Patrick our Ranger was in short amazing! Having spoken with most of the rangers they are all great guys. Patrick was however a bit of character and genuinely a hoot to be with. He knows the park like the back of his hand and is a mine of information. His penchant includes describing the way you will die when a certain thing bites you, and ends most sentences of this ilk with “you will be completely dead” no half measure with Patrick. His other penchant is for the big cats, and this was a skill he definitely showed on an all too regular basis. When every one else was South we where North and lone behold 4 lions in the road hunting Impala! Hint number 5 the first few Impala you see on entering the park will be cute, but do not going wasting all your disk space on photo’s of them, they are there in abundance!! On our first drive out Patrick explained the rules they are easy, the guns the rangers carry are not for show and they are never drawn or used unless critical. Patrick made it clear he doesn’t want to kill any animal because of a tourist.
Hint number 6 on the night drives, flies are attracted to the lights and if your shooting along at truck they cannot be avoided, in hindsight it might have been a good idea to buy some cheap safety glasses to wear on the night rides. Also, keep your mouth closed, and hair product acts like fly paper at night! You will not be disappointed however, there was not one drive we went on where something of significance was not seen. Sometimes it might be an hour where nothing but Impala cloud your viewfinder then at the next turn 3 Rhino in the middle of the road or Leopard marking it’s territory.
Food at the lodge is nothing short of outstanding from breakfast through lunch and dinner as well as an abundance of snacks, everything was perfect. I cannot fault the quality of the food at all.
You need to remember that this is the bush so Internet is not on tap neither are TV’s or mobile phone signals. The lodge generates its own electricity and services all of it own needs. Do not expect to be online at all!
I cannot fault Jock Safari Lodge we had an amazing time there, hint number 7 I would suggest 3 days is probably enough, it’s quite intense and your out and about nearly 8 hours a day, with a fairly rigid routine to make the most of seeing the animals. But I would happily got back to Jock Safari Lodge.
- 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