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Jock Safari Lodge
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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.
  • 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
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 !
  • 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
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