Jock Safari Lodge - Explorer-themed luxury safari

Jock Safari Lodge Review

Africa has an ethereal quality…its breath whispers on plains of grass, its sound whistles in the bushveld trees, its heart sits in the souls of wild animals and its dust remains on one’s feet…forever”. J.C. Smuts

We fell asleep to the sound of lions roaring on our first night at Jock Safari Lodge. This was followed by the roar of thunder. The wake-up call came too soon at 5am. Most of the other guests opted to sleep in on account of the weather, but never one to miss a game drive, I dragged myself and my husband out of bed. An hour later, we sat watching two lionesses and six adorable cubs frolicking near an elephant carcass while the avaricious vultures hovered overhead. I was in my happy place, glad that I had heeded the call of the wild instead of that of sleep.

Kruger National Park

Lioness with cubs

Later that day we spent some time watching a gorgeous mother and daughter leopard pair having their kill stolen by hyenas. We’d been to the Kruger many times before but the game viewing on this trip was unparalleled. Our guide Micah consistently impressed us with his incredible eyesight, spotting a chameleon and an African wild cat at night, inter alia. We also saw the rest of the Big Five, hyenas, a honey badger, baboons, a crocodile and copious amounts of plains game.

Kruger National Park

Some of the wildlife we saw

Situated in an easily accessible part of Kruger National Park, in the first privately owned and operated concession, the colonial-style Jock Safari Lodge overlooks the confluence of two rivers which attracts myriad wildlife and birdlife. The area is regarded as one of the best in the park for its Big Five wildlife viewing. Guides can off-road for predator sightings, as well as exclusively traverse riverbeds.

Jock Safari Lodge

Pool overlooking the river bed

Named after the courageous true-life canine hero from the book “Jock of the Bushveld”, set during South Africa’s first gold rush era, Jock Safari Lodge was built by the descendants of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, Jock’s owner and author of the book.

Jock Safari Lodge

Tribute to Jock

With its old-world elegance and charm, it is reminiscent of a bygone era when fortune seekers and explorers roamed the land. The main reception area consists of a large tent with leather travel trunks flanking the safari-style vintage furniture. Old wagons dot the lodge grounds, along with a sculptural tribute to Jock.

Jock Safari Lodge

Reception "lounge"

The expansive deck at the main lodge, where most meals are eaten, features a rock swimming pool, sunbeds and cane swings. Steps built into a 400-year-old jackalberry tree lead to an upper relaxation area, while the indoor lounge at the bottom houses a library with old tomes and wildlife DVD’s. Historic photographs adorn the walls of the lodge.

Jock Safari Lodge

Indoor lounge

The twelve thatched suites are named after prominent places in the book and set in secluded sections under a canopy of trees. Each one has an open-plan lounge and bedroom area, and a spacious bathroom with side-by-side showers and basins facing the outdoors. Special touches include Lavazza coffee machines with Maxwell and Williams mugs, a minibar, and fascinating reading material.

Jock Safari Lodge

Our private sanctuary

Jock Safari Lodge bedroom

Our suite

The suites lead out onto private timber decks overlooking the riverbed. With plunge pools, outdoor showers, Victorian bathtubs, and salas with daybeds, they are perfect for relaxing between game drives, as well as sleep-outs!

Jock Safari Lodge

Our private sala

Jock Safari Lodge

Private deck

Three meals a day, in addition to high tea and pre-safari morning tea with muffins ensured that we didn’t get hungry. The friendly restaurant staff served us wholesome comfort food like potjies, curries and roasts, taking our dietary requirements into account.

Food at Jock Safari Lodge

Food at Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge is great for families too. The Main Jock Lodge accommodates children from 6 years and older, while its sister lodge, Fitzpatrick’s Villa, accommodates younger children as well. Kids’ activities can be arranged. We saw many young children during our stay, and they were all having a great time. My teenage son also loved it.

Jock Safari Lodge

The deck

It was also heartening to note that foreign tourists are returning to South Africa. Our fellow guests were from USA, Germany and Mozambique, along with some other South Africans.

Whether this is your first visit to Kruger National Park or your fiftieth, a stay at this bushveld sanctuary will definitely make it unforgettable, like ours.

For more information, visit Jock Safari Lodge or book here.

Jock Safari Lodge

Old wagons

Good to know

  • Rates include accommodation, all meals, and two bush activities daily. They exclude Kruger National Park entrance fees. See the current SA resident specials here.
  • Covid protocols are in place including temperature checking and screening on arrival.
  • There is no cellphone reception but complimentary wi-fi is available in the lounge and dining areas.
  • The nearest Kruger National Park entrance is the Malelane Gate.
  • Although Jock Safari Lodge has its own 6,000 private concession, guides also go into the main Kruger areas.
  • Wilderness walks, spa treatments at the on-site Pilgrim’s Rest Retreat Spa and golf at Leopard’s Creek Golf Club can also be arranged.Jock Safari Lodge

Disclosure: 7

11 comments on “Jock Safari Lodge - Explorer-themed luxury safari”

  1. This lodge looks incredible to stay at if you're doing a safari, and I love the idea of that outdoor bathtub too! I can't wait to go on a safari one day and get some photos of the wildlife.

  2. I've been lucky enough to go on a couple safaris, but not in South Africa yet - adding this to the bucket list!

  3. wow wow wow, these seems like such an incredible experience! I'm right with you on the early morning game drives. I hope to visit one day! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Looks like you got some amazing wildlife sightings during your visit. I've been meaning to stay at Jock Safari Lodge and now you've convinced me to book it!

  5. OMG this lodge looks absolutely incredible! The rock swimming pool looks so inviting and the suites seem to be very luxurious and comfortable. Definitely planning a trip there soon!

  6. This place looks amazing - I would love to stay here when I next go on safari. I'm with you & would always be out on the first game drive of the day. It certainly looks like it delivered for you!

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