- Well appointed lodge, Kruger National Park
- Game rich area, home to Big 5
- Swimming pools, spa, and gym
- Golfing nearby
Jock Safari Lodge is a smart establishment in the southern corner of Kruger National Park, north eastern South Africa. The lodge sits in a tranquil location shaded by trees and overlooking a seasonal riverbed. The camp boasts 12 secluded, thatched chalets plus a larger three-bedroom unit, along with a spa, a gym, and two swimming pools. Kruger National Park is renowned for its abundant bird and wildlife, including the famed Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and Cape buffalo) along with hyena, wild dog, giraffe, hippo, and zebra. Offering comfortable accommodation and friendly service, Jock Safari Lodge is a good upper mid-range option for exploring this vast unspoilt landscape.
The two-storey main lodge is open-fronted and enjoys lovely views of the riverbed and surrounding bush. Communal areas include an elegant dining room and a cosy lounge with an open fire for colder evenings. There is a library and TV room, a gift shop, and a spa and gym. Outside, an extensive decked area houses a refreshing swimming pool and loungers, and a ‘boma’ for sundowners and alfresco dining. Wi-Fi is available in the main areas.
Activities include morning and evening game drives, guided walks, birdwatching and stargazing. Beauty treatments and massages are available at the onsite spa, which has a sauna, steam room, and hydrotherapy bath. Golfing enthusiasts are offered complementary transport to a course located just outside the national park.
The accommodation comprises 12 thatched chalets, spaced apart between the trees for privacy. Each suite has a king or twin beds, and an ensuite bathroom with a refreshing outdoor shower. All units have air conditioning and ceiling fans, plus a minibar and hot drink facilities. Outside is a private deck with a plunge pool and an alfresco day bed (sala) with tranquil views. Fitzpatrick is a three-bedroom unit with a swimming pool and similar facilities to the chalets, but no plunge pools. Each of Fitzpatrick’s three rooms can accommodate up to two adults and two children of all ages, whilst chalets are suitable for two adults and one child between six and 12 years.
Children are warmly welcome, and each youngster receives an activity pack on arrival. A well-tailored activity programme includes children’s game drives, junior ranger training, night walks in camp, cooking, and arts and crafts. Child minding is available on request, subject to additional cost. Note that there is a minimum age restriction of six years for game drives, with younger visitors offered alternative drives in a closed vehicle. There is also a minimum age restriction of 16 years for guided walks. Given the rural nature of the lodge’s location, parents are reminded to keep children under constant adult supervision.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019