Jock Safari Lodge in South Africa was founded in 1982 by the Niven family, descendants of the author Sir Percy FitzPatrick. The lodge is named after his famous book, “Jock of the Bushveld”, the story of Jock the canine hero’s courage and loyalty, set during South Africa’s first gold rush era, which lured men from all corners of the world to southern Africa. Sir Percy FitzPatrick was one of these pioneers. The prospectors passed through some of Africa’s most scenic, untamed wilderness and it is here that Jock Safari Lodge is based. Jock’s southern boundary is the old Voortrekker road from Delagoa Bay (now Maputo) to the gold fields of the interior at Pilgrims Rest.
Jock is tucked away in the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park, at the confluence of two rivers, the Mitomeni (Shangaan for Jackalberry Tree) and Biyamiti (place of many trees). Here, 60 square kilometres of exclusive traversing rights provide excellent big-five game viewing The Kruger National Park is unrivalled in its diversity and is home to a countless number of rare flora and fauna. Owned and managed by the Swiss Caleo Foundation, conservation is the cornerstone of Jock Safari Lodge. As custodian to this rich natural heritage, Jock is committed to maintaining a low impact upon the footprint, in line with the foundation’s ethos to protect, restore and sustain wildlife and flora resources. Off-road driving within the private concession is permitted for predator sightings, yet done in an environmentally, sensible manner.
Sense of history
After a complete revamp in 2018, the decor of Jock Safari Lodge pays homage to its rich history and heritage with the addition of modern comforts and conveniences enjoyed by discerning travellers. Setting the tone with vintage style furniture, leather travel trunks and historical pieces combined with contemporary design, Jock is reminiscent of the bygone era of great African exploration and safaris. Spacious relaxation areas invite nature in with unobstructed views across the bush. At the main lodge, lounge and dining areas open out to wooden decks with a heated swimming pool and sun loungers, while an elevated bar and lounge with a firepit serve signature drinks and provide opportunities for game viewing day and night. The boma is the perfect setting for a traditional barbeque, while stairs lead down to the riverbed where guests may toast the African sunset and dine alfresco during the warmer months.
At Jock Safari Lodge each of the 12 spacious and secluded thatched suites offers luxury and privacy. Complete with ensuite bathrooms, they also come with extensive private decks and an outdoor Victorian bath and shower, making the most of the surrounding wilderness. With uninterrupted views of the riverbed, suites also have their own private plunge pool and an enclosed sala (day-bed) for outdoor living, daydreaming and sleep-outs. mJock Safari Lodge is child-friendly and offers a dedicated Kids on Safari programme, as well as babysitting services. The main lodge welcomes children from the age of six, while younger children may be accommodated at Fitzpatrick’s Lodge – the perfect home away from home for families with children or friends travelling together. Fitzpatrick’s Lodge sleeps just six guests and has a communal lounge and TV room, spacious indoor and outdoor dining areas with a private boma, as well as a deck with a swimming pool and views across the riverbed. The men closed family unit offers two luxury suites and bathrooms, leading to a private lounge area, deck and plunge pool, whilst separately located, the third suite is also completely private, with its own deck and plunge pool.
Guests are guided on a sensory journey at Jock Safari Lodge that encapsulates history, adventure, conservation, relaxation and fine South African food and wine. Activities include daily game drives in open safari vehicles with an experienced guide, as well as wilderness walks and visits to rock art sites. For golfers, complimentary transfers are offered to nearby Leopard Creek Golf Club, situated just outside the Malelane Gate of the Kruger National Park. Other relaxing pursuits combine to offer the ultimate safari wilderness experience, including bird watching, spa treatments and stargazing.