Jock of the Bushveld was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, whose courage and loyalty to his pioneer owner is stuff of legends, as well as a full length feature film based on Sir Percy Fitzpatrick's famous book. This area of southern Kruger National Park in South Africa, in which Jock Safari Lodge is situated, has long been associated with the Jock name, and Jock Safari Lodge is a treasure-trove of memorabilia on the subject. Carrie Hampton visited Jock Safari Lodge and found unexpected luxury.
Your expectations of comfort and quality will probably be exceeded at Jock Safari Lodge, as renovations and additions to the suites have elevated the lodge to a luxurious level. Each suite has a huge bed surrounded by walk-in mosquito netting, a small lounge and twin basin bathroom, plus a refreshing outdoor shower and indoor bath. Your private terrace has its own plunge pool and a wooden walkway to a lapa - a secluded balcony screened by bamboo - overlooking the riverbed. Vervet monkeys play in the branches above the lapa, and are cheeky and inquisitive enough to rifle through your belongings while you are not looking.
Privacy, exclusivity and safari-style luxury make Jock Safari Lodge a very pleasant place to base yourself inside Kruger National Park. You barely feel the need to leave your cottage and when you do, it is to walk through the simply laid out grounds past a statue of Jock, around the antique ox wagon, along a walkway hung with old lanterns, and if you choose, back to the present with a jolt in the internet room. Or avoid that all together and stay in the other world created at Jock Safari Lodge, enhanced by black and white photographs and a leathery library.
Dine under African stars
The communal area of Jock Safari Lodge is a two-storey affair with wide railway sleeper stairs leading to the open-fronted lounge and bar, from which you could almost leap into the enticing rock-edged swimming pool below. Raise your eyes for an elevated view over a dry riverbed, along which African animals frequently wander and colourful birds rustle in riverine thickets.
On ground level, also overlooking the riverbed is a wide wooden dining deck, which is adjacent to the reed-enclosed boma, where barbecued food is served every few days around a large central pit fireplace. Boma evenings where you wine and dine under the African night sky, are a hugely atmospheric part of a South African safari.
The other part of your stay at Jock Safari Lodge is of course your African big game encounters, which at Jock Safari lodge are usually from a vehicle. The youthful but very competent game rangers know their territory well and fill you with information, facts and figures with great confidence. A little age and experience will give them the added qualities of empathy and modesty.
There is no doubt that Jock Safari lodge offers a superb African safari, within the world-renowned Kruger National Park. You will see animals large and small and will be pampered day and night. Costs are fully inclusive of meals, local beverages (including wine and beer), game drives and walks. Prices tend toward the reasonable end of high, when compared with other safari lodges, although Jock Safari Lodge offers as many amenities and luxurious accommodation as some of the more expensive safari camps and lodges.
©Carrie Hampton 2004. This article is written by travel writer and safari specialist Carrie Hampton, who is under no obligation to state anything other than her personal opinion. This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
Feel free to contact Carrie on: firstname.lastname@example.org