sitting having lunch with a very good friend today i was trying to regale our trip to the african bushveld. being a fellow, very well traveled, south african he probably could visualise the stay quite well & yet i found it quite difficult to really capture the essence of the trip…. it was THAT special. i can only say that i am so grateful we were given this trip as i have to be honest there is probably very little to no chance that we ever would have forked out that kind of cash for a four day getaway into the ‘bush’…. we never actually got to see the final bill but my husband & i ‘gestimated’ it to be in the region of R40k-R50k….(!!!!) even if we were to spend that kind of money on a vacation it would most definitely be more like 2 weeks in mauritius or a month in thailand…. not FOUR DAYS in the bushveld!!!! i remember completely balking at the prices we were once quoted for a stay in a game reserve….. what a joke! especially with both of us remembering family holidays to the kruger national park as kids…. we used to go almost every year – the entire family…. it was basically a ‘poor man’s’ holiday. we’d stay in these ‘rondawel’s’ (round little houses with thatched roofs), always run by some serious afrikaan’s family, zero luxury but floors scrubbed so clean (remember those dark red ‘stoep’s’?) you could eat off them! not in my wildest dreams could i imagine anyone paying R5000 a night per person let alone the R15000 some places charge!!! utterly bonkers!!!! having said all that i also remember that we could ride around for days & days with my grampa at the wheel & pretty much just see buck…. buck…. oh and more buck with the occasional zebra thrown into boot! ok, a monkey did once pee in my grampa’s face whilst he was trying to take a picture through an open car window…. much to the delight of all the grandchildren…. but other than that it could be pretty dull!

having now had this amazing experience i can hand on my heart say that i completely understand why people are willing to pay these crazy amounts & why it is most DEFINITELY worth it! of course having said that i do believe my friend has now ruined any further ‘bundu-bashing’ for us as we will most probably never experience this kind of luxury again…. but still….. once in a life-time is definitely better than never.

i cannot urge you all enough to make sure that sometime in your lifetime you make a plan to experience a safari. my husband and i have been very fortunate in this lifetime to have had the privilege of traveling far & wide across our beautiful planet. we have had some amazing experiences & seen some beyond spectacular places. nothing could have prepared us for the african bushveld. there is absolutely nothing like it! YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT!

welcome to JOCK’S SAFARI LODGE

named after sir percy fitzpatrick’s ‘jock of the bushveld’ (the site was donated by the family) the lodge sits neatly on 6000 hectares of private game reserve situated in the heart of the kruger national park. so not only do you have access to this private area (only for guests of the lodge) you can also go off into the actual park as well. there are 12 magnificent suites (which means that even if fully booked there will never be more than 24 guests), each with it’s own private pool, outdoor shower & viewing deck onto the river. the one morning we woke up to find 30+ elephants (with at least 10 babies!!!) hanging out right in front of our ‘hut’ having a morning snack on the reeds in front. it totally blew our minds away!

you have choices where to take dinner….. in a ‘boma’ underneath the stars with the chef’s cooking on an open fire, ‘fine-dining’ on one of the viewing decks or ‘private dining’ (beyond romantic!!!) on your own viewing deck with your own personal waiter. the food was beyond exceptional – could be seen as a negative actually because you literally never stop eating!!!! there is this spectacular bar that is constructed up a gigantic ‘jackalberry’ tree with a view that just simply takes your breath away!

whilst the cost per person does sound pretty hectic i must mention that it includes everything. your game drives, your food & your drinks / alcohol. so actually when you start adding it all up you start to see where it all goes to.

upon arrival you are assigned your own ranger who looks after you for your entire stay & takes you out on every game drive etc… i really liked this as it gave you the opportunity to really get to know your ranger & visa versa. he knew what we liked (rhino’s), what we didn’t like (early mornings!!!), what we’d seen & what we still wanted to see & catered to our every need. our ranger – edgar (i’m sooooo irritated as i completely forgot to ask him how such a VERY black man managed to get such a VERY white name – i’m pretty sure he would have had a great story to tell – he was a fabulous story teller!) was just one of the most interesting men i have met in a long time. more about him later….. in the mean time here are some pics of the lodge to help get you in the mood!

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