Conservation is the cornerstone of our ethos here at Jock Safari Lodge. Both our lodges have been built and managed to the most stringent eco-management criteria in South Africa, audited by the KNP and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on a bi-annual basis.
For the Jock team, it is all about protecting the environment, flora and fauna for all future generations to enjoy. Off road driving on our private concession is permitted for predator sightings yet done in an environmentally, sensible, manner as the damage a vehicle does to the veld can take up to 2 years to repair. Jock Safari Lodge is 100% committed to maintaining a low impact upon the footprint, in order to remain true to the overall conservation Ethics of the Caleo Foundation.
The Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. ‘KNP’ is home to an impressive number of different species: 404 trees, 53 fish, 35 amphibians, 118 reptiles, 505 birds and 148 mammals.
The first explorer to set foot in the region was the Dutchman, Francois de Cuiper, who led a Dutch East India Company exploration expedition. Only circa 1838 did Voortrekker expeditions, led by Louis Trichardt and Hans van Rensurg, successfully establish forward outposts. Hundreds of Europeans and farmers came to the Lowveld, lured by rumours of gold, ivory and skins, which caused the number of game to dramatically decrease.
Due to this, President Paul Kruger was informed about the rapid destruction of wildlife in the area by hunters and he succeeded in persuading the Transvaal Parliament to establish a protected area for the wildlife in the Lowveld region. The “Sabie Game Reserve”, which is now the southern part of the KNP, was established in 1898 and is bordered by the Crocodile River in the south, the Sabie River in the north, the Lebombo Mountains in the east and the Drakensburg Mountains in the west. These reserves would eventually expand into today’s KNP.
The Anglo-Boer War stopped any further development of the Reserve, but the British, after winning the war, proceeded to develop the Sabie Game Reserve in 1902 and gave this task to Major James Stevenson-Hamilton to protect the animals against hunters and farmers and the Park was opened to the public in 1927.
He became the parks’ first warden, spending the next 40 years protecting and rehabilitating what the war had destroyed and subsequently acquired another 10, 000 ha for the Reserve. After World War I, the KNP was protected by the government of South Africa and the first ranger was Paul Bester.
We are incredibly honoured to be custodians of this land and to be able to share it with our guests in the most sustainable way possible. When you leave Jock, you will be sure to have a new found appreciation, and respect, for Mother Nature.