October 28, 2017 for 3 nights for 2 adults.

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Jackalberry Lodge in Hoedspruit, South Africa

On the edge of Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa, Jackalberry Lodge blends intimate luxury and majestic wildlife. This beautiful retreat situated in Thornybush Private Game Reserve is one of the country's premier "big five" game viewing areas. Here you'll find just five charming chalet-style rooms, all of which boast outdoor showers and patios that offer dramatic bush views. When you're not out searching for game, you'll discover a life focused on leisure--whether you're drifting in the pool or lazing in the library with a good book.

A typical day begins with a morning game drive in an open safari vehicle, guided by rangers and trackers. Keep your eyes open for the wealth of wildlife found in the immediate vicinity of the lodge, including lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and cheetah. Perhaps you'll enjoy a bush lunch at an intimate table for two before your afternoon game drive, offering even more viewing opportunities. The majestic Drakensberg Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for evening sundowners, followed by a sumptuous dining in the beautiful bush dining room lit by oil lanterns.

Location of Jackalberry Lodge

Jackalberry Lodge
The Thornybush Game Reserve Guernsey Road
Hoedspruit, South Africa

Nearest Airport: SZK

Amenities for Jackalberry Lodge

  • General Information
  • 7 Guest Rooms
  • On-Site Amenities
  • Pool
  • Interests
  • Active & Adventure
  • Beach
  • Lodges & Ranches

Reviews for Jackalberry Lodge

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TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Best vacation ever!!! So many beautiful animals, the well educated, dedicated guides/Rangers, and the best service by all the staff. Highly recommend Jackalberry Lodge!!! We only had 6 game drives, and by the 2nd, we had seen all of the Big 5 !! Couldn't believe how close we got to the animals. The guides and trackers are truly amazing!!! I posted photos.

ChicagoLuv2Eat - Florida

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Words alone could not express how much we adored every aspect of Jackalberry Lodge! Upon arrival, we were greeted by Natalay and offered a delicious glass of juice. Our bags were wisped away to our rooms while we convened in the common area to go over the lodge basics. After a short orientation, we were taken to our rooms and shown around. There are 7 individual "huts" that are all offer the perfect amount of privacy but are still close to the main area of the lodge. As you will read in other reviews, the accommodations are amazing! Spacious, comfortable, clean and authentic. Exactly what you would look for in this environment. While at the camp, you will see animals grazing, drinking water from the pool/fresh water sources at the lodge. You are truly one with nature in this camp. 6 of the 7 tents were occupied by travelers who booked through Lion World Travel, us included. There was another couple in the last tent. In total, the lodge was fully booked and there were only 11 of us. This was as close to a private experience as you can get without being private. All of us at the lodge were essentially split into 2 groups. Each group was assigned a butler (Godfrey) and a tracker and ranger for the duration of the stay. Even at our communal meals, your group's butler will handle all of your food/drink orders. They will also be the ones that greet you after your nightly game drives, as well as, serve your beverages at the bar. We were fortunate enough to see all of the big 5 by our 3rd game drive! In addition to the Big 5, we saw everything from Cheetah to Honey badgers, you name it, we probably saw it! There were so many animals to see and learn about that we were in awe. Lucas (tracker) and Gerhard (ranger) were personable and extremely knowledgeable. They literally had an answer for every question that we asked! Daily life at the lodge was peaceful. You are woken up each morning by a staff member who comes to your door at around 515am. You have time to grab a coffee and a biscotti and then you depart on your game drive at 6am. After about 3 hrs, you return to the lodge just in time for breakfast. By this point, it's about 10am. You will have time for leisure until around 2-230 pm when you will meet back for lunch. After lunch, you get ready for your evening game drive which departs at 4pm. Again, you are out for 3hrs. Upon your return, it's time for dinner:) Thats pretty much the jest of a day in the life at Jackalberry! Pure bliss! I would like touch on and clarify just a few things. Because you have the same staff attending to your needs throughout your stay, you can feel free to leave gratuities by staff name on your credit card at the time of checkout. You may also do as others have suggested and put rand in envelopes and hand them to staff as you wish, daily or at the end of your stay. The hotel manual in your room, lists gratuity suggestions. Our travel agency actually gave their own recommendation which was slightly higher. We chose to go higher because The service was amazing! Just an FYI...We did not read the manual when we got to the room and for this reason we had to sleep the first night with no air conditioning. We thought there was something wrong with it but apparently there is a remote control that is used to operate it . another couple did the same thing:) After reading reviews of the places we were staying, I decided to pack my own Iron. None of our accommodations had a standard iron or ironing board in the rooms. I'm sure you would have been able to request one if needed but I personally didn't want to chance it. There are no outlets in the bathroom. If you need a hair dryer, you will be able to sit at the small desk and use that mirror. All of the food was great (Best of anywhere else we stayed in SA or Zimbabwe.) If you are someone that uses sugar substitute, I would recommend bringing some along with you. I personally like Splenda but I found it difficult to find any substitutes at certain places during our 2 weeks. There are no tvs in any of the rooms. However, we are big tv people and we didn't miss it at all. We completely unplugged from everything and it was awesome! There is wifi, but apparently a few rooms had a harder time picking up a signal. The main area is right there and so they would go there if needed. Overall, this is a quiet, intimate lodge with beautiful accommodations and unparalleled service! I would give anything to be back there in this moment! You will not be disappointed. To all of the Jackalberry staff, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking part in what ultimately goes down in history as our favorite vacation ever!

BRNWEYEGIRL4367 - Baltimore, Maryland

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We stayed with the lodge in September and had an absolutely wonderful stay. We saw every animal imaginable and every game drive was an adventure. The level of service was phenomenal as well - water and blankets were provided in the cars and we were met with warm or hot towels after every drive. Willy and John were a fantastic duo for tracking and driving and out butler Gideon was extremely attentive.

Grace R - Sydney, Australia

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I really can't say enough about the experience we had at Jackalberry! Our thatched cottage was charming and the pillows and sheets were the best! The staff from Gideon, our butler, to Atasha the manager and to our ranger and tracker Willie and John made everyday so special. The games drives far surpassed our expectations, we had quite an experience watching baby cheetah's! The folks at Lion World Travel really choose an amazing place n which to have the "trip of a lifetime"

Barbara O

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 1 month ago

Before even arriving at our lodge, we spotted monkeys and giraffe! We were greeted the moment we arrived, our bags whisked to our rooms, a refreshing drink offered. The lodge is as close as you can get to nature. Rooms were luxurious with king-sized beds, spacious bathrooms with soaker tubs with a view of the wilderness. A walk-in shower leads to an outdoor shower. This lodge is about going on game drives. We arrived mid-day, and after a quick lunch, our first game drive began. You're right in Thorny Bush Private Reserve, and within moments, wildlife is spotted. The knowledgeable guides and trackers keep in touch with other vehicles, sharing location of the Big Five and other animals. Our first game drive, we spotted giraffe, rhinos and a sleepy lion, awakened by an elephant who chased the lion away, trumpetting into the distance. And that was day one! Return to camp for dinner in the open-air dining area. Nyala wandered peacefully between our individual lodges. During the daytime, we spotted giraffe, warthogs, an elephant and different types of antelope from the comfort of our outdoor patio. On game drives, we'd stop mid-way for a snack and drink. Hot chocolate in the morning, and a glass of chilled wine or other beverage of your choice on the late-afternoon game drive. We had an amazing time, and got to know all the guests. Staff couldn't be more helpful. The benefit to this resort is you're right in the middle of the wilderness. No long drives to safaris. No time wasted. Wouldn't recommend for families with young children. This place is about the safaris. Hoedspruit airport is the tiniest airport I've ever been to, but why waste time driving. The one-hour flight from Johannesburg gets you to the animals quickly. Private game reserves have more freedom to go off-road to get closer to the animals. And almost never saw another vehicle. At one point, we were watching half a dozen elephants. Within moments, we were surrounded by about 60 elephants crashing through the trees at every side. It was breathtaking. Our guide Ocean and tracker Lucas were awesome. I had read other reviews praising Ocean's abilities, so was happy to hear we were assigned to his vehicle. It was the trip of a lifetime.

Nancy B - North Saanich, Canada

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