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History

Before the turn of the century, the lure of gold brought men from all corners of the world to the Transvaal. They passed through some of Africa’s most scenic untamed wilderness. It is in this area that Jock Safari Lodge is based, with our southern boundary being the old wagon route from Delagoa Bay into the interior. Today the wilderness experience we offer is unchanged. It is an area noted for its diversity in game, particularly the BIG FIVE.

Jock has breathtaking topography and 2 pristine rivers originating within the borders of the national park with no alien vegetation in the rivers. The rivers flow only if there is enough rainfall.

The concept of Jock Safari Lodge was born by the descendants of the Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and Niven Family. They used the funds of the trust of Sir Fitzpatrick, to build the lodge in the area close to where the history of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick & his dog Jock, took place. The Southern boundry is the old Voortrekker road, which was the transport route for supplies from the Delego bay which is now Maputo, up to the gold fields at Pilgrims Rust areas. The Jock concession is the exact side profile of Jock the dog.

In 1982 the Niven Family built a fence around the camp and that helped in preserving all the trees from destruction by visiting elephants. The conservation-conscious Niven family also planted indigenous trees within the fenced area & they have grown to create an ambience under a canopy of shade different to the exposed wilderness just outside of the lodge.

The Legend of Jock

The concept was born by the descendants of the Sir Percy Fitzpatrick the Niven Family. The Jock concession area is the exact side profile of Jock the dog. There is still a lot of interest in Jock. Richard Kipling on hearing Sir Fitspatrick telling war stories to his children encouraged him to write the adventures of Jock.

About the author: Sir James Percy FitzPatrick

Politician, author and pioneer of the fruit industry. King William's Town 24.07.1862 -Amanzi (Uitenhage) 24.01.1931. He was the eldest son of James Coleman FitzPatrick, judge of the Supreme Court of the Cape Colony, and Jenny FitzGerald, both from Ireland. Two of judge FitzPatrick's sons were killed in action, Tom in the Matabele Rebellion and George (serving with the Imperial Light Horse) in the Second Anglo-Boer War.

Percy was educated at Downside Abbey, near Bath (England), and later at St. Aidan's College, Grahamstown. On his father's death in 1880 he left college in order to support his mother and her family. In 1884 he went to the Eastern Transvaal gold-fields where he worked as storeman, prospector's hand and journalist, and as transport-rider form Lourenco Marques by ox-wagon to Lydenburg and Barberton. At the latter place he became editor of the Gold Fields News.

His adventures during the pioneering days in the Bushveld are vividly described in Jock of the Bushveld, now a South African classic. He used to recount his experiences with his dog Jock at bedtime to his four children. Rudyard Kipling, and intimate friend, took part in these story-telling evenings and persuaded FitzPatrick to collect the stories in book form. When he had done this the author searched for a suitable artist to illustrate the book, came across Edmund Caldwell, and brought him to South Africa to see the Bushveld and make the drawings on the spot.

The book appeared in 1907 and had an enthusiastic reception, being reprinted four times in that year; it has remained a special favourite in South Africa and has been widely read abroad. It has appeared in several forms and languages, among them Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Xhosa and Zulu, and between 1907 and 1962 ran through almost 100 impressions.
(Niven, C. Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa. 1971)





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