Kruger Country Retreat and Jock of the Bushveld Route

Embark on a historical exploration by visiting Kruger Country Retreat.  We are situated in the Peebles Valley, also known as the Jock of the Bushveld Conservancy.  On your stay you will be able to visit one of the Jock of the Bushveld hotspots, awakening the wonderful heart-warming story that still lives on today.  You can also visit the surrounding areas with Jock of the Bushveld route markers, such as Barberton and Graskop to learn more about the life of this little hero. In 1983 the Lowveld Digger’s and Transport Rider’s Society erected these bronze plagues on rocks wherever Jock’s original route crossed the present day roads.

The book “Jock of the Bushveld” was written by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick in 1905, for his young children, and tell the story of his dog “Jock” and their adventures in South Africa some 20 years before.

One South African Staffie became arguably the most famous dog in the world. Since Sir Percy Fitzpatrick wrote Jock of the Bushveld, the Staffordshire bull terrier, or simply the Staffie, has been a common household companion in South Africa.

Jock was born in the present day Kruger National Park near the Pretoriuskop Restcamp.  He was the runt of the litter and the young Fitzpatrick saved him from certain death by adopting him as a pup. Jock grew up to be a faithful and obedient companion, as well as a champion fighter and hunter.  Jock accompanied Fitzpatrick on his journeys through the KNP, as well as through the towns of Sabie, Graskop, Pilgrim’s Rest, Barberton and Lydenburg.

Percy Fitzpatrick became a transport rider – carting supplies for the goldfields at Pilgrim’s Rest and Barberton from Delagoa Bay (now Maputo) in Lourenco Marques (now Mozambique).

Jock was the little weakling of his litter of pups, being the outcast and not being as strong as his siblings, he indeed had the heart of a tiger and by surprise proved his strength, loyalty and well-behaved manner, so he became a world known icon through his adventurous life in the South African bushveld. Fearless and strong, Jock was the companion of Percy FitzPatrick and together they overcame so many obstacles and had so many adventures, and so the Kruger Country Retreat area became part of Jock’s journey as you can see in the pictures. Click to read Percy Fitzpatrick’s  full biography

We would like to welcome you at Kruger Country Retreat!

Our retreat enables you to a relaxing environment in nature and with so many wonderful and tantalizing surroundings such as the Jock way marker and also endless, beautiful views at your doorstep.  With a mere 20 minute drive approximately from the Kruger National Park, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) and many other close-by sightings, exciting attractions and activities you can include in your trip.

The house is also known as the Sanderson house which was built on the “Groot Trek”/Great Trek route of the Boers, which Sir. Percy Fitzpatrick moved through as a transport rider. While stating at Kruger Country Retreat, you can explore the mountainous forested areas on foot on various hiking trails or mountain bike.

Bill Saunderson and Son

Bill Sanderson and Son

William Bill Sanderson migrated to South Africa from Edinburgh with his brothers Tom and Bob, initially joining the rush when gold was discovered at Lydenburg. They later settled down to farming on a property at Peebles, situated at the location of the current Kruger Country Retreat.

An excellent hunter and a skilled rifleman, Bill Sanderson was described as an eccentric Scottish pioneer of the Transvaal Lowveld. He divided his time between working his farm and hunting in what is today the Kruger National Park. Percy Fitzpatrick used to spend time with Sanderson out in the bush where he learned the finer arts of hunting from Sanderson while his rig was out spanned at Sanderson’s farm. A cairn depicting the original Jock Trek Route still stands in our garden.

The three brothers and their Boer neighbours enjoyed a friendly relationship and they were also burghers of the South African Republic and thus liable for service with the local commando in times of strife. It appears that Tom may have died before 1899. Click to view the full biography

The Jock of the Bushveld Route

Some Animals you might get to see on the Jock of the Bushveld Route

Please enquire if you would like to book a Jock of the Bushveld tour with us