The story of RockFig Safari Lodge has been some 20 years in the making. It began with the Jenkins falling in love with the lowveld during the mid 1990s, and, many family holidays later, saw them purchase the farm in Timbavati that would become the grounds for this luxury South African safari lodge.
Many stories have happy endings, but the tale of RockFig Safari Lodge had an equally serendipitous beginning. During many idyllic family safari holidays in the lowveld, Glen and Bruce Jenkins began to dream of one day owning their own luxury South African safari lodge.
Seeing the simple enjoyment that their children derived from the slower pace of bush life, Glen and Bruce realised that they could offer people an opportunity to reconnect with South Africa’s wild places – and with each other.
They didn’t manifest their dream immediately, but rather through a series of property purchases that – happily – let their growing family spend even more quality time together in the African wilds. The Jenkins were enjoying exactly the kind of safari holidays that they’d one day make possible for others.
Family spirit runs through this story, even more strongly than the seasonal Ross River runs through the Timbavati farm that they’d eventually purchase, and on which they’d build RockFig.
Glen and Bruce have always set great store by connections: their sense of belonging when they’re in the Timbavati, and the immediate and long-lasting rapport they developed with lodge management couple Adri and Martin Stone, as well as lodge architect Tom Hattingh.
The decision to move from their previous home at Shingalana (a place named after lion cubs) to Timbavati (known above all for its white lions) was motivated by the more varied terrain, greater concentrations of wildlife and larger property.
However, it was ultimately another member of the Big Five that gave RockFig its name. On their very first game drive on the land, Glen and Bruce were enchanted to come across an unusually relaxed female leopard. She seemed entirely unconcerned by their arrival on her turf, gazing at them impassively from the fork of a large tree.
Her name, and that of her arboreal perch, were the same: RockFig. What better name then for the Jenkins’ luxury South African safari lodge? After all, it’s a destination that’s as striking, beautiful and welcoming as this legendary leopard herself, and equally memorable.