Set within a Big Five private game reserve in the Greater Kruger Park of South Africa, Jabulani’s six suites and exclusive Zindoga Villa ensure a highly refined, personalised and intimate stay. Jabulani is not your usual safari lodge. It has a story that has inspired the world.
Jabulani was created to help look after a herd of rescued elephants, by the Roode family, nearly twenty years ago, and has led to the establishment, by Adine Roode, of South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage, alongside the Jabulani stables, called HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation & Development).
Today the Relais & Châteaux Jabulani lodge is a special marriage of conservation and hospitality, a place to meet magnificent wildlife, rest deeply, wine and dine under open skies, enjoy sundowners with elephants, and soulfully reconnect with nature and yourself. Each spacious suite is discrete, luxurious and complimented by both a private deck and plunge pool.
Guests have the opportunity to learn about the elephant herd, spend time with the devoted elephant carers and hear their insightful stories about their life journeys with these precious animals, as well as watch the elephants during their midday swims or while they forage with their carers in the wilderness.
Where we operate
- South Africa
- Bird Watching
- Flying Safaris
- Safaris - Fixed Camp
- Walking Safaris
- Eco tourism
- Art tours
Our Commitment to Responsible Tourism
The Jabulani herd presents a unique opportunity to help orphaned elephants in South Africa. Our unusual and unexpected twenty-year journey in elephant conservation has fortuitously given hope and paved the way for a blueprint in caring for orphaned elephants in South Africa, a measure necessitated by the increase in elephant poaching. Every elephant needs a herd and the biggest challenge when taking on the responsibility for an orphaned elephant is finding a new family for the orphan. Integrating with a new herd is essential to mental wellbeing and health.
Wild herds have been known to reject orphaned elephants, especially when there has been human intervention in caring for the orphans. This situation proved to be the biggest challenge with Jabulani growing up, and many unsuccessful attempts over several months to re-integrate him with wild herds on the reserve. But then fate placed the elephant herd from Zimbabwe (consisting of many orphaned elephants too) in our path. When the herd met little Jabulani, it immediately accepted him. Jabulani had finally found his new family.
The herd (now fondly referred to as the Jabulani herd), has continued to welcome another three orphaned elephants without any hesitation. Tokwe, the Matriarch of our herd, is a remarkable elephant – she is exceptionally empathetic, kind and patient and leads by example.
The Jabulani herd now presents a rare opportunity for future orphaned elephants, once they have been nurtured through the crucial first two to three years. Initially, they would be cared for in a separate location, known as the Jabulani Elephant Sanctuary.
During these delicate early years, they need round the clock human care, with frequent feedings of specialized milk formula and a lot of love and undivided attention. Once their day consists of fewer milk feedings and more foraging for grass and leaves, we would introduce them to their new family in waiting, the Jabulani herd, as they would be less reliant on human intervention by that stage.
Naturally, there would be a limit to the number of elephants that could join the herd. We foresee the possibility of creating a secondary herd, when the time comes, and anticipate releasing these elephants into the wild, provided the correct land and environment can be found to ensure their successful reintegration.
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travellers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families.
The Wildlife Conservation Trust is a registered non-profit organisation and is dependent on donations and sponsorships to maintain its breeding programmes and the various projects undertaken in terms of research, education, relocation and rescuing abandoned and orphaned animals.
With the growing numbers of orphans and displaced elephant calves in recent years, as a result of increasing numbers of poaching of elephant mothers as well as man vs. elephant land conflict, Adine Roode, MD and owner of Jabulani, took the step to build a dedicated elephant orphanage to provide a unique adoptive family structure for baby elephants in need. It is our mission through HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development) to care for and rehabilitate these orphaned elephants, to give them a new family, and a second chance of life with another herd. The orphanage lies adjacent to the Jabulani Herd stables on the Kapama Private Game Reserve, which allows us to integrate each baby elephant into the herd according to their individual emotional needs. The unusual family structure of the Jabulani Herd, the majority of which are orphans themselves, presents a unique solution for orphaned baby elephants in Southern Africa that vitally need to find a second herd to ensure their emotional wellbeing and survival.
28 May 2020
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” – Charles Dickens.Read More
08 April 2020
Jabulani's First Elephant Orphan, Jabulani Meets the newest member of the family, Khanyisa, Trunk-to-Trunk!
A lot of exciting things have been happening at Jabulani and HERD - Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development! The integration phase of Khanyisa, the albino elephant orphan currently in the care of HERD, into the Jabulani herd is continuing step-by-step.Read More
27 March 2020
On Monday, 23 March, the South African Presidency announced the decision to put South Africa in full lockdown, in response to the compounding risk of the Covid-19 Global Pandemic. As of midnight, Thursday 26 March, Jabulani will remain closed until we reopen on 17 April 2020.Read More
12 March 2020
Do You Know About Our JabuJuniors Programme? We have renamed our “Team Tusker” programme.... JabuJuniors, still giving our young safari-goers the chance to experience the best of South African wildlife and to dig deeper into the fun world of soulful conservation.Read More
30 January 2020
It is the mission of HERD, the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation & Development, South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage, to rehabilitate orphaned elephants. On 7 January 2020, HERD received a four-month-old albino elephant that was found trapped in a snare with severe injuries. Her wounds indicated that she had been trying desperately to free herself for a few days. SRead More
14 August 2019
Happy World Elephant Day 2019 for the 12 August 2019. Our Jabulani ethos continues with the building of Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD), South Africa's first dedicated Elephant Orphanage, founded by Adine Roode. The orphanage, situated adjacent to the Jabulani Stables, is in its final stages as it prepares to welcome Mopane, an orphaned elephant currently in the care of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.Read More
24 June 2019
“Everybody loves him.” – Ruan Roos, Head Ranger at Jabulani Today we say Bon Voyage to Andre de Jager, who has been a loyal and committed ranger at Jabulani for the past three and a half years.Read More
13 June 2019
We dont know if you have noticed the changes on the Camp Jabulani Brand recently. We have decided to change our brand, here is the reasons why: The decision to evolve and simplify our Jabulani brand identity follows a fourteen-year inspirational journey that has grown from an “Extraordinary African Experience” to a “Unique and Soulful Safari Experience.”Read More
22 May 2019
Up until now, HESC has been providing a home for baby elephant orphans, since it is so well-equipped with amazing facilities for problem animals, with quarantine and boma areas. Over the last three years, four orphans have arrived on our doorstep. The decision, however, has recently been made to move the orphans from HESC to Jabulani and to build a new nursery closer to the stables of the Jabulani herd.Read More
18 April 2018
With a vision to become the most comprehensive information hub in the Lowveld (Greater Kruger Area) region, we're thrilled to announce that we hosted a soft launch of the new Greater Kruger Information Centre in March. The formal launch will happen hopefully in August 2018. We invite and welcome all to learn more about nature, conservation, activities and accommodation within the area.Read More
08 January 2018
When the year is winding down and the promise of a new dawn is in sight, we often find ourselves reminiscing about the year that has passed. With so many incredible adventures happening right on our doorstep, hidden between the foliage and tucked between the bush, it is rather challenging to decide on the best. It is only human to try and forget the bad, but we mostly ponder the good: the experiences we lived and so wished that we could revive again. From marriages bonding two Camp Jabulani employees followed intermittently by a sequence of elephant adoptions – let’s have a look back at the best Camp Jabulani adventures in 2017. Follow the link to see what we got up to in 2017 http://campjabulani.com/the-best-camp-jabulani-adventures-in-2017/Read More
04 July 2017
Camp Jabulani launches interactive, evolved elephant experience with a strong conservation ethos remaining central to all activities
With the launch of its interactive, evolved elephant experience, Camp Jabulani, the Relais & Chateaux accredited luxury lodge near Hoedspruit in Limpopo, enters a new phase in its journey with elephants. Since 1 April 2017 elephant-back safaris have no longer been offered. Adine Roode, owner and CEO of Camp Jabulani, says, “The decision, taken already in May 2016, was prompted by increasing international opposition against elephant-back safaris, because of the abusive way in which s…Read More
18 January 2017
On Monday, 21st November 2016, a baby elephant estimated to be about 4 months old was brought to HESC. The young elephant was found wandering on his own on the reserve next to the R40 tarred road. When the elephant arrived at HESC he was given an intravenous drip as he was dehydrated. Since then the elephant has been in HESC’s care. He was named Shawu after one of the seven bulls which used to roam the Kruger National Park. At first finding the correct milk formu…Read More
06 June 2016
A decision has been taken to completely phase out elephant-back safaris. By 1 April 2017, The Elephant Experience at Camp Jabulani will no longer include elephant rides. It is important to understand the origin of the CJ elephant herd. 12 Elephants were trained for elephant-back safaris on a farm in Zimbabwe from which they were rescued at own cost. A rescue operation was planned and executed, and the herd and their groomsmen were relocated to South Africa. We built Camp Jabu…Read More
05 May 2016
It is with mixed feelings that we report that HESC accepted another two baby orphaned rhinos over the last month. The first newcomer, a young rhino bull, arrived on Wednesday 13th April. A field guide on a neighbouring property noticed that the approximately 2 week’s old calf was being rejected by his mother. The young bull had no chance of survival without intervention, and was brought in to HESC for immediate and urgent care. He was named Nhlanhla, which means ‘luck’ …Read More
04 April 2016
Greetings from Camp Jabulani! A while ago we reported on the progress of our Elephant stables, which were in the process of being renovated and improved. Well, we are excited to inform you that this project is now done and dusted. Our Elephant herd, who has grown exponentially in size, as well as in numbers since their arrival a decade ago, are more relaxed and comfortable in their new and more spacious home. The new stables consist of four independent areas and a structured roof, …Read More
26 February 2016
On 16 February, The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) took custody of a 5 week old elephant calf. He had been found after falling into a draining hole at the Phalabora (stet) Copper mine in the vicinity. Employees at the mine reported the stranded calf to Wildlife Supervisor, Johann McDonald. Scuff marks on the scene indicated that his herd tried to bend down to rescue him from the hole. They probably left the scene at around 06h00 when workers started arriving at the mine. McDonald…Read More
28 January 2016
On Monday 18th January 2016 two female rhinos were poached on a neighbouring reserve. The older rhino cow died due to the severity of the injuries she suffered. She was pregnant, and died along with her unborn foetus. Her two and a half year old calf survived with serious injuries after her horn was hacked off with a chainsaw. Both rhinos were not shot, but were rather drugged with etorphine, a tranquilizer also known as M99. The surviving rhino cow was brought to HESC, accompanied by Kapama`…Read More
11 December 2015
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) released two male cheetahs, Wim and Tobie, at the Air Force Base Makhado (formerly known as Air Force Base Louis Trichardt) on 2 December 2015. Captive born Wim, six years old, and Tobie, seven years old, were donated to the Air Force Base to keep the runways clear of small game to ensure a safe landing environment for the 2 Squadron Gripen fighter planes based there. The Air Force Base is situated in a remote wilderness area of close on …Read More
10 December 2015
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) has two new inmates. On 11 November a young bull arrived in a critical condition with severe injuries to his hindquarters, sustained in what we believe was a hyena attack. The new baby was affectionately named “Stompie” by Christo (HESC’s curator) and his team. Stompie is estimated to be around seven months old. Shortly after Stompie arrived at HESC, a tiny baby, whom we named Balu, arrived on the night of …Read More
20 November 2015
A young male rhino, estimated to be about 7 months old, arrived via helicopter from an un-named reserve in Hoedspruit on Tuesday 10th November. His mother had died as a result of injuries inflicted by poachers. The young bull was in a critical condition and had sustained severe injuries to his hindquarters in what we believe was a hyena attack. The new baby was affectionately named “Stompie” by Christo (HESC’s curator) and his team. Space was made in Gertjie and Matimba…Read More
18 November 2015
Exciting new improvements are underway at the elephant stables. The elephants have grown in size exponentially since their arrival a decade ago, and these changes are extremely important for their mental and physical well-being. The original stables took about 3 months to build in 2002. It was a push, with lots of long nights spent working under spotlights to get the job done, but they were finally completed on time. This was crucial as the 12 elephants were scheduled to arrive from Zimbabwe,…Read More
07 September 2015
Eyes on Rhinos/ Rescued Rhinos @ Hesc Fundraising Event; By African Synergy – R138 515 Final amount raised
Greetings from the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre! The last two months leading up to our “Eyes on Rhinos Fundraiser” have been a humbling experience. African Synergy, HESC representatives, came up with the idea of a fundraiser at the Rivonia Barnyard Theatre, specifically for the Travel industry, their friends and family. The aim was to raise money for “Rescued Rhinos @ the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre”. How hard could it be? And why not do a Christmas in …Read More
16 June 2015
Africam, a long-time supporter of The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) came in contact with us to launch a new campaign called “Eyes on Rhinos”. This campaign will have the sole purpose of raising funds to improve the Rescued Rhinos @ HESC. The facility at the Centre will be a “Safe Haven” for the rhinos who are currently cared for at the HESC. The two rhino victims, now victors; Lion’s Den and Dingle Dell, recent arrival; adult bull #27, and two orphan…Read More
15 June 2015
Mari Theunissen completed her high school education with merit in 2003 at Hoërskool Waterkloof located in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa. Between 2004 and 2006 she successfully obtained her degree in B.A. Communications at the University of North-West (NWU) in Potchefstroom (North West, South Africa). Over the course of the following year she pursued her post-graduate education at the NWU, and graduated with an Honours degree in English – with Journalism as Capita Selecta in 2007.…Read More
17 April 2015
Hoedspruit, South Africa April 9, 2015 – We have partnered with Africam, a long-standing supporter and friend, to launch a new initiative called ‘Eyes on Rhinos’. After the arrival of two poached and now-rehabilitated rhinos (Lion’s Den and Dingle Dell), and more recently the arrival of our two orphaned baby rhinos (Gertjie and Matimba), we have found ourselves facing the immediate need to establish a rhino sanctuary at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. I…Read More
09 February 2015
We are proud to announce the opening of a beautiful new outdoor boma. Situated on the edge of a tranquil watering hole, the boma will allow guests to experience the magical ambiance of stars, lanterns and bonfires. Guests will have the opportunity to taste an authentic South African menu designed using fresh, local produce that has been cooked on open fire. The facility will also be used for elegant private dinners where couples can enjoy the romantic moonlight reflecting in the water …Read More
20 November 2014
HOEDSPRUIT, South Africa November 19, 2014 – Sunday, 16 November, we got a very important call to inform us that Dr Rogers was on his way to collect a rhino calf, and that we should be prepared to take it in immediately. In what felt like a matter of minutes, the boma where Gertjie (the baby rhino we took in on 8 May 2014) usually sleeps was cleaned and prepared with bedding, infrared lighting and a heater. With no further information, we waited in anticipation for the next c…Read More
20 May 2014
Camp Jabulani in the Kapama Private Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, has opened a luxury retail outlet, an art gallery and an intimate private wine cellar. The Gallery features local South African art, including works by Jean Abrie, Johan Koch, and Gert van der Merwe. Products from the ‘Out of Alex Embroidery Project’ and other communities will also be showcased. Private wine tastings and intimate dinners are also offered in The Gallery. Only South African wines will be feat…Read More
30 August 2013
TWO KING CHEETAH CUBS BORN TO THE HOEDSPRUIT ENDANGERED SPECIES CENTRE – AUGUST 2013 We are very proud to be able to introduce two new baby King cheetahs to the world! The magnificent and rare King Cheetah was first discovered in 1926, where it was thought to be a completely new and exciting species – a strange hybrid between a cheetah and a leopard. Although we now know that it is not a new species, but in fact just a pattern variation of a normal spotted cheetah, no one can…Read More