Camp Jabulani

Camp Jabulani is a five-star Relais & Chateaux accredited luxury lodge offering an extraordinary African experience for the discerning traveler.
      
Situated on a Big 5 private game reserve in the Greater Kruger area, this is one of the finest places on earth for viewing and photographing wildlife. Experienced rangers host guests on game drives and bush walks for close sightings of predators and other iconic African species living wild. Camp Jabulani has an authentic African feel with colonial-style décor. The six private suites are luxurious and comfortable, each with a deck and heated plunge pool. Families or groups will appreciate the stand-alone Zindoga Villa where children can be accommodated. There is an on-site gym and experienced therapists offer soothing massages in the outdoor spa or in the comfort of the guest’s suite. 

Camp Jabulani prides itself on exceptional cuisine, combined with fine wines and a variety of dining venues, both indoors and outdoors. This extraordinary property is renowned for service excellence and every traveler to grace its door will instantly feel at home.  

The origin of Camp Jabulani reflects the remarkable account of a herd of elephants, rescued from certain death shortly after the turn of the century. Jabulani had been abandoned by his herd as a baby, while a number of trained Zimbabwean elephants were under threat from war veterans expropriating their owner’s farm. This tale had a happy ending when Jabulani and the rest of the elephant herd were brought together and given a new home on the 16,000 hectare Kapama Game Reserve. Camp Jabulani was created for the sole purpose of supporting the herd.
  
Today visitors have the exclusive opportunity to observe the herd in close proximity, learning more about their behavior, their unique character traits, their incredible story and what it takes to take care of them. Much of this takes place while the elephants are in their natural environment, foraging in the bush, walking through the reserve or swimming in the waterhole. Photographic opportunities in close proximity of the elephants are also afforded.  

Other optional activities include hot-air ballooning, a behind the scenes tour of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), canyon helicopter tours and a game of golf. No itinerary is fixed, as Camp Jabulani offers a tailor-made experience according to its guests’ specific interests. 
 

Camp Jabulani offers its guests the extraordinary opportunity for man and elephant meet one another on equal terms.

The elephant experience includes:

The First Meeting: A personal orientation with the Jabulani ‘mascots’
This first interaction, directly at the Lodge, is always a very powerful one where emotive bonds are instantly made. Guests also meet the elephant keepers, each of whom has a fascinating story to tell about his unique and touching journey with the elephants. During this interaction, visitors have the opportunity to touch and feed the elephants, and to have photographs taken in very close proximity.

Following Gigantic Footsteps: Elephant tracking
Guests will join a senior trails guide, a senior elephant keeper and their ranger to track the Jabulani elephants within the Big Five Kapama Private Game Reserve. Tracking takes place from the comfort of a safari vehicle. Under the guidance of the Jabulani team, guests learn how to use their senses to find the animals out in their natural habitat. Once the herd have been located, the afternoon is spent watching them and hearing more about the their individual stories, their personalities and how to identify them.

Sunset and Goodnight: The stable experience
Guests meet up with the elephant herd as they enjoy their last drink at the dam at sunset. A very special moment, where the view is as beautiful as the sight of the animals in such a relaxed and contented space. As the herd makes its way back to the stables, guests follow at a short distance (although Jabulani likes to linger behind with ‘the humans’).

The Jabulani Stables are unique as they have been custom designed and built for the herd. The Elephant Manager will explain the stable layout, how it is cleaned and refreshed on a daily basis, and how the elephants are grouped into camps (based on their preferences), highlighting the relationship clusters that have formed within the herd. A particular treat is watching the babies at their bedtime!

Getting In The Know: Elephant research in practice
Did you know that an elephant’s stress levels can be established and monitored through its dung? We have been conducting research for the last year, in an effort to understand the physiological and behavioral impact that human interactions have on the Jabulani herd. Although it sounds simple, it’s an intensive and really fascinating process, based on the comparison between free-ranging elephants on the reserve, and the semi-captive animals in the herd.

Guests join their ranger on a safari vehicle or on foot to search for elephant dung on the reserve. After hearing more about the sampling process, they get the chance to conduct their own research.

Game Drives
The Kapama Game Reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, and large populations of giraffe, impala, blue wildebeest and kudu. Predators include lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and many smaller species. Bird-watching is most rewarding and more than 350 bird species have been recorded, including the rare Gymnogeg and Knob-billed duck.

Guests join their ranger in his open safari vehicle for a game drive, and head out in search of The Big Five, and the smaller (but no less significant) creatures that are part of an African safari.

Guided Bush Walks
The intrepid walker will take pleasure in experiencing a guided walking safari. Heading into the bush with an armed ranger, guests can learn more about the many different facets of the bush. From tracking spoor (animal prints left in the ground), to touching and examining trees and plants, to sitting quietly and simply absorbing the many smells, sounds and sensations of Africa in its most primitive glory – this is a safari in its purest form.

Therapy Lapa 
Camp Jabulani’s THERAPY LAPA lies tucked within the dense foliage of the reserve. Or treat yourself in winter to a spa treatment in the comfort of your suite in front of a blazing fire.

Whether the product of choice is a blend of natural aromatic oils, or something more extravagant from shores abroad, treatments administered by the expert therapist are relaxing and rejuvenating in equal measure.

Visiting the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
Camp Jabulani guests may wish to visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), about a 30 minute drive through the reserve in open safari vehicle.

Founded by Lente Roode, the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre has established itself as one of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in the country.

Governed by a progressive and modern management approach, it concerns itself with the breeding and maintenance of several endangered indigenous wildlife species of Southern Africa. The Centre places particular emphasis on the breeding and maintenance of cheetah in captivity. The excellent condition of these animals and the premises on which they are maintained, reflect the attention to detail which has become their hallmark.

Pioneer for Change Programme at HESC
Many of Camp Jabulani’s guests expressed the desire for a more interactive and participative experience at The HESC. This led to the development of the Pioneer for Change Programme.

The programme includes 3 nights at Camp Jabulani, per the traditional daily menu of activities.

Day 4 is however a completely new educational and interactive concept…

Day 4

• Guests enjoy an early breakfast to depart at 6h30.

• Arrival at the HESC is at 7 am.

• After an introduction to the Centre General Manager, and a brief orientation of the facilities and the activities planned for the day ahead, it is time to head over to the butchery.

• Participants will get “hands on” in the butchery as they assist to prepare the cheetahs, wild dogs and vultures food: 08h00 – 09h00.

• The curator will then guide participants through the process of actively feeding the cheetahs, wild dogs and vultures.

• It is then time to assist in the preparation of food for the smaller cat species, and any cubs that may be resident at the Centre at the time.

• The next hour or so are spent feeding these smaller animals.

• The process concludes with the clearing of animals’ feeding areas.

• Volunteers will also have the opportunity to visit the Animal Hospital, and to meet with HESC’s resident vet (subject to his being on site at the time). He will discuss with them any particular cases of interest, and the general challenges faced by the HESC when it comes to rehabilitating orphaned and injured animals that arrive at the Centre.

• To conclude the experience, participants will be able to ask questions of the Management Team before departing for Camp Jabulani once again.

Once the experience is complete, a PIONEER FOR CHANGE certificate is issued to each participant to endorse their efforts as volunteers for the day.

In recognition of the work done by volunteers towards the HESC and animal conservation at large, Camp Jabulani will offer the fourth night on a complimentary basis to successful “Pioneers”.

Hot Air Ballooning
After a safety briefing, become airborne in time to witness the sunrise as you gently drift over the landscape. Hot air balloon safari flights are one hour in duration, over the scenic Lowveld section of the Blyde River (15 km West of Hoedspruit). The terrain is a mixture of farmland, private nature reserves and wildlife estates, making for an incredible Kruger Park safari. The mountains to the South and West provide shelter from the prevailing winds, thereby affording good flying weather on most days. As the sun rises, the landscape, the vegetation and, if you’re lucky, some wildlife will provide photo opportunities. Game spotting cannot be guaranteed but on most flights plains game like giraffe and wildebeest are seen.

 

 

LOCATION
Camp Jabulani is located in the 16 000 ha Big 5 Kapama Private Game Reserve in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province (near Greater Kruger National Park). Daily one hour flights are operated by South African Express between Johannesburg (Oliver Tambo International Airport) and Hoedspruit, and Cape Town (Cape Town International Airport) and Hoedspruit – flight duration is 02h40. Complimentary 25 minute road transfers are provided between Camp Jabulani and Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport (HDS). Camp Jabulani is a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg.

THE LODGE
Camp Jabulani was conceptualised to sustain and support 12 rescued elephants. The Lodge has an authentic African feel, with colonial-style décor. Accommodation (comprising 6 Suites and the Zindoga Villa, for a total of 18 guests) lies along a dry river bed, each room utterly secluded and surrounded by indigenous bush. The Gallery offers a lavish gift shop, safari boutique, local art display and wine cellar. A complimentary wireless network is available in public areas, suites and in the Zindoga Villa. Facilities include a dining room, lounge, open-air spa (Therapy Lapa), basic fitness centre and sauna, an outdoor boma with a view of Camp Jabulani's waterhole, and an expansive wooden deck in the shade of giant leadwood trees for al fresco dining. Gastronomic excellence is one of Camp Jabulani’s core brand promises, and is just one of the distinctive features earning it Relais & Châteaux membership status.

SUITES
Camp Jabulani’s suites are large open-plan units with a lounge area, fire place, over-sized free-standing bath, double vanity, and glass-enclosed shower secluded by the African bush. Each suite features a private heated plunge pool with wooden deck. Amenities include direct dial telephones, complimentary Wi-Fi, mini bar stocked with the guest’s choice of beverages, tea and coffee making facilities (Nespresso), air conditioning, fan and in-room safe.

ZINDOGA VILLA
The Zindoga Villa offers two luxury suites (one of which has an adjoining twin room with en suite bathroom, ideal for children) connected by a communal lounge and dining area. The double suites each comprise a massive bedroom (including additional day bed), with en-suite bathroom and glass enclosed shower, a private lounge area, a large expansive wooden deck and a private heated plunge pool. Sold as an exclusive unit, the Zindoga Villa will appeal to smaller groups or families with children of all ages. The Team Tusker Programme is a uniquely tailored for children staying in the Zindoga Villa. The Villa is serviced by a dedicated operational team, including ranger, chef and butler. Guests also have a private game-viewing vehicle at their disposal. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the exclusive unit.

​SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS
There is no fixed itinerary at Camp Jabulani, which instead offers a tailor-made experience according to its guests’ specific interests. The hands-on management team personally welcomes guests to the lodge, and is available around the clock. Experienced rangers host guests on game drives and during bush walks for close sightings of predators and other iconic African species living wild. Camp Jabulani prides itself on exceptional cuisine (catering for all taste preferences and dietary requirements), combined with fine wines and a variety of dining venues, both indoors and outdoors.

UNIQUE ASPECTS
Camp Jabulani has set the benchmark for elephant interaction operations in South Africa. Of utmost importance is their focus on treating the elephants with care, respect and consideration. Today visitors have the exclusive opportunity to observe the herd in close proximity, learning more about their behavior, their unique character traits, their incredible story and what it takes to take care of them. Much of this takes place while the elephants are in their natural environment, foraging in the bush, walking through the reserve or swimming at the waterhole. Photographic opportunities with the elephants are also afforded. A visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre offers a unique interaction with endangered species, while at the same time contributing to their conservation. Clients are able to foster an elephant from the herd or a rhino (victims of poaching), or to adopt a cheetah. In so doing, they assist with the ongoing care of that animal. Hot-air ballooning may be arranged for a spectacular early morning excursion. Helicopter flights, and golfing excursions are also available on request.

 

 

Country: 
Accommodation: 
Activities: 
Special: 

Stay 4, Pay 3 Special
Valid for travel through Dec 15, 2018

Honeymoon Special
​Bride receives 50% discount on a 3-night stay

50 on 3 Special
​Receive 50% discount on third night of 3-night stay

​Pioneer for Change
​Spend 4 nights, pay for 3 and spend last day volunteering at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

All specials cannot be combined with any other discounts and are for new reservations only.