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, 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
- Cultural activities
- Honeymoon safaris
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.