Elephant back safaris are but one of the offerings at Camp Jabulani (South Africa), home to the Big Five and a myriad of other animals and plants, the reserve offers unequalled opportunities to experience the tranquillity of the bush. The reserve incorporates the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, which is widely known for its contribution to the conservation of wildlife. Conceptualised to support a herd of orphaned and abandoned elephants, this is an operation which promises a unique and completely interactive elephant safari.

Camp Jabulani is a perfect translation of the African bush, seamlessly blending classic and elegant interiors (fit for princes and kings, but warm enough to make the most “down-to-earth” feel completely at home) with the natural bush beyond. A camp of and within the elements. Rich textures of organic elements create a harmonious and pleasing balance between “designer” and “authentic”. Grass-pressed mud walls, stone floors and thatched roofs are but some of the natural features guests may expect to find. An open flow of light and air allow for a communion with the African bush without forsaking optimum comfort. Rich woods, crystal glasses, silver service somehow seamlessly blend into an experience of genuine hospitality and sensory indulgence.

The camp is built along the bank of a seasonal stream. An open-plan dining room and lounge merge with the wooden deck which lies in the shade of gigantic leadwood trees (around which the main facility was constructed). An impressive suspension bridge connects these living areas with the suites which lie scattered beyond the river bed. The sole objective of the team of professionally skilled and personable staff is to meet the needs of their valued guests. To indulge, spoil, pamper and entertain. But most importantly – to share with them the story and the experience of the elephants.

Each of the six luxury suites is remote and private. Massive wooden sliding doors present interiors which are a pure translation of style, comfort, elegance and overall – an appreciation of the natural environment. Pure cotton sheets, massive stone tubs, an outdoor glass-enclosed shower, a fire-place with a separate lounge area, and a private plunge pool complement each of the rooms. Suites are also equipped with a mini-bar, safe, hairdryer and electric blankets. Comfort is ensured by the 24 hour temperature control and overhead ceiling fan. During the day the “walls” of the suites are rolled away to bring the bush just that bit closer. In the evenings, cozy lighting, a blazing fire and a welcoming bed draw to a perfect close another day in Africa.Meal times at Camp Jabulani truly are a celebration of the senses. Perfectly sized portions are arranged in an art form of colour, texture and balance. A fusion of tastes and ingredients thrill the palate.

This is the story of an abandoned baby elephant who could never have known the impact he would have on the lives of 12 other elephants, and on thousands of people around the world. In June 1997, just 4 months old, a tiny elephant arrived at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC). He had been found stuck in the mud of a silt dam, and was injured and severely dehydrated. He had been abandoned by his herd. It took a full year to nurse the elephant back to health. He truly beat the odds, as not much hope was held that he would pull through. He was monitored around the clock by a dedicated team (including a hand-reared sheep called “Skaap” which acted as a surrogate mother) and was slowly brought back to a state of health. He was called Jabulani – meaning “to rejoice”. Now came a challenge of an altogether different kind. Despite numerous attempts to re-introduce Jabulani to the bush, he would have none of it! These humans were his family, and he had no intention of parting ways. What to do with a quickly growing elephant? …. enter the hand of fate once again. In March 2002 word reached the HESC of 12 Zimbabwean elephants which faced a grisly and untimely end. Their owner’s farm was in the process of being expropriated by war veterans, and the elephants were tagged for their meat. A rescue mission was put into place within a matter of weeks. A massive truck left Johannesburg for Zimbabwe empty – and returned with a dozen pachyderms. It was with amazement that the HESC team witnessed the meeting of Jabulani and the herd. He was immediately adopted by Tokwe (the matriarch) and had finally found his kin. Left with the overwhelming custodianship of these beautiful but mammoth animals, the next logical step was in the creation of a camp to support them. This camp would enable travellers from around the world to experience the extraordinary impact of interacting with elephants. Camp Jabulani was born.


From R 7,000.00 per person sharing per night, incl. of all meals, drinks, game drives and elephant back safaris
Children over the age of 12 years are welcome