5.5 hour drive from Johannesburg.
Scheduled flight from Johannesburg/Cape Town into Hoedspruit Airport. Jabulani Safari offers complimentary return transfers from Hoedspruit Airport (Eastgate) the Lodge.
6 Luxury Suites
1 Zindoga Villa (Maximum 9 guests)
ABOUT JABULANI SAFARI
Jabulani Safari is located in the 16 000 ha Big 5 Kapama Private Game Reserve in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province (near Greater Kruger National Park).
Jabulani Safari 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 Jabulani Safari's waterhole, and an expansive wooden deck in the shade of giant leadwood trees for al fresco dining. Gastronomic excellence is one of Jabulani Safari’s core brand promises, and is just one of the distinctive features earning it Relais & Châteaux membership status.
Jabulani Safari’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.
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 Childrens 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.
Jabulani Safari 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.
Hot-air ballooning may be arranged for a spectacular early morning excursion. Helicopter flights, and golfing excursions are also available on request.
There is no fixed itinerary at Jabulani Safari, 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. Jabulani Safari 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.
ABOUT KAPAMA GAME RESERVE
Kapama Private Game Reserve is a Big 5 Game Reserve in Hoedspruit, near to Kruger National Park. The lush vegetation and varied habitats of this balanced ecosystem means that it is able to support dense populations of wild animals, offering world class game viewing opportunities.
A true African Big five safari experience, visitors will enjoy herds of antelope, giraffe and zebra grazing and congregating at the many waterholes, their senses alert to the threat of a hunting predator in the area. Kapama has five separate prides of lions and we have frequent sightings of leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena as well as other smaller carnivores. Prepare to be humbled by the size and power of the elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros.
Twitchers will find their Mecca here, as more than 350 bird species have been recorded, including the endangered Ground hornbills, Lappet-faced vultures and the rare African finfoot.
Kapama’s animals have learned not to feel threatened by our open sided vehicles, allowing for close-up photographic opportunities. We also strictly limit the number of guests on each Land Rover so that you have unobstructed views.
THE ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE
The time has come to review The Elephant Experience at Jabulani Safari, and a decision has been taken to completely phase out elephant-back safaris. By 1 April 2017, The Elephant Experience at Jabulani Safari will no longer include elephant rides.
The increasing international pressure against elephant-back safaris, because of the abusive way in which a proportion of the animals are sadly trained, prompted this decision. Based on our approach to animal welfare issues, we are in agreement with the negative sentiments relevant to abusive methods of training.
It is important, at this point, to understand the origin of the Jabulani Safari elephant herd. Twelve elephants, all of which had been left orphaned after culling operations in Zimbabwe in the 1980s, were trained for elephant-back safaris on a commercial farm in Zimbabwe from which they were rescued in 2002 at the time of a highly unstable political situation in the country. At the expense of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), a massive rescue operation was planned in a matter of days, and all twelve elephants were relocated to South Africa. Stables were built in record time (the cost of which was also covered by HESC), and the elephants were moved into their new home. The groomsmen who took care of them in Zimbabwe were also relocated, and their jobs kept secure as they once again became the elephants’ primary caregivers. We built Jabulani Safari, and structured its unique offering around the elephants in order to sustain them and keep them alive. The elephant-back safaris were put in place as a continuation of what they had been trained to do in Zimbabwe. From the beginning we worked closely with an advisory committee of veterinary specialists who guided us in respect of training the elephants, sustaining their emotional and physical wellbeing, and assessing which of the animals were to be used for elephant-back safaris (only six of the herd of fourteen participate in the safaris).
The well being of the Jabulani Safari elephant herd has always been at the forefront of the operation. Those who have visited us will know that our elephants spend most of their day in the open on the Big Five Kapama Private Game Reserve under the close supervision of the grooms (letting them roam free would invite the risk of potential conflict with wild elephant herds on the reserve). We have tried to provide an environment as close to a natural one as possible, without forgetting the very real captive circumstances surrounding their upbringing which have defined them.
Our model of training has always been based on positive re-enforcement, and no animal in our care has ever been physically or spiritually abused in any way. We abhor any practice that removes an animal from the wild for the purpose of commercial gain, as well as the harmful treatment of any living being. We are thankful that the world is acquiring a greater respect for the animal kingdom, and we pledge our support in being part of the changes that we all wish to see.
We have walked a long road with these elephants. As with anything in life, it is not about the destination, but about the journey. As with life, we need to be flexible during times of change. We will adapt our management plan to phase out elephant-back rides during the course of the next year, but will retain other forms of interaction with the elephants to create public awareness of the plight of these animals – particularly where and when they have to be sustained in captivity. Looking after this group of elephants was a responsibility that we accepted from the very beginning, and it is a commitment that we have no intention of forfeiting.
The Elephant Experience will evolve into an interactive and observational one, where visitors will have the opportunity to meet the elephants as well as view them in close proximity, learning more about their behavior, their unique character traits, their incredible story, and what is takes to take care of a herd of this size. Much of this will take 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 will also be afforded.