Jabulani Safari Lodge – situated on a private Big Five game reserve near Hoedspruit in the Greater Kruger Area – prides itself in more than just its hospitality. It is also home to a herd of elephants whose wellbeing is directly contributed to by guests staying at the lodge.
Back in 1997, the first orphaned elephant to join the reserve was a four-month-old calf found abandoned and injured, stuck in a silt dam in the area. The calf, named Jabulani, was weaned and rehabilitated but rejected by the herd of elephants already in the reserve.
Just five years later, there was a call to assist an orphaned herd of elephants from Zimbabwe, who were to be culled after losing their home due to land reform. In a few days, the elephants were rescued and transported across the border to South Africa by Jabulani.
The herd’s matriarch, named Tokwe, accepted Jabulani at last and the new herd went on to accept three other orphaned elephants thereafter - Kumbura, Timisa and Khanyisa.
In 2005, Jabulani Safari was created to help contribute to the costs of caring for the herd, and since 2019, South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage, HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development), built alongside the Jabulani homestead.
Click here to watch the video explaining Jabulani Safari’s mission and get a glimpse of the happy herd.