An Overview of Camp Jabulani
The 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 at Camp Jabulani.
An open flow of light and air allow for a communion with the African bush without forsaking optimum comfort.
Rich woods, crystal glasses and silver service somehow seamlessly blend into an experience of genuine hospitality and sensory indulgence at Camp Jabulani.
Camp Jabulani 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 the living areas with the suites, which lie scattered beyond the river bed.
The sole objective of the team of professionally skilled staff at Camp Jabulani is to meet the needs of their valued guests.
Facilities at Camp Jabulani
• An expansive wooden deck, in the shade of a massive Jackalberry tree that overlooks the dry river bed – the perfect spot to enjoy lunch.
• An open-plan lounge area with laptop computer and Wi-Fi connectivity.
• An open-plan dining room for evening meals or rainy days.
• An open-air Therapy Lapa (Spa)
• A bush gym.
• The Gallery – luxury retail outlet, an art gallery and private wine cellar.
The Story About Jabulani
In June 1997, just 4 months old, a tiny elephant arrived at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.
He had been found stuck in the mud of a silt dam and was injured and severely dehydrated. To make things worse he had been abandoned by his heard.
It took a full year to nurse the little 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 heath.
The little elephant 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 of Camp Jabulani 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 Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre of some Zimbabwean elephants which faced a grisly and untimely end.
These elephants were all orphans due to a culling programme that took place in the 1980’s, and were already trained for elephant back safari operations.
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.
Two massive trucks left Johannesburg for Zimbabwe empty – and returned with a couple 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 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.
And so the luxurious Camp Jabulani was born.
Almost 11 years later and the elephants are alive and well.
Four babies have been born to the herd and another orphan found in the wild was rehabilitated successfully.
There is nothing ordinary about the Camp Jabulani experience.
And that is because of the elephants.
Discover for yourself that intangible something that will leave you marked forever.
Getting Married at Camp Jabulani
Getting married is one of life’s most cherished experiences and it stands to reason that finding the perfect place to exchange vows is near the top of the list of most couples getting ready to say “I do”.
Camp Jabulani offers a completely unique safari wedding experience in a really intimate natural environment.
Not only are the elephants extraordinary, but so too are the people.
The lodge is one of only a few wedding venues in and around Hoedspruit.
It’s a big responsibility being entrusted with such a special occasion, and each member of the Camp Jabulani team takes this responsibility to heart.
Guests are assured of a day where every detail is taken care of and every need met.
Whatever your reason for visiting Camp Jabulani, we really look forward to host you.
What to bring to Kapama Lodges
When coming on safari to South Africa, what to pack and what to leave behind may be slightly different to conventional holidays abroad.
To ensure you are well prepared, we have compiled a list of useful tips and items to bring along on your South African safari.
During the Summer Months
The summer months extend from September to April, with the hottest period between October to February each year – which is also the time of year when rain is possible.
Rainfall generally takes the form of thunderstorms, which last just for an hour or so, after which the weather clears up again.
Kapama provides rain ponchos for guests use on game drive vehicles and umbrellas for use at all the lodges.
Summers are generally warm to extremely hot, but may still be cool in the early mornings.
Packing a light jacket and warm cap (especially for game drives) is advised.
However, by noon, temperatures in summer are often very hot and suited to cool, short-sleeved shirts and shorts – light cotton fabric is best.
Also pack bathing suits so that you can cool off from the heat with a dip in the pool.
Swimming pool towels are available for your use at the lodge.
African heat can be intense and the sun is very harsh, so always wear a high protection factor sunblock along with a lip balm and sunglasses.
Insect repellent will come in handy, although game drive vehicles do carry repellent on board should you mislay yours.
During the Winter Months
Winter in the Lowveld area of South Africa where Kapama Safari Lodges are based is from May to August with the coldest period being from the end of June and throughout July.
During this time, fleece blankets are provided on vehicles for your use on game drives.
Early mornings and evenings may be very cold, so it is recommended to pack a thick jacket, scarf and cap along with closed shoes and socks.
A pair of warm gloves will be useful, especially on game drives.
Keep clothing colours as neutral and as light as possible so that you can blend in with nature.
Remember to bring malaria prophylaxis medication with you as Kapama Safari Lodges are situated in a malaria area.
Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
Meals are informal, so smart attire is not required.
Electricity at Kapama is 220 volt alternating current system – wall plug units take a round two-prong European plug.
Remember to pack your camera and lenses.
We do have WI-FI at the camps.
Kapama Game Reserve includes the following lodges: Kapama River Lodge, Kapama Buffalo Camp, Kapama Southern Camp & Kapama Karula
Main Gate GPS: 24°25’45.5”S 31°00’50.1"E
Detailed Directions to Kapama Main Gate from Johannesburg
Take either the N12 or the N4 from Johannesburg to eMalahleni and Middelburg.
Turn onto the R540 towards eMakhazeni, Emnotweni and Mashishing.
From Mashishing, proceed on the R36 to Ohrigstad and through the Strydom Tunnel to Hoedspruit.
From Hoedspruit, take the R40 to Klaserie and continue until you reach the Kapama Game Reserve entrance on the left.
Take the N12 / N4 from Johannesburg via Witbank to Middelburg.
Turn LEFT on the R540 towards Belfast.
In the centre of Belfast turn RIGHT to Dullstroom and Lydenburg (look out for this signage).
Take the R36 to Ohrigstad, through the Strydom Tunnel to Hoedspruit.
Turn RIGHT at the R40 to Klaserie / Bushbuck Ridge.
Continue until you reach the entrance signposted Kapama Game Reserve and Camp Jabulani on your LEFT.
Report to gate – your ranger will meet you at this entrance.
GPS: -24.433245 31.068316
Camp Jabulani is a family-owned and managed private luxury safari lodge located with the private Kapama Game Reserve near Hoedspruit, South Africa and within close proximity to the Kruger National Park – Big 5 safari country.
With a Relais et Chateaux accreditation, Camp Jabulani is guaranteed to 5-star luxury accommodation, cuisine, facilities and personalised service.
But Camp Jabulani’s most notable feature is the herd of trained African elephants, which were rescued by the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.
Visitors can experience the extraordinary through personal interaction with these mammoth animals on daily elephant-back safaris, or while watching the elephants at play in the waterhole or casually browsing in their natural wild habitat near the stables.
The luxurious lodge at Camp Jabulani has only six suites – never more than 12 guests – to ensure personal attention.
We have vast expertise and personal experience with the top South African destinations.
Taking the time to really get to know you and your wish list means we will tailor your perfect holiday.
If you find lower rates than our website, we will match the rate.