Kapama Private Game Reserve

Jabulani Lodge

Overview

An elephant haven

A classically stylish lodge in the 13,000-hectare Kapama Game Reserve, Jabulani is a safari stay with a unique conservation story.

Founded to support a rescued herd of elephants, it has now become a wonderfully luxurious spot offering unique opportunities to interact with the herd, opulent accommodation and Relais and Chateaux dining.

There are six spacious suites, each with outdoor decking areas, a heated plunge pool, and fireplace. The sprawling Zindoga Villa has three bedrooms, pool and a dedicated private chef, butler and ranger.

Cross the suspension bridge to the shared lodge areas, which include a spa, elegant dining room, lounge, bar, wine cellar and views over the waterhole.

Facts

At a glance

  • Six suites with plunge pools

  • Three bedroom Zindonga Villa

  • Spa and wine cellar

  • Relais and Châteaux dining

JABULANI Bath time with a view

Experiences

  • JABULANI camp jabulani elephants 6

    Elephant interaction

    Take part in an intimate and educational talk hosted by our elephant carers and in the company of Jabulani, Sebakwe or Somopane, who are older bulls of the herd. It is an extraordinary opportunity to understand elephants on a deeper level and to appreciate the importance of the conservation and protection of the elephant species. During a stay at Jabulani, there are further respectful opportunities to observe the herd from a comfortable distance, as they spend their days foraging in the reserve.

  • JABULANI Safari 1

    Game drives

    The Kapama Game Reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, buffaloes, rhinoceros, and large populations of giraffes, impalas, blue wildebeests and kudus. Predators include lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and many smaller species. Bird-watching is most rewarding and more than 350 bird species have been recorded, including the rare Gymnogeg and Knob-billed duck.

  • Jabulani walking safari

    Bush walks

    Heading into the bush with an armed ranger, guests can learn more about the many different facets of the bush. From tracking spoor (animal prints left in the ground) to touching and examining trees and plants, to sitting quietly and simply absorbing the many smells, sounds and sensations of Africa.

Conservation

The lodge’s story started in 1997, with Jabulani, an orphaned elephant calf of just four months, who was only accepted into a herd in 2002 when a number of hand-reared elephants were to be culled in Zimbabwe were rescued and brought to the reserve along with their carers.

With the substantial financial burden of having to care for the elephants and provide housing and income for their carers, it was decided to build a luxury lodge. In 2005, Camp Jabulani came to be, and the herd has since taken in other orphans and raised calves of its own.

In 2019, Adine Roode, the owner of Jabulani built South Africa’s first dedicated Elephant Orphanage, HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development), which was built alongside the Jabulani Herd Stables. Guests that stay at Jabulani contribute to the operational costs of HERD.

Community & Culture

Jabulani partnered with HERD and Mpisi Primary School to help develop and grow the school’s gardens, sustainability projects and library and computer room while also focusing on sharing awareness and knowledge about elephant conservation through different lessons and art projects.

Jabulani also supports Hlokomela Clinic , an award-winning HIV and AIDS educational and treatment programme centre, that was initially built to support the local farming community. They have expanded to assist surrounding communities too, also helping seasonal workers and migrants from other countries such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere in Southern Africa.

Footprint

Jabulani was built using a specific wood called Leadwood. Dead Leadwood logs were gathered over some time from around the vicinity and incorporated into the lodge design to fully utilize this valuable natural resource without the need to cut down living vegetation in the process.

The staff quarters at Camp Jabulani were largely constructed from recycled materials obtained from an abundant mine in the surrounding Hoedspruit area. Having staff lodging onsite also minimization the need for daily staff transportation, reducing the impact on the reserve over the years.

The lodge also has responsible water usage, from collection to management and cleaning.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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