Jabulani is recognised as one of South Africa’s most respected five-star safari lodges. But the essence of Jabulani reaches far deeper than luxury and leisure – it reflects an exceptional twenty-year journey that began with a brave little elephant named Jabulani.
In 2005, our lodge was born. Since the conception, we have grown deeper in our conservation efforts but also our hospitality, cuisine and guest experiences, with our Relais & Châteaux accreditation, and our exceptional and passionate team sharing a unique and soulful safari experience with guests. With the growing numbers of orphans and displaced elephant calves in recent years, as a result of increased poaching and human-elephant conflict, Adine Roode, the owner and MD of Jabulani, took the step to build an elephant orphanage to provide a unique adoptive family structure for these calves in need.
In 2019, South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage, named HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development), built alongside the Jabulani herd homestead. HERD provides a safe place to care for and rehabilitate orphaned elephants from the often traumatic or near-fatal challenges that have caused them to be abandoned until they can be integrated into the welcoming Jabulani herd. Guests that stay at Jabulani contribute to the operational costs of HERD. They also have the opportunity to be a part of the elephants’ journey, by learning more about them, and their individual personalities and stories, and witnessing them in the wilderness of our reserve.
The style and ambience of Jabulani resonate with that of a classic safari lodge, refined with a fresh and modish touch. The main area features an elegant dining room and lounge that lead to an outside wooden deck lying beneath the shade of Leadwood trees – the ideal setting to enjoy an alfresco lunch while overlooking the waterhole. Our signature suspension bridge stretches gracefully over the river bed, connecting to the six Jabulani suites and Zindoga Villa.