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Jabulani Herd

A guide for your first elephant interaction

By 23rd Feb 2018 One Comment

Guests travelling to Camp Jabulani in Hoedspruit, South Africa must know that several experiences await them there, one of which is meeting the herd of elephants. This large land mammal has a quiet presence, which, without making a sound, leaves you in wonder. This herd of elephants calls Camp Jabulani their home. Here they can rest their heads amongst the big 5 and a range of other species including a staggering army of impala. A landscape, that must be experienced first-hand.


What you might not have heard is how these elephants were brought from Zimbabwe to South Africa after culling operations. Besides saving their lives, it gave the Camp Jabulani rescue, Jabulani, a chance at a semi-normal elephant life. This is perhaps the most amazing wonder of this group of elephants – how they are able to comprehend a situation and grasp the severity of it. Jabulani was nursed back to health after being saved. An attempt to introduce the little elephant to join a wild herd was unsuccessful, that’s when the Zimbabwean elephants came to the rescue. They managed to rescue not only Jabulani, but every witness that beheld what was about to happen: they embraced him without hesitation.

Purpose of this Guide:
The purpose of this guide serves as preparation for one of the most mammoth and awe-inspiring experiences of your life.

What to expect:
You will cross a bridge at Camp Jabulani and stand waiting to make the most amazing acquaintance. Jabulani will come wondering down with a groom, very slowly, the way elephants move. You will soon realise that this imposing figure is indeed making its way down to you and you can feel your heart thudding in your chest as the excitement and anticipation builds.

What is especially notable about this experience, is the informative way in which the elephant is presented. Teaching the public about their characteristics, their anatomy (like their ears and feet) and their behaviour enforces how important elephants are and how they should be respected.


Touching an elephant:
Guests are granted an opportunity to feed the elephants that are brought their way. You will be able to touch their course skin and given a chance to look into their eyes. You will realise a connection, as if you have met each other before. Soon you will be left standing in marvel.

No photo ever taken of an elephant can justify the feeling and you will remember this day for the rest of your life.


Remember that:

  • An elephant’s skin is rougher in some places than others. The back of the trunk is remarkably softer than the front.
  • Hair density on the elephant also differs and are wirier in some places.
  • After their daily bathing routine,elephants cover themselves in sand and mud. This acts as “sunscreen” – so do not expect to leave your experience squeaky clean, instead embrace it and love it. (Hand wash and towels are supplied)
  • These elephants are very gentle, and they do not mind camera’s or movement. The grooms have ample experience and will be able to guide you around the behaviour of these majestic animals.


Nothing on earth, not even this blog can ever prepare you for meeting a Camp Jabulani elephant.

The best advice is, to try it for yourself:

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