Tales of Motherhood & Love from the Jabulani Family

by jabulanisafari

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In celebration of motherhood this Mother’s Day (8 May), we turn to our team and their families for love and inspiration about the mothers in their lives. Take a look below for our tales of travels with the family and our appreciation for all that our moms and mother figures have taught and given us.

Travel Tales with Mom

My personal fondest memory with Mom and the family must have been of a couple of years back… We spent Christmas in the mountains and for some reason (my wife, Chantel…) decided we should go for a hike on Christmas morning, which we did, but we did not do our research as well as we should have. What was supposed to be an hour or two of hiking ended up being six hours of slugging through the mountain valleys. We did it all with a bunch of laughs over our lack of research, one thing I can tell you is Christmas lunch has never tasted so good! – Stefan, Lodge GM

The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories. Most memories are memorable because of how they made you feel rather than what you were doing. My most favourite memories of my mom are weekends on the farm: Chasing cattle out of the fields or trying to catch escaping piglets or running away from a crazy rooster – daily chores when life is just simple for a moment. Memories where life is just about the moment and being with your family, being vulnerable, but knowing you have a strong mom to defend you no matter what could come your way. – Chantel, Lodge Reservations

Stefan & Chantel in our Jabulani wilderness

Growing up, I had the privilege to often travel alongside my mom when she had to go overseas for work trips. This resulted in quite a few stories to tell, but if I had to choose a favourite, it would most definitely be our second trip to Japan. Anyone who knows my mom would agree that she’s the most organised chaotic person, which means all the travelling excitement and adventures were usually left for me to decipher. At this time, I was 17 years old and one of my mom’s bucket list to-do’s was to go see the Snow Monkeys in Japan. I started reading up and gaining resources on how to go about getting there etc. Now, keep in mind – we travelled to Japan in June/July which is in their summer, and quite hot and humid. I booked us train tickets and thereafter bus tickets to take us as close as possible to the Snow Monkey Park in Nagano. Thereafter one had to hike quite a distance to actually get to the hot springs where the snow monkeys chill out. According to me, I had done my research quite well and both my mom and I naturally assumed that it would be cold up there as they are called “snow monkeys”. This clever assumption led to us both dressing in the warmest winter clothes we had. My mom even put her long Hunters boots on. Sorry to say, but it ended up with us having to hike approximately 10km uphill in the heat of the summer with our puffer jackets and rain boots, just to get to the top and find to our surprise no sight of snow, only snow monkeys. Luckily, both of us had a good laugh about it and my mom still got to tick one of her bucket list items off.

– Lente Roode, Daughter of Adine Roode, Jabulani Owner & HERD Founder

My mom and I love to go on coffee dates together. Anywhere and anytime is an excuse to grab a cup of coffee and spend quality time in each other’s company. Our coffee dates are an adventure in itself! During those occasions we go on an adventure through time, reminiscing on past travels, like our experience in Greece where we realised at 10pm at night that it was a public holiday in Greece and that there wasn’t any public transport available in the small town at night. The owner had to drive our South African family of five plus himself in a tiny Fiat Panda to our hotel, with the language barrier, as we tried to explain where our hotel was.

Mari, Sales & Revenue Manager

My mom wouldn’t be called the most adventurous person on a road trip, but she manages to create enough chaos to keep us all on the edge of our seats. Whether it’s a surprise helicopter flip that my father gifted to her for her birthday – blindfolding her on the drive there, until she was in the heli seat and refusing to talk to anyone or open her eyes; or the huey flip we went on together, mom and daughter, with mom clinging to daughter for dear life. Even a simple Segway ride around a wine farm turned into chaos as Mom drove straight into a pole, and rode downhill before the Segway ‘attacked her’ and she ended up on the gravel. There are times though when she’s utterly amazed us when it comes to travel adventures – her love of the sea makes her much more daring than me when it comes to going underwater. I timidly sat out on shore while Mom and Dad walked on the sea bed on an island trip with huge tanks around their heads. On a road trip to Grahamstown, mom felt much more in control as she commandeered the wheel and drove from Cape Town, through the night. The rush of this new experience made Mom and I so giddy, we laughed and sang most of the way, before turning into a parking lot to nap. She’s always been able to turn something crazy or chaotic into a laugh, a lesson, and a tale worth telling. She doesn’t push me to climb deadly ledges or dunk me underwater on a supertube like Dad, letting me know that it’s ok to be cautious, to have doubts, to go slow, and to try even if you fail. She is my lifeboat.

– Tamlin Wightman, Media Manager

I was very fortunate to be able to visit Kruger National Park on a very regular basis. My mom used to have this game we played when entering the park – the first one to spot a lion gets an ice-cream cone of our choosing. Whoever spots a leopard first gets two! Now that I think of it, this was most likely a way to get two very rowdy boys to behave in the vehicle. My brother and I used to spend hours scanning every bush and tree and would make our dad stop for every intriguing rock. – Ruan, Assistant Lodge Manager

Our Housekeepers’ Heartfelt Wishes

My mom used to carry me on her back when I cried. She also cooks the best food for me when I am sick. – Dephney

My mom used to cook vetkoek – the nice one. – Hellen

My mom taught me how to cook and bake. – Lydia

My mom supports me for everything. – Olga

My mom supports when I cry and for everything I need. – Morongwa

My mom taught me how to pray and she always made sure that I looked good when I went to school. – Vernecia

Our Rangers’ Odes to Mum

A mother’s love is beyond anything in this world. The constant care, worry and help she gives everyday whether or not we are together or apart can never be matched! I just want to take the moment to say thank you to my mother for everything she has done in my life, for all the sacrifices made to get me to where I am today, and that know will be continuous throughout my life. Every memory with you is a special one. I can never single out one as they all hold a special place in my heart. You are a rock I can always lean on in times of support. Love you endlessly.

– Head Ranger, Jason

Your unconditional love has gotten me through so much in life and still you don’t expect anything in return. You created my foundation for high standards and morals in following my life’s goal, something that can’t be bought, only taught. To the world you’re a mom, to me you are my world. – Ranger Juan

No matter how many grey hairs I give you and how many fights we might have been through, at the end of the day you still support me through thick and thin, hell or high water. I couldn’t appreciate anyone more than I appreciate you. I can say it time and time again and it still won’t be enough, thank you for moulding me into the man I am today. – Ranger Nathan

My dearest mother, where to begin? A good place to start would be with a thank you. If not for your continued love and unquestionable support, I would not be where and who I am today. You have been a shining light in the darkness when I needed it most. You are always there when I need a shoulder to cry on or to give the best possible advice anyone could ask for. Looking back at some of our memories, I can’t seem to find a favourite, as every moment with you is filled with love and happiness and no one, compares to the other. – Ranger Ryan


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