OUR TEAM

“Through the years I have come to learn, that no matter how luxurious or exclusive our lodge may be, it is our people that make our guest’s experience truly unforgettable.   

Our carefully selected team of staff, all have a genuine passion for not only the hospitality industry, but also our African wildlife, and more importantly, for one another. We are a proud and solid family.” ~ Adine Roode, Managing Director

Jabulani Management

Adine Roode

Managing Director

Growing up, Adine was surrounded by wildlife, so her passion for animals was instilled from a very young age. So, it is a natural progression that Adine continues to walk in her mother, Lente Roode’s, well respected footsteps.

Adine has walked side by side with the elephants of Jabulani, from the time of their arrival from Zimbabwe to current day, where she now finds herself as the key decision maker at Jabulani.

Having been a significant part of our lodge’s success since it was built, Lente handed the reigns over to Adine in 2014.

However, they both continue to work side by side as co-directors at HESC, which will always have significant synergy with Jabulani.

Adine Roode

Managing Director

Lente Roode

Founder

Jabulani would not exist today, were it not for Lente Roode’s lifetime commitment to wildlife conservation. From her childhood, Lente was surrounded by the African bushveld, living on a small piece of farm land with her parents, which she and her husband soon grew to become the Kapama Game Reserve that we know today.

As a young girl, Lente had the responsibility of raising an orphaned cheetah, whose mother had been shot by a local farmer. This sparked a lifetime commitment in her, to protect every cheetah she could, and ensure a future for the species.

In 1989, the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project (HCP) was built, with the aim of breeding cheetahs, which then were endangered. Over the years, all kinds of wildlife were brought to the HCP, and so the decision was made to rename it, The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC). It was here, that Jabulani was taken for rehabilitation when he was rescued.

Lente Roode’s brave and bold actions in not only successfully hand rearing Jabulani, but in rescuing an entire herd from Zimbabwe in 2002, led us to where we are today.

Our lodge was built and designed by Lente Roode, and although she may not be actively involved in the running of the lodge any more, her stamp of elegance and voice in conservation, still resonates throughout many details of the lodge today.

Lente Roode

Founder

Stefan and Chantel du Toit

General Managers

Stefan and Chantel returned to Jabulani in November 2017, as a newly appointed general management couple. It is great to have them not only back on the team, and leading our team successfully.

They met and fallen in love at HESC many years ago, Stefan was a guide, and Chantel worked as their head curator. Before long they had started working at Jabulani together, and stayed with us for a lengthy five years, before accepting a management position in lodge in the Sabi Sands.

We welcomed their return, as well as their beautiful daughter Meghan.
It feels good to have them home, leading the team at Jabulani

Stefan and Chantel
du Toit

General Managers

Schalk Human

Safari Manager

Schalk (pronounced Skalk), oversees all things safari related, including the supervision of the Jabulani rangers.

His Jabulani journey started off as a ranger, in March 2014, which he excelled at. But we soon identified Schalk’s other set of skills, his flair for anything maintenance related, which he was always happy to help out with. So, we promoted him to Maintenance Manager in December 2015.

Schalk’s work ethics are exceptional, and he expects nothing but the best from his team too. With our safari experience being one of our most important aspects of the Jabulani experience, we decided he would be the perfect fit for the position of a Safari Manager, which he has fulfilled since June 2016.

A proud father to a little girl and a baby boy, family and work are both very important aspects in Schalk’s life.

Schalk Human

Safari Manager

Elephant Managers

Jabulani Front of House

Isaac Mathole

Elephant Manager

From Acornhoek, South Africa | Start date 2002
Isaac’s career started in the world of finance, as set out to become a qualified financial account. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, he was unable to complete his studies.

Lente Roode heard of Isaac’s great potential, and gave him the opportunity in 2002, to join the team that cared for the original herd that we rescued from Zimbabwe.

Isaac has flourished through his years at Jabulani and holds the proud position of elephant manager through hard work and perseverance.

Isaac is happily married and a father of three beautiful children that he adores.

Isaac Mathole

Elephant Manager

Tigere Matipedza

Elephant Manager

Country of Origin: Zimbabwe | Employed at Jabulani since 2005
Working with elephants since 1996
Tigere started working with elephants from the age of 16, on a farm in Zimbabwe. He had been working with the original herd of Jabulani elephants when the evacuation took place. However, he could not join the team until later, once he had a valid passport.

In 2005, Tigere was reunited with the elephants and his colleagues and met Jabulani for the first time.

Tigere has proven himself as an excellent leader, and always eager to learn. In 2017, he completed his FGASA Level 1 in field guiding.

His wife and three children remain in Zimbabwe, which he visits whenever he is on leave.

Tigere Matipedza

Elephant Manager

Adele Welgemoed

Lodge Reservations

One of our longest serving staff members, Adele’s career with the Roode family started in 2000 working with the late Johann Roode, assisting with reservations.

In March 2007 Adele took on the responsibility of our reservations and has grown strong and trusting relationships with our local and international supporting travel agents, as well as our repeat guests who are familiar with Adele’s friendly voice, and her professional correspondence.

Through the years we have enjoyed watching her family grow too. Adele is happily married to Francois, and they have three beautiful children.

In her spare time, Adele loves a good book and continues to have a passion for travel outside of office hours too.

Adele Welgemoed

Lodge Reservations

Julia Frost

Lodge Anchor

True to her title, Julia assists with important duties both back and front of house, handling various aspects such as flight confirmations, room checks, client liaison, hosting guests, as well as airport pick-ups on occasion too.

Julia’s career started in the Jabulani kitchen, in October 2014, when she was employed as Commis chef and soon after became demi chef de Partie. Her love of food introduced her to the love of her life, Dylan Frost, whom she wed in October 2017.

Needing a change, Julia started working in front of house and then ran the curio shop, which proved good experience for becoming an excellent lodge anchor.

Julia Frost

Lodge Anchor

Jabulani Rangers

Ruan Roos

Head Ranger

Ruan started his career as a junior guide at HESC in August 2014. Having grown up on a farm with his parents in Polokwane, he always had a passion for nature and being outdoors. He thrived in the environment at HESC, and was soon promoted to head programme coordinator at the Wildlife Conservation Experience (WCE), which is a volunteer programme at HESC.

Shortly after that, an opportunity for a guide at Jabulani became available, and by January 2016, Ruan was part of our family, and as of April 2018, Ruan is officially our head guide.

He has a passion for photography and nature, which makes for a great combination for a ranger.

Ruan Roos

Head Ranger

Andre De Jager

Ranger

Andre joined the field guide team at Jabulani in December 2015, after a year of working at HESC as both a guide, as well as working with the WCE volunteer programme,

Originally from Kwa Zulu Natal, he moved to Pretoria as a young boy, and then finally on to the bush, where his heart lies.

Andre enjoys birding and wildlife photography, which he has started dabbling in a bit more seriously of late. In his spare time, he loves anything to do with sports! Watching it and playing it.

Andre De Jager

Ranger

Jason Botes

Ranger

Jason, or “Jase” as everyone calls him, has been with the Jabulani team since October 2017.

Originally from Newcastle, in KwaZulu Natal, Jase did his first years of guiding in the Eastern Cape region, and then decided to discover and learn about different areas of South Africa, and so, ended up in Limpopo, at Jabulani.

Jase has a fascination with honey badgers, his favourite animal to see in the bush, other than a leopard.

Jason Botes

Ranger

Dean Willkinson

Ranger

Dean, our ‘critter expert’, has been field guiding at Jabulani since August 2016. He completed his apprenticeship on the Kapama Game Reserve and worked at other lodges before moving to Jabulani.

Growing up camping and caravanning, he has an inherent passion for creepy crawlies (particularly spiders and snakes) and botany and he loves to share his knowledge with our guests.

Dean Wilkinson

Ranger

Liesa_Becker_Ranger_JabulaniSafari

Liesa Becker

Ranger

Liesa returned to Jabulani in October 2018, after previously working with us temporarily in early 2017.

Growing up, Liesa and her family, who originate from Johannesburg, spent a lot of their time visiting the Kruger National Park, and that is where her love for wildlife began.

It was in 2012 that Liesa decided to follow a career as a ranger, and she soon met Schalk Human, our Safari Manager at Jabulani, working at a lodge in the Waterberg. He taught her a lot of what she knew today and became her mentor.

Liesa gained further experience at another lodge in Kapama, before her brief experience with us in 2017. From there she travelled to the USA to work at Disney, as a cultural representative of South Africa for a year. We were fortunate to have a position for Liesa at Jabulani when she returned from her travels.

Off duty, Liesa has a wide variety of creative interests, especially singing and songwriting, often keeping us entertained.

Liesa Becker

Ranger

Jabulani Chefs

The Jabulani Chefs enjoy the freedom of expression when it comes to their culinary creativity and prowess in the kitchen. Each day they create a new menu of their choice, and personally present and discuss their menus with our guests.

Dylan Frost

Executive Chef

Dylan has been part of the Jabulani family since January 2014, however his career started in 2011 with experience in highly respected establishments.

Starting off as a Junior Chef, Dylan was promoted to head chef within just three months.
He continued to excel in the Jabulani kitchen, and in November 2016, was promoted to Executive Chef.

Chef Dylan is a strong leader, as he is a strong chef, and is not only respected by Head Chef Alex and Senior Chef de Partie, Zandrie, but also the rest of the Jabulani staff.

Dylan’s flair lies in fusion cooking, combining elements of various culinary traditions, to create a unique taste experience for our guests.

“I love working at Jabulani, as you have the freedom to express yourself on a plate, as well as being surrounded by our fantastic Jabulani family”, says Chef Dylan

Dylan Frost

Executive Chef

Alex van As

Head Chef

Working at Jabulani was a big change for Chef Alex, who’s experience as a chef, has been in the big kitchen’s in the city of Johannesburg and surrounds.

Chef Alex has been with us since October 2014, and has relished in the change of pace, and having the luxury of being able to truly focus on each individual guest’s personal tastes.

“Being an intimate lodge, with just six suites and one villa, it truly allows me to spend time with a guest, and get a feeling of his likes and dislikes, and ensure I create the perfect dish for each person, every time”, says Alex.

Be sure to try Chef Alex’s meat dishes, which is definitely his strongest flair, if we had to choose one, which is very difficult.

Alex van As

Head Chef

Zandrie Boucher

Senior Sous Chef

Growing up in Pretoria, Chef Zandrie would take any opportunity to cook for her friends and family, it has been a hobby and a passion since she was a little girl, so it was a natural progression in her life, to become a chef.

Zandrie began working at Jabulani as a Commis chef, in February 2016, and was soon promoted to Senior Chef de Partie. As of 2018, Zandrie is our Senior Sous chef working closely and continuously learning from Chef Dylan and Chef Alex.

Being very creative with her cooking styles, the atmosphere at Jabulani compliments her talents, as we encourage our chefs to bring their personalities and passion to our guest’s tables.

You will want to try Chef Zandrie’s delicious Risotto, and keep space for Chef Zandrie’s tempting desserts.

Zandrie Boucher

Senior Sous Chef

Jabulani Butlers

Each one of the Jabulani Butlers, wear their uniform with pride. A team of four superb men, all with wonderful natures, and a true passion for the work they do.

The butlers work long hours, but when they welcome guests to meals or interact with them at any other time, their smiles are genuine and infectious.

Much like the Jabulani Rangers, they get the opportunity to share time with our guests, and so too, are our lodge brand ambassadors.

Isaac (Sakkie) Shiburi

Head Butler

Isaac, or Sakkie as he is fondly known, is head butler at Jabulani. He is a local who grew up in Acornhoek, which is in close vicinity to our lodge.

Both of Sakkie’s parents worked on the Kapama Reserve, and he would often work on school holidays to earn pocket money. After school, in 1999, Sakkie was employed as a construction worker on Kapama, and soon moved to working with the electrician in the maintenance team. Lente Roode, asked him to join the maintenance team at Jabulani, as it was being built.

Carl Olen, our then general manager, noticed Sakkie’s diligence and spark, and took him under his wing to train him to become a butler, which he has been doing successfully ever since.

Sakkie is a very hard worker, and takes his work seriously, but does have a very mischievous smile that captures most people’s hearts.

Isaac (Sakkie) Shiburi

Head Butler

Obert (OB) Chauke

Butler

Obert, (pronounce like ‘Robert’, without the B), has been gracing our team of butlers, since 2007.

OB (as he is also fondly known as), comes from the same home town as Sakkie, Acornhoek, which is in easy distance of our lodge, and has been with Jabulani since 2007, having previously worked as a butler in the hospitality industry.

OB is gentle, genuine and kind, and will go beyond call of duty to help at any time.

Obert (OB) Chauke

Butler

Shadrick Ngobeni

Butler

Shadrick and Sakkie come from the same town of Acornhoek, and have walked similar paths at Jabulani.

Much like Sakkie, Shadrick started his career on Kapama as a labourer, and was made responsible for pool maintenance of the lodge.

Carl Olen, our first GM at Jabulani, had an eye for quality in people, as most of the staff he has employed remain with us today, and that includes Shadrick. It was Carl, who noticed the potential in Shadrick whilst at Kapama, and trained him to become the butler he is today.

Like his colleagues, Shadrick engages easily and warmly with guests, and is always ready to share a story or two of his time at Jabulani.

Shadrick Ngobeni

Butler

Songs Vusani

Butler

Songs is the youngest and newest of the butlers, having joined the Jabulani Butlers in September 2017.

A happy, determined and energetic individual, Songs is self-taught from books about hospitality, and started doing scullery work, and soon moved up into fine dining waiter service, working in five-star hotels in the Cape region.

Songs is a long way from home, as he grew up in the Eastern Cape, but moved to Cape Town after school, to follow his dreams, which he has accomplished thus far, and is very proud to be working at Jabulani.

Many ask how he got his name, “Songs”. He was named “Songs of Life” by his mother, as he was the fifth and final baby born to the family, and her last “song of life.”

Songs Vusani

Butler

Jabulani Housekeeping

Our housekeeping team is a complement of hardworking and dedicated ladies, who are passionate, discreet and respectful of guest’s privacy at all times. Though we have a large team, we highlight those that have been awarded the long service award for ten years or more of service to Jabulani.

Ansie Grobler

Head of Housekeeping

After 30 years in the field of graphic design, Ansie Grobler decided it was time for a change and joined the Jabulani team in December 2015, as our Head of Housekeeping.

Fondly known as ‘Tannie Ansie’, by the younger staff members, Ansie is like the ’mom’ of the team on the ground. Kind and caring, she always has time for everybody and is ever ready to lend a helping hand.

“The key to an exceptional housekeeping team,” says Ansie, “is the importance of consistent attention to detail, every single day.” She leads by example in this regard.

“The quality of guest that stays at Jabulani, expects only the best and there is no room for exception. My team understands that and they all work with pride, which I think shines through every day.”

Ansie’s daughter, Corlet, is the K9 Dog trainer at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.

Ansie Grobler

Head of Housekeeping

Daphney Mgiba

Housekeeping

Long Service Award for over 10 years of service.

In July 2017, after working at Jabulani for ten years, Dephney was delighted to receive her certificate for long service, saying that she will work here until she retires.

Being so close to her home, which is based in Acornhoek, is a big advantage for Dephney, but it is not only the proximity that keeps her motivated to work at Jabulani. She also loves meeting so many people from different cultures that she would never meet in other jobs.

Dephney says, “I make sure that I always do my work with confidence because I truly love my work.”

Daphney Mgiba

Housekeeping

Einah Mogakane

Housekeeping

Long Service Award for over 10 years of service.

It is hard to forget Einah’s beaming smile that greets you along the pathways of Jabulani.

Originally from Acornhoek, Einah started her career with us in March 2008. She has dedicated over ten years of her life to her Jabulani and excels at keeping the front of house in a state of exceptional order and cleanliness.

“I love doing my job, experiencing elephants and other animals, and working with my colleagues,” says Einah.

Einah Mogakane

Housekeeping

Hellen Kgwede

Housekeeping

Long Service Award for over 10 years of service.

Hellen has been a proud employee of Jabulani since June 2004 and works every day as if it was her first.

Like many of her colleagues, Hellen comes from the nearby township of Acornhoek, and that is a big advantage for her, being so close to home.

“I take pride in seeing a finished room that I have cleaned, seeing it look beautiful for our special guests. Evening turndowns are my favourite, as we leave little chocolates and a story for our guests, who really enjoy it, and that makes me happy.”

Helen Kgwende

Housekeeping

Lydia Mokgope

Housekeeping

Long Service Award for over 10 years of service.

Lydia started working at Jabulani in April 2006. Welverdiend in Mpumalanga is her home town.

She particularly likes the way the suites are built.

“The suites are solid with polished cement floors and traditional thatched roofs. It is a pleasure working in them and I enjoy doing the turndown services,” says Lydia.

Lydia Mokgope

Housekeeping

Jabulani Landscaping

Albert Mashali

Gardener

Long Service Award for over 10 years of service to Jabulani.

Albert has been with us from the days as were building Jabulani. He started work in January 2004 and is now involved with both gardening as well as the pool maintenance.

His home is in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, which is a couple of hours away from Jabulani.

“I am enjoying my work at Jabulani because I get to meet different types of people from different countries, so I learn their cultures, as well as learning about elephants,” says Albert.

Albert Mashali

Gardener