SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

“Responsible tourism is the journey. Sustainable tourism is the destination” – Nombulela Mkefa

THE ECO-DESIGN OF JABULANI

  • Our Lodge was designed and built around the trees of the reserve, ensuring that we did not cut down any tree’s unnecessarily.
  • 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 thatched roof over the main living areas just outwards by one meter prevents the effects of sun-damage to interiors and utilizing the sun’s energy and daylight to its fullest potential. Significant energy usually wasted by air conditioners and artificial lights is therefore saved. During winter months when the sun is lower and sets earlier, natural heating in reverse is then maximized.

BANA GRASS PROJECT

  • The development of the bana grass plantation started in November 2016, and our safari manager, Schalk Human oversaw the project.
  • Today we have an abundance of Bana grass (also known as elephant grass), which we use as an essential part of the elephant herd’s diet, as it provides an excellent source of protein and fiber.
  • We also send freshly cut leaves to HESC every morning, which they use to feed some of the younger elephants and rhinos in their care.

ELEPHANT DUNG ECO-PROJECTS

  • Dung and branches left in the stables each morning are collected and placed in erosion trenches which assist in preventing potential damage from heavy rains, and generally to rehabilitate the area.
  • Fresh Adult elephant dung is taken every morning to HESC, which the orphaned elephants eat, providing them with much-needed nutrients for their young stomachs.
  • Dung beetles are kept busy through the digestive activities of the 15 elephants which produce more than 2,2 tons of dung per day. Re-administrating dung to the soil, dung beetles are pro-actively prompted and play a crucial role in improving soil ventilation, increasing nutrient recycling and assisting in the control of parasites that usually breed in this environment. Dung beetles are excellent indicators of the health of a biosphere, due to their narrow habitat tolerance and their complex assemblage structure. The use of dung beetles as indicators of habitat quality in South Africa is a world first!

WATER CONSERVATION

  • A water treatment facility has been installed to ensure that water from the Klaserie River is treated sufficiently for human consumption.
  • Specialised sewerage dams are in place beneath all the lodge areas and staff quarters. These dams reduce the risk of underground water from being polluted by human debris
  • A Groundwater and Surface Water Monitoring Plan was established with the objective of identifying pollution and irregularities in good time to develop and implement means to rectify poor situations.  This programme includes:
    Routine monitoring of groundwater levels, rainfall figures, and water quality;
    The evaluation of hydro-geological monitoring data by a qualified hydro-geologist on a bi-annually basis.
  • The water quality of the sewage effluent should comply with the required DWAF standards at all times, and it is non-negotiable.
  • Rainwater is collected and used for various activities around the lodge, including watering the herb gardens.
    Rainwater is collected.

RECYCLING (WASTE MANAGEMENT)

  • A reliable recycling project is in place for all waste materials
  • Bones and excess meat from the kitchen are used at the Hoedspruit
  • Endangered Species Centre, who feed it to cheetahs and wild dogs, as well as making use of the food for their “Vulture Restaurant.”
  • All promotional materials created use recycled paper made of elephant dung.
  • Intensive Bush Clearing Programmes are in place at Jabulani. All ‘Combretum’ branches are used in the stables as fodder for the elephants.

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

The Schuurmann/ Roode family has a long history on the Kapama reserve, reaching back many decades.  It is thanks to them that the land was transformed from a cattle farm into a private reserve to support the many different animal species which now roam freely in a respected and protected environment.

Jabulani works hand in hand with the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) and has partnered on many initiatives to assist HESC with its objectives – the primary one being the release of rescued or rehabilitated animals to the wild. Camp Jabulani has successfully released and monitored a variety of animals on the Kapama Private Game Reserve, in conjunction with HESC.