When the year is winding down and the promise of a new dawn is in sight, we often find ourselves reminiscing about the year that has passed. With so many incredible adventures happening right on our doorstep, hidden between the foliage and tucked between the bush, it is rather challenging to decide on the best. It is only human to try and forget the bad, but we mostly ponder the good: the experiences we lived and so wished that we could revive again. From marriages bonding two Camp Jabulani employees followed intermittently by a sequence of elephant adoptions – let’s have a look back at the best Camp Jabulani adventures in 2017:
- Two of our rangers Dean Wilkinson and Ruan Roos found an abandoned baby verreaux’s eagle owl. He was later named Mtimba meaning ‘The Strong One’. Currently, Mtimba is being taught by our team of rangers to hunt. Since Mtimba lives around the lodge he is flying all over the vicinity, to all our guests’ amusement.
- As if this find was not beyond our imagination, it was Ruan again who witnessed one of the many privileges of living in the bush: being able to see animals that so many people around the world only dream of seeing. Ruan stumbled upon a pangolin and as result seven staff members had the marvellous opportunity to see the most trafficked animal in the world. Perhaps this was a prosperous seed planted in his favour, as Ruan not only had the privilege of seeing one pangolin but four pangolins in just one year. Ruan was again able to share the magnificent sighting with fellow ranger Jason Botes, making it Jason’s first pangolin sighting – not bad for our newest staff member?
- After Spending many years in the bush, ranger Dohan Scheepers experienced his first leopard kill. Being in the right place at the right time, he saw a male leopard pouncing onto a warthog. To Dohan’s excitement, he was able to capture this scene to cherish forever in the form of treasured photographs.
- A compliment Camp Jabulani often receives is the overwhelming bond and feeling of family. The year of 2017 saw of two colleagues coming together in marriage, Dylan Frost and Julia Stacey. Although the whole team could not be there, they attended in spirit with best wishes for the newlyweds.
- Memories can be relived to their fullest when looking at photographs. This is one of our most memorable photographs of 2017, by André de Jager:
The big male, Moria, sitting proud with his scared right eye that occurred during a territorial dispute with his own sons. This captures a moment where the viewer gets to paint their own story on an open canvas – their own version of The Lion King.a;
- Relais & Chateaux held their first function in Africa and Camp Jabulani was represented by Alex van As. This prestigious function was held in Johannesburg at the Atholplace Hotel and Alex had the opportunity to showcase his talents for Relais & Chateaux owners as well as other VIP’s.
Far left: Alex van As
The world class dish that he made was Springbok shank ravioli with spicy Asian broth, brunoise vegetables, panko crusted Shimeji mushrooms, Parmesan foam, Thai lemon dressed morog and micro coriander.
- Adventurously our Team Timisa achieved the third position in the Rhino Warrior Race in 2017. This race is held annually and proceeds are donated towards anti-poaching in the Hoedspruit area.
Considering all the breath-taking sightings and encounters experienced in and around the bush, it is with much pride and satisfaction that we mention the next item on our list:
- There is nothing ordinary about the life changing experience you receive with sharing a moment with an elephant. The launch of Camp Jabulani’s new Elephant Experience enables a personal and educational event that will leave you humbled by their mammoth size. Visit our new website www.elephant-moments.com/ for more information.
- Every beginning has an end, and every end is somehow the start of something new. The origin of Camp Jabulani was the little, fragile elephant who did not have anywhere to go. Jabulani was left without a home or a family and true to Camp Jabulani style, they gave him both. Camp Jabulani’s success lies in their 20-year journey through which invaluable experience has been gained, enabling them to evolve and refine a successful model of rescued elephant care, with specific focus on infant rehabilitation.
Jabulani’s rehabilitation has ended and has been part of the Jabulani Herd for many years, but this only marks a new beginning:
- Two of our heroic managers Schalk Human and Stefan Du Toit were part of the team, which helped save the, then, four-week-old abandoned elephant bull Mopane. He is currently being rehabilitated at our sister company Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC). To read more about Mopane visit http://hesc.co.za/2017/12/latest-addition-mopane-arrives/
- Only having started our Elephant Fostering’s last year, we are happy to say that our foster parents have grown tremendously this year with 14 fosterings. (Look out for our all-new fostering platform coming soon to elephant-moments.com/ ).
We thank each one who contributed and who was a part all of Camp Jabulani’s many successes throughout 2017. May you enjoy a peaceful and prosperous 2018.