Fact Sheets



Mischievous Mambo, one of the youngest of the Jabulani Herd

Mambo in June 2014

Mischievous Mambo, one of the youngest of the Jabulani Herd

Mambo elephant at Camp Jabulan

Little did we know when we named him “Mambo”, just how much he would live up to that very name. Mambo comes from the Shona tribal language, meaning “King” or “Chief”, and that is exactly what Mambo thinks he is! He is a young and lively bull elephant, full of character and by far the most mischievous of the herd.

Mambo was born at Camp Jabulani in August 2009, and is the son of Lundi, who was one of the herd that we rescued from Zimbabwe in 2002.  He has loved life with the herd and team of carers here at the lodge, and absolutely loves being around people.

Mambo as a young calf

Mambo as a young calf, photo by Brett Mitchell.

Growing up Mambo just could not stay out of trouble, and actually brought a lot of smiles to us from afar, watching the frustration he would often cause in the herd, especially to Bubi, one of the older female elephants, who takes a “no-nonsense” approach when it comes to good behaviour and manners.

As it happens, Bubi’s son, Zindoga, is Mambo’s favourite friend in the herd, and they love spending time together, much to Bubi’s dismay at times, always having to keep an eagle eye on them, making sure Mambo does not lead Zindoga astray.

Although Mambo has always been playful, he is slowly learning discipline as he enters his juvenile years.  He is starting to make his own decisions and be a little more steadfast in his actions, though that naughty streak still sneaks out when it sees opportunity.

Mambo in June 2014

This young bull is unusually big for his age, which makes him look a lot older than Pisa, who was born just two months after Mambo, in the November of 2009. His tusks are a normal size, and point slightly outwards. His right eye is a little ragged looking, and he has a rounded forehead. His right ear has a one prominent tear in it, which now oddly resembles his mother, Lundi’s ragged right ear.

Mambo leading ahead of Lundi.


We have really enjoyed watching Mambo grow up over the past nine years, he has brought much joy to everyone around him (except perhaps Bubi at times!). The next few years will be interesting to see his development into a strong and no doubt, a very independent adult bull.


  • Shelly Carpenter
    Posted at 01:27h, 28 July Reply

    We met Mambo in 2013. When we were o
    ut in the bush, he would swagger away to investigate. This wouldn’t last long, as he was easily spooked and would run back to Lundi. When we fed the elephants pellets in the barn, his trunk seemed to be everywhere, not letting anyone else have a treat. He was so endearing. We are so pleased that he is healthy, happy, and maturing well. Thank you for keeping us updated on this magnificent young bull!

    • Camp Jabulani
      Posted at 06:25h, 28 July Reply

      Hi Shelly, thanks for sharing your memories of Mambo with us. You are so right, he would always weaving himself between the elephants and wandering off here and there! Thanks for keeping in touch on social media after all of this time, that is great to see. Oh, and by the way, his trunk still gets in wherever it can for food:-)
      We hope to see you return one day in the future!
      Thanks again,
      The Camp Jabulani Team.

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