16 Nov 2017 Sleeping in the shadows of elephants
The Camp Jabulani staff make an incredible first impression. Guests commend the cleaning staff, waiters, the chefs and even the top managers for their hospitality and friendliness. But what else can you expect? If you know the origin of Camp Jabulani, you will know that kindness and care is the foundation on which it was built.
A defenseless little baby elephant was lost and without a family. Odds were stacked against him as he was found stuck in the mud of a silt dam. Jabulani was injured and severely dehydrated. The members that now form a part of Jabulani’s new herd have a very similar story to tell: Early in 2002 word reached the conservationists at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) that Zimbabwean elephants, left orphaned, would face an untimely end. Their owner’s farm was in the process of being confiscated by war veterans and sadly the only value they would have left, would be for their meat if left forsaken in Zimbabwe.
It is one thing reading about rescued elephants but something completely different to feel the quiver of the ground and hearing the low rumble of an elephant walking to greet you. Here you are faced with the miracle that they all symbolise: They lived on.
It has been said that the hardships they have each been through are “extraordinary” and seeing their success now, as they have built these relationships with each other and their caretakers is humbling. Guests are touched by the elephant-size love and enthusiasm the caretakers show for these majestic animals.
Even though Camp Jabulani boasts with a stunning lodge “to which no picture could ever do justice”, family – both within the herd and within the lodge staff – is what remains of key importance.
“I came for the elephants and I had expected the luxury, but the sense of family took me by surprise. It was obvious early on that each staff member was chosen not only for their incomparable talent and knowledge, but for the truly genuine, vibrant, kind people they all are.” jccruz0215, California, TripAdvisor
Accommodation at Camp Jabulani is said to feel like home. It is spacious and elegant, well-stocked and peaceful – a “home away from home”.
All rangers are praised for their skill, knowledge and their tremendous passion for, not only the cause, but also all the animals at Camp Jabulani which include, the big five right through to the smallest of chameleons.
Tremendous food created by the adorned chefs are “the best meals” that some guests have ever eaten. They are described as “masters of their craft”.
Despite all these wonders, when you go and watch the elephant-family washing the dust from their bodies, you are again reminded why Camp Jabulani exists. It is only once all the odds are understood that you can grasp that love and kindness helped raised the Jabulani Herd to the most majestic animals ever to be met.
With all the activities that are bound to keep you busy at Camp Jabulani, you will find yourself sleeping in the shadow of elephants much sooner than you think.