I stayed at Camp Jabulani for 2 wonderful nights. The rooms are the height of luxury. There are only 6 suites total, each one is far enough away from the others so as to be completely out of sight, giving a feeling of total privacy. A plunge pool on my deck, a clear enclosed glass shower from which I could view wildlife right outside my abode, a soaking tub both deep and long….I can’t say enough about the accommodations…and there is the bed, comfortable and within sight of the lovely in room fireplace that the staff lights for you each night. All food and drinks are included and they stock your in room refrigerator with whatever drinks you want. While there my ranger Armand convinced me to try the Amarula, a delicious cream liquor you HAVE to try made out of a fruit that apparently makes elephants drunk! I know it certainly made me relaxed! Very delicious, sort of like a fruity bailey’s. Upon getting home I went out and bought a bottle!
The staff is super friendly and my ranger was very knowledgeable about the animals, plants and surrounding areas. He was very willing to stop whenever I wanted to (something I appreciated only after staying at another camp) allowing me the freedom to take pictures of just about everything, scenery, birds, and of course the big ones lions, rhinos, elephant etc.
The food is out of this world. I call it the eating safari! Hot and cold breakfast, pretty much whatever you want, if you can think it up they’ll make it. Lunch was always delicious (and don’t say no to desert). For dinner there was a choice of main entrees. I had springbok (tenderloin) with a wine sauce (very much like steak au poivre in flavor, although the texture was more in line with tenderloin). I am not a big fan of venison in the states so I was very surprised to find that the springbok tasted like beef (for real!). I liked it so much I asked for it the next night and the chef made if for me!
The best thing about Camp Jabulani though, is the elephants. I went on three elephant rides, two in the evening and one in the morning. The evening rides end near sunset at a location well away from the Camp. You travel through thick brush with ease (and an occasional nosh by the elephants on some juicy acacia!) The animals part in front of you showing no fear. When you alight from the elephants you find yourself in front of a beautiful bonfire with drinks and appetizers set up, lovely cushy chairs and an incredible view. On top of that, one night the lions had a few things to say very close to where we were drinking our sundowners to add a little bit of excitement and adrenaline to the evening. The morning ride started in a lovely mist which slowly burned off as the sun got stronger, and a mist bow! I’ve never seen anything like it but apparently it doesn’t need to rain for a rainbow. This one was formed as the mist burned off and stretched from one end of the small grasslands we were traveling through, to the other. Riding the elephants is sooo peaceful. They are such huge animals, but unless they are eating, you can barely hear them moving through the brush. Ok, remember the Amarula I told you about??? I rode the elephant that is used as the label on the bottle! While there I rode 2 different elephants. I preferred Joe, his gait was smooth and rolling.
In addition to elephant riding, game drives via vehicle, and bush walks at Camp Jabulani you can also see the endangered Cheetah habitat. It’s not just for Cheetah’s they have wild dog, the vulture restaurant (they feed the wild vultures all the bones left over after the other animals have eaten all the meat). They descend in cloud after cloud.
In the afternoon you can go and watch the elephants play in a pond, spraying each other with the little ones frolicking and rolling in the dirt.
My days were completely full and wonderfully amazing.
If you are traveling to South Africa, you can’t miss this place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Camp Jabulani, a family-owned private safari lodge, is guaranteed to offer first class accommodation, cuisine, facilities and personalised service. But its most notable feature is the herd of trained African elephants, which were rescued by the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Over and above its once-in-a-lifetime close-up and personal elephant interaction experience, guests are also able to join experienced rangers in safari vehicles as they head out in search of The Big 5, and the smaller creatures that are part of an African Safari; visits to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre or simple relaxation around the camp or in the "Bush Spa". The exclusive Zindoga Villa is ideally suited to family travellers, or the client who prefers a more private, luxury experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Camp Jabulani Hotel Hoedspruit
- Camp Jabulani South Africa/Hoedspruit