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Sundowners with the Elephants

In celebration of Earth Month, we hosted a live event via Zoom at the Jabulani waterhole, visited the elephants and learned about current conservation efforts.

Enjoy our chat with owner Adine Roode and caregiver Owen, and make sure to watch to the end…THE SUNSET VIEW WITH THE ELEPHANTS IS SPECTACULAR!!

We also met their newest addition, a 7-month old orphan albino elephant named Khanyisa. Like a child with a mind of their own, Khanyisa found greener pastures in a limited Wi-Fi spot but it was a joy to meet her and learn about the amazing efforts by South Africa’s only elephant orphanage.

 

Make Travel Matter 

As mentioned in the video, we are making a donation on behalf of all attendees to foster an elephant. Contributions towards fostering an elephant will also be made when guests book our South Africa Regal Retreat or visit the luxury safari lodge in a tailor-made trip.

 

          

 

The chat room was filled with some great questions. We'd like to share these Q&A's. 

Q: How many elephants have you rescued? 
A: The original rescued herd at Jabulani accounts for 8 elephants, namely Tokwe (the Matriarch), Lundi, Sebakwe, Bubi, Fishan, Setombe, Somopane and Jabulani (who led the herd by the waterhole in our video). Then five more calves were born to the herd, namely Limpopo, Klaserie, Zindoga, Pisa and Mambo.  Timisa and Kumbura were also rescued and joined the herd. So out of the fifteen in our care at Jabulani, 10 have been rescued. This number excludes Khanyisa, the albino elephant calf, who is being integrated at a slower pace.

Q: Are elephants extremely smart? What are some examples from the Jabulani herd?
A: Elephants are extremely smart – and there are so many different situations that are testament to that. Recently we had two guests, one was blind and one was partially blind. Jabulani, the elephant, was so gentle and softly caressed his face with his trunk. It was an incredibly beautiful moment. 

Q: Do you have a volunteer program? 
A: Unfortunately, we are unable to offer the opportunity for volunteers to work with elephants. We have to ensure that the elephant calves in our care have limited contact with just their dedicated caregivers. We also work with local veterinarians and dedicated local full time carers to ensure consistent care and familiarity with the elephant calves and their care team. However, we are considering a payable volunteer programme perhaps early next year that will focus on community projects and wildlife conservation as a combined program. 

Q: Can a visit be arranged through African Travel? 
A: There are many different ways to experience the elephants from watching them swim in the waterhole (a can't miss for photographers) from sundowners and canapes while watching the herd pass the waterhole. One of the most intimate is the morning elephant experience, from 06:30am to 08:00am, called Elephant Moments. These are hosted by our passionate elephant carers such as Owen who you met today. The early morning is a very different experience where guests get a deeper understanding and glimpse into the lives of the elephants. It is extremely informative and enlightening!

Q: What other wild animals can you see at Jabulani? 
A: Jabulani today is recognized as one of South Africa's most respected five-star lodges and is a great place to see the Big 5. The family-owned safari lodge is located in the Kapama Private Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park area and has numerous ways to experience animals in the wild including day and night safari drives, walks and more. There are also over 350 birds, making Jabulani a birders' delight.

Q: What is the elephant family structure? Do they stay together for life? 
A: The Jabulani Herd family structure, although extremely similar to that of a wild elephant herd’s structure, has some unique and very bonding attributes. They are a very tight-knit family, which is due to their extreme circumstances. The majority are orphans. When wild herds become too big, they may start to split into smaller herds, called a "bond group." It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next five to 10 years as this herd may start to split into another bond group. 

Q: How can we support the orphanage? 
A: Please visit the HERD Orphange. If you're  interested in learning how to help Khanyisa, visit HERE.

Q: Where is the orphanage located? 

 

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