Since the subject du jour is elephants, how could I not introduce you to Camp Jabulani, a wonderful safari camp on a Big 5 game reserve in South Africa that, like the Trust, has its roots in elephant conservation?  Camp Jabulani was conceptualized out of the need to support a sole abandoned 4-month elephant, named Jabulani (“to rejoice”) and a herd of other elephants, which adopted the baby to its herd, that would have otherwise faced a grisly fate. It’s an amazing story and you should take a moment to read it on their web site.

Two eles at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya

After working so hard the last several months on a fundraiser for The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (or, The Trust, as people often refer to it), a refuge and orphanage  for baby elephants based in Kenya, you can say I have elephants on the brain.   Our first event in New York City, designed to raise funds for more infrastructure for the influx of elephants coming in to the Trust due to a severe drought and an increase in poaching for ivory (click here to help support the

Kristin at the event with “Shimba” (named after my first sponsor elephant)

ban on ivory – every vote counts and time is critical), was by all means a success. People battled the snowstorm that blanketed the city to come and support the fund, participate in our live auction, share stories of their travels and visits to the Trust and meet Kristin Davis, our guest speaker and an avid supporter of the Trust.

One of the travel auction packages donated to us for the event was a trip to South Africa and stays at the One & Only Cape Town (featured here in January) and Camp Jabulani, through Absolute Travel, an incredible tour operator for booking luxury, custom travel packages.  Ironically, my father and mother-in-law won this package at the live auction – they will undoubtably be providing  reviews on both places for my blog.

Since the subject du jour is elephants, how could I not introduce you to Camp Jabulani, a wonderful safari camp on a Big 5 game reserve in South Africa that, like the Trust, has its roots in elephant conservation?  Camp Jabulani was conceptualized out of the need to support a sole abandoned 4-month elephant, named Jabulani (“to rejoice”) and a herd of other elephants, which adopted the baby to its herd, that would have otherwise faced a grisly fate. It’s an amazing story and you should take a moment to read it on their web site.

Camp Jabulani open air lounge

There are now 17 resident elephants and once you arrive, you will be introduced to your “partner” elephant for an elephant safari ride you will never forget (they are the only place in the world to have night elephant-back safaris, as well).

Having been on an elephant safari in Zimbabwe, I can tell you its an experience you don’t want to miss – and you get a new sense, sitting so high up, just how majestic these animals really are!

But its not just about the elephants here. This eco-award-winning, Relais & Chateaux  property is a “5-star” place in every sense of the word. Six large open plan private luxury suites with fireplaces, open air dining and lounges, a “bush” spa and fitness facility are

One of the suites

equally a highlight here as well as the game drives and the sanctuary for endangered species.

One new addition (opened September 2009) worth mentioning is the The Zindoga Villa an ultra-deluxe villa designed for guests who want more exclusivity and for smaller groups or families traveling with younger children. The villa, named after the second male born to the elephant herd in 2007  (Zindoga translates to  “On Its Own”),  is ideal for 6 people.

Two individual units are connected by a lounge and dining area. Each unit has a spacious bedroom with en-suite bathroom, expansive wooden deck and a private heated plunge pool. One of the units also has a charming twin room, with private bathroom – ideal for two children. What I find really appealing, though, is the kids activity program, Team Tusker, designed for children under the age of 12 staying at the Zindoga Villa. Kids learn the basics of tracking, dung throwing (hmmm…that can come handy in Manhattan), camp survival, orienteering, bush cooking, animal art, star gazing and more while mom and dad venture out on adult safari drives.

Guests have access to all of Camp Jabulani’s facilities, and may enjoy their meals in the main dining facility, or in the privacy of the villa. A dedicated team of staff is on hand to cater to villa guests, including chef and ranger. All this luxury does come at a price, of course, with a starting price for this villa at $4,844 a night…start saving up!

Zindoga Villa

One response to “Elephants On My Mind – Camp Jabulani

  1. The fine editor of this blog, Jackie Cittone Magid, artfully neglected to mention that the event she co-chaired was awesome, and it raised $70,000 for the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

    Some baby elephants who lost their moms will be very happy to have new homes, 24/7 helpers, beds, and supplies.

    Stupendous work!!!

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