Camp Jabulani has taken a decision to phase out elephant-back safaris completely by 01 April 2017.
The decision was prompted by increasing international pressure against elephant-back safaris, as a result of the abusive way in which a proportion of the animals are sadly trained. True to its approach to animal welfare issues, Camp Jabulani has declared itself in agreement with the negative sentiments relating to abusive training methods.
The Camp Jabulani elephant herd, numbering twelve elephants; came about after the young elephants had been orphaned by culling operations in Zimbabwe in the 1980’s. The herd was trained for elephant-back safaris on a commercial farm in Zimbabwe, from which it was rescued in 2002, at the time of a highly unstable political situation in the country.
In a matter of days, a massive rescue operation was undertaken at the expense of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC). All twelve elephants were relocated to South Africa. Stables were built in record time and the elephants were moved into their new home. The groomsmen who had taken care of them in Zimbabwe were also relocated, and their jobs kept secure, as they once again became the elephants’ primary care-givers.
Camp Jabulani was built and structured around the elephants and the unique offering of elephant-back safaris, in order to sustain the elephants and keep them alive. The elephant-back safaris were introduced as a continuation of what the elephants had been trained to do in Zimbabwe.
The Elephant Experience will now evolve into an interactive and observational one, where visitors will have the opportunity to meet and view these majestic animals in close proximity and learn more about them. Much of this will take place in the elephants’ natural environment, while they forage in the bush, walk through the reserve or swim in the waterhole. This will also afford photographic opportunities in close proximity of the elephants.
Important notice regarding bookings:
- Effective immediately, elephant-back safaris will no longer be actively promoted or sold by Camp Jabulani. All collateral will be updated, including the website, fact sheets and new brochure.
- The camp will honour existing reservations until 31 March 2017, as well as bookings that were confirmed due to current brochure inclusions. However, from 01 April 2017, no elephant-back safaris will be offered at all.
- Effective 01 April 2017, every booking confirmed will include The Elephant Experience, which can broadly be defined as:
- An introduction to the Camp Jabulani herd and the grooms who have taken care of the elephants over the years
- The opportunity to watch the elephants in their natural habitat during the day or at their stables in the early morning, late afternoon and into the evening
- Photographic opportunities in close proximity with the elephants, in the company of their grooms
- Game drives and guided bush walks on the Kapama Big 5 Reserve, getting close to the elephant herd to observe them in the wild.