Magic happens every day at Camp Jabulani
, located nearKruger National Park in South Africa's Kapama Game Reserve. Here, your family will meet a herd of very special elephants that live on the property.
In 1997, a 4-month-old elephant was found abandoned. He was taken to the nearby Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, where he was hand-reared and named Jabulani. Later, in 2002, HESC launched a rescue mission for a dozen Zimbabwean elephants whose lives swung in the balance when they were tagged for meat after the war. When the elephants arrived in South Africa, it was clear that Jabulani would become part of their family. Camp Jabulani was created as both a home for the elephants and a place were visitors could come to spend time with them. Fifteen elephants now reside on the property.
This is a high-end Relais & Chateaux property, and staying at this all-inclusive lodge doesn't come cheap. But the elephant-back safaris and time spent interacting with the herd is priceless. Kids must be 12 years or older to stay at the main lodge.
A few days at Camp Jabulani's Zindoga Presidential Villa is a must for families who can afford it. This is a camp-within-a-camp, and includes two spacious suites connected by a living and dining area. There's also a private heated plunge pool and roomy wooden deck for game viewing. You'll have your own safari team, including a ranger (and private 4x4 vehicle), and a chef and butler. Children of any age are welcome at Zindoga.
Young guests are also invited to take part in the camp's excellent children's program, Team Tusker. Activities include storytelling, dress-up parties, arts and crafts projects, tracking tutorials, bird watching and bug catching, as well as survival basics.