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“Know before you go or you will be disappointed” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Camp Jabulani Elephant Back Safari

Camp Jabulani Elephant Back Safari
Monument Park, Hoedspruit 105, South Africa
27 (0) 15 793 1265
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Ranked #14 of 19 Attractions in Hoedspruit
Type: Adventure
Attraction details
North Carolina
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Know before you go or you will be disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

After MUCH research, I included this adventure for my 'trip of a lifetime' to beautiful South Africa. I have dreamed and yearned to experience this diverse county for 47 years. Their websight offered my number one dream of interacting with these magnificient creatures. Feeding, grooming, and even playing with them. The experience that I ended up with was simply an elephant back ride. Not even a safari. While an elephant back ride is a unique experience, the excitement and anticipation that I had ended up being a TREMENDOUS disappointment. When I realized that this one hour ride, single file, with another guest on this elephant with me was the end of the experience, I questioned the staff about what their websight offered, and what I thought I was paying for, they said that these types of experiences were only for the paying guests of their lodge (at $1000.00 per night!) I was floored. Had I known this going in, I would have chosen the other option at the Elephant Whisperer facility (also in Hoedspruit) where one may actually interact with these beautiful creatures. That Camp Jabulani was only too happy to take my money for this disappointing experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. So know before you go, any hopefully you will not have your lifetime dream crushed as mine was.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle D, Public Relations Manager at Camp Jabulani Elephant Back Safari, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
We read with dismay your feedback on the elephant back safari you experienced with the Camp Jabulani elephant herd. We share your regret that your expectation was not met.

The primary reason for this is that you based your expectation on the Camp Jabulani website. This website is geared around the Camp Jabulani Elephant Experience, which is part and parcel of staying at the property. The camp was conceptualised to support the herd of elephants, and to enable visitors from around the world to experience them first hand. Cost for the fully inclusive experience - including accommodation, meals, drinks, activities - are largely proportionate with the extortionate costs of taking care of these mammoth magnificent creatures.

There are a number of visitors passing through the Hoedspruit area who wish to experience an elephant back safari, but do not necessarily have within their budget funds to stay at Camp Jabulani. It is for this reason that we made available simple elephant-back safari rides at a vastly reduced rate. Viable costs to visitors, coupled with fair treatment of the elephants (which are only used for walks for 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the afternoon - spending the rest of their day foraging in the wild) led to the development of a much simpler walking safari.

You have raised an important issue in that we need to communicate what is included in the day walks for external visitors more clearly. We thank you for this.

With kind regards,

The Camp Jabulani Management Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Iquitos, Peru
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Elephant Back Safari - A must do for visiting Kruger!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

We were touring Kruger on our own by renting a car in Johannesburg and then off to explore Kruger and the different attractions around that part of South Africa.
We found a day trip for an Elephant Backed Safari and were excited to find out more. We called and set it up and it turned out to be the highlight of our trip to South Africa! The elephants were all very comfortable to ride with each of us getting out own elephant to ride! Will put it on our list to do it again the next time in South Africa! This is a must do for anyone visiting Kruger.

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Phalaborwa, South Africa
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Elephant back safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

This was amazing. The interaction and the safari was a great experience of my life. I will do it definitely again. To see other animals from a different level are just amazing. The guides are so nice to the elephants and they now there elephants. These big animals walk so soft, you only hear the guide walk next to you. Thanks to every one at Jabulani. You are a great team.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Incredible Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We didn't stay at Camp Jabulani but visited for an elephant interaction and elephant back safari. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. I was so impressed by how happy and well treated all the elephants are and how knowledgable and interesting the guides and handlers are. I learnt so much from them. The elephant back safari was very enjoyable, I couldn't believe how comfortable I was. The babies and younger elephants came with on the walk & were really cute to watch. You get an incredible view from the elephants back and we were able to see many animals & birds. I would definitely recommend a visit to Camp Jabulani if you're in the Hoedspruit area, you won't regret it.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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