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“Simply the best”
Review of Camp Jabulani

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Camp Jabulani
Certificate of Excellence
Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Simply the best”
Reviewed March 19, 2011

We stayed in Camp Jabulani and my only disappointment is that now nothing else measures up!! It really is as wonderful as everyone says it is - in fact it exceeded my expectations (and I'm not easily impressed). Camp Jabulani is not five star - it is at least six or seven. Seriously.
You do pay a lot for the experience but it is absolutely worth it for the personal and superior service. I could not recommend this lodge more highly.
If you have to put off your trip for an extra year to save the difference between this and other lodges it is worth it.
The game viewing is great, the roads and accessways superior to any other game lodges (and we've stayed at six high end ones now). The visit to Hoedspuit Endangered Species Centre was amazing (and yes you really do get to pat a cheetah). The guides were knowledgeable and personable, the food was superlative (though perhaps a little fancy for our own tastes) and the rooms - wow - to die for.
Early one morning we even awoke to see two beautiful lionesses lying down in the dry riverbed beneath our rooms watching us.
We advised we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and they surprised us with a romantic and beautiful diner in our rooms.
We stayed for three nights in April 2010 and have felt a mounrful longing to return ever since.
Though to be truthful, we have only just returned from another visit to South Africa to take our young daughter on holiday to experience safari and learn about the animals in their natural habitat. Sadly we could not justify the USD$6000 plus per night to hire the villa for just the three of us (children under 12 are not welcomed into the camp - which is completely fair enough). However, we will be back without her until she is old enough.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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253 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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English first
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2011

After a long flight from Phoenix AZ with an overnight stay in a Johannesburg cheap airport hotel, our excitement for our first trip to South Africa had been tempered. But when we arrived at Camp Jabulani our excitement returned full force. The staff did everything right - let us see our room, have lunch immediately, told us about all the opportunities as part of the conversation to determine what we liked to do and then they provided it seamlessly and with pleasure. The rooms are luxurious, the lobby is warm and welcoming, the chef, wait staff and concierge were friendly yet unobtrusive. Our personal guide, Hein, was spectacular but the other guests felt the same way about their guide! And if you feel a special connection to elephants, do NOT miss the elephant back safari. We did it at night and there were tears of thankfulness in my eyes during the trip. Nothing compares to it. Go! Enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Triciachic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
florida
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2010

Camp Jabulani was an incredible family experience... if you have to save for five years for this trip, it will be worth every cent. We are a family of five with our oldest having autism. He was definitely nervous at first, but ended up loving it so much. The sunset elephant safari was better than we expected, the quiet foot steps of these huge animals brought all of the other animal sounds so close. The staff was absolutely the best, the chef was accomodating to our picky eaters as well as making outstanding unique meals for my "try anything" husband. The zebra's, giraffe's, rhino's, etc... were comfortable with the thousands of pictures we took. More than perfect accomodations. Thank you Camp Jabulani!!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank familymomtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2010

Camp Jabulani exceeded all of our expectations on all levels. The main lodge areas are gorgeous and well done. I loved seeing all the wildlife just hanging up near the lodge and pathways. The rooms are large and beautiful with super comfy beds, fireplace and a large tub with great body products. The staff is wonderful and will accommodate every need - mine was to be with the ellies as much and as long as possible. Chef is fabulous!!!! She will make whatever you desire. We saw wonderful wildlife and our guide was fantastic BUT it is all about the elephants and that is why you go here. We had a truly amazing experience, so up close and personal with these incredible animals ...it is a life changing
experience and I highly recommend it. Go, go now and give Jabu a big hug and kiss from me!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JerriH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2010

Jabulani was a big part of the trip of my lifetime. Travelling with members of 3 different generations isn't always easy but in this case we were all in total agreement : Jabulani is the superlative safari experiece. Attention to detail is the first comment that comes to mind. It is present in everything. The food is memorable, the decor is enchanting, the safari rides with Rey were perfect, the elephants are so amazing....

Life is made of experiences and this one is at the top of my list.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 1srgeneration
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London Ontario
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2010

My husband, daughter and myself spent two nights at Camp Jabulani this past August. I would never be able to truly describe in words how absolutely astounding this property is. From the reception we received right down to the last good-bye, every second was filled with moments we will treasure forever.

We stayed in the Lundi Suite which was just beautiful with it's own private plunge pool. We left our big doors open at night and had the most wonderful opportunity of hearing the lions roaring what seemed to be right outside our door but we were told was a few kilometers away. The room also has a beautiful large bathtub and a shower which overlooks the bush. I have never stayed in such a beautiful room before.

A stay at Camp Jabulani allows you the opportunity of visiting the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre which is definitely worth a visit even if not staying at Camp Jabulani. We were very lucky and were able to meet the founder, Lente Roode while there.
Petting a cheetah was definitely a highlight of our visit.

The best part of Camp Jabulani are the elephants. We had a daily elephant safari and enjoyed every moment of sitting on the back of these gentle giants while walking through the bush. They are so big yet you don't hear them at all. We encountered a herd of buffalo while walking and they just turned and walked away! Watching them grab onto a tree branch and yank it out as a treat along the way will make you laugh!

The food is amazing and the chef always checks to make sure it is to your liking. She does an amazing job. Breakfasts were my favourite and there was also fresh baked scones and muffins, yogurt, fruit and hot items to order.

Our Ranger, Fred, did a wonderful job and ensured we were able to see a varied amount of wildlife. We had not yet seen a male lion and he even managed to find that for us!

We had a wonderful experience at Camp Jabulani and truly hope to be able to make it back there for hopefully a longer stay. I can find absolutely no faults with anything about the property and know that anyone who stays there will be in for a special experience.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank sgbLondonOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claremont, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2010

We were so very impressed with the outstanding service at Camp Jabaluni as well as the excellent game viewing. Our guide, Stefan, was just amazing. The food served at every meal was also just the best. Cannot wait to return...I feel like I left part of my heart there!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank BethMisner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camp Jabulani

Property: Camp Jabulani
Address: Kapama Game Reserve | Maruleng, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Hoedspruit
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 102 Specialty Lodging in Hoedspruit
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Camp Jabulani 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp Jabulani, a family-owned private safari lodge, is guaranteed to offer first class accommodation, cuisine, facilities and personalised service. But its most notable feature is the herd of trained African elephants, which were rescued by the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Over and above its once-in-a-lifetime close-up and personal elephant interaction experience, guests are also able to join experienced rangers in safari vehicles as they head out in search of The Big 5, and the smaller creatures that are part of an African Safari; visits to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre or simple relaxation around the camp or in the "Bush Spa". The exclusive Zindoga Villa is ideally suited to family travellers, or the client who prefers a more private, luxury experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Camp Jabulani Hotel Hoedspruit

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