HERD - South Africa's 
First Elephant Orphanage


South Africa’s need for an Elephant Orphanage.

With the growing numbers of orphans and displaced elephant calves in recent years, as a result of increasing numbers of poaching of elephant mothers as well as man vs. elephant land conflict, Adine Roode, MD and owner of Jabulani, took the step to build a dedicated elephant orphanage to provide a unique adoptive family structure for baby elephants in need.

It is our mission through HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development) to care for and rehabilitate these orphaned elephants, to give them a new family, and a second chance of life with another herd. The orphanage lies adjacent to the Jabulani Herd stables on the Kapama Private Game Reserve, which allows us to integrate each baby elephant into the herd according to their individual emotional needs.

The unusual family structure of the Jabulani Herd, the majority of which are orphans themselves, presents a unique solution for orphaned baby elephants in Southern Africa that vitally need to find a second herd to ensure their emotional wellbeing and survival. 

The Jabulani Herd

A Unique Herd with a Unique Story. 

Unlike wild elephant herds, the neighbouring  Jabulani Herd have graciously accepted orphan elephant calves into their family.  

Meet The Herd


The orphanage is located on the grounds of Jabulani in Kapama Game Reserve, purposely built near to the close-knit Jabulani herd, for us to easily assess and integrate each baby elephant according to their individual emotional needs.

The Orphanage consists of three individual nurseries with five communal areas that adjoin them; a kitchenette, a storeroom, a bathroom as well as indoor and outdoor playgrounds for the baby elephants.


“In my time spent working with Jabulani and HESC, elephants and the conservation of their species has become my life, my passion, my purpose. With the elephants, I have been fortunate to become part of their herd in many ways, just as the carers who spend day and night with them are. 

I have felt the sense of belonging with the embrace of their trunks, the vigour in the babies with each head-butt during feedings and the very real power of a fully-grown elephant while sharing the ground with them, almost cheek to cheek.

I have learnt so much from our years of working in elephant conservation, rehabilitating and re-wilding elephants, and am driven and excited to be creating this on an even bigger, more dedicated scale with the establishment of Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD). 

Conservation and ethics are at the core of our approach, a combination of heart and soul and mind. I am so grateful for each and every person that is walking this path with us and I invite you to be part of the journey with us and to follow our story as it unfolds. This is just the beginning. This is South Africa’s first dedicated elephant orphanage.”

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