HERD headquarters and the baby elephant orphanage are located on the grounds of the Jabulani safari lodge in the Kapama Private Game Reserve in South Africa. The orphanage has been purposely built near to the close-knit Jabulani herd’s homestead 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.
If you’d like to see the elephants during their day out in the wilderness, you can do so either at Jabulani lodge, our Elephant Moments morning experience, or virtually, through a virtual experience. Jabulani lodge was built in 2002 as a way to help support the rescued herd and continues to be a marriage of conservation and hospitality through a soulful safari experience in a protected Big 5 wilderness.
We do not accept visitors at HERD orphanage, so as to limit foot traffic and reduce the effect of outsiders on the very sensitive calves and orphans. Similarly, visitors cannot visit the herd in the homestead or out in the bush unless travelling to and staying at Jabulani lodge, where guided rangers accompany guests throughout the experience, to ensure the safety of all.
Please note: We do not offer volunteer programmes at HERD Orphanage or the HERD Homestead, due to the complex and highly emotional natures of elephants. The elephants (especially calves) bond very closely and deeply with carers and can be emotionally affected when a person leaves. We have decided that it is in the best interest of the elephants, to ensure that only their dedicated carers provide them with their care where necessary, having had many years of experience and long-lasting relationships.
If you would like to meet the herd, you can be inspired, enlightened, educated and enthused by a memorable and respectful opportunity to meet and learn more about some of the Jabulani herd elephant bulls and their passionate carers. Arrive at sunrise to meet a few members of an extraordinary family, the Jabulani Herd. Delve deeper into the biology and physiology of these gentle giants while learning about each elephant’s unique personalities and remarkable stories.
The respectful 90-minute experience takes place at the HERD Homestead, which borders the HERD Orphanage.
The Jabulani Herd elephants that you will meet represent the rest of the herd which they join a little later to continue foraging during their days in the Kapama Private Nature Reserve. There will be between two to three elephants introduced who remain behind a low partition creating a respectful distance between the elephants and the visitors. Visitors will have an opportunity to provide some elephant snacks to each elephant, as well as a chance to take a snapshot memory of the memorable experience, with the guidance of the carers.
Complimentary coffee and tea with biscuits will be provided upon arrival and available to enjoy until the end of the experience.
Following your Elephant Moments experience, you will have the opportunity to purchase a souvenir in our gift shop, with proceeds going towards the HERD Trust.
We rely on incredible people like you to keep us going. Every cent counts, and no contribution is too small. HERD relies on public funding to cover the operational costs to care for and support elephant orphans and the rescued herd, so we really appreciate your support.
Want to hear the latest and greatest stories about what the elephants are up to? No two days are the same, and they always amaze us with their distinctive personalities and acceptance of one another. Follow us this way for all the latest stories of what’s happening at HERD.