Our “Human Herd” play an important role in each orphaned elephant’s wellbeing. Our highly dedicated, passionate and experienced team gives each baby elephant the best round-the- clock care to. They are well-equipped emotionally and physically to react to any situation that may arise at any time of day or night, including response teams who are on standby 24/7 year round to react to any rescue operations.
Reply Mahlakwana comes from HERD’s surrounding community and is one of the newer elephant carers on the team. He spends most of his time at the orphanage, tending to the needs of the orphaned calves and providing a huge amount of kind care to the young elephants.
Reply had his first experience with adult and baby elephants at HERD, which sparked an immense love for these wonderful animals.
Khensani Ngobeni first joined HERD as a trainee carer and has since been promoted to a junior carer. Khensani has a kind personality that genuinely resonates with the young and displaced orphaned elephants that come to HERD.
As a result, Khensani has formed special relationships with young elephants and has shown a tremendous level of care.
With her sharp, intuitive and ingrained compassion, we look forward to watching Khensani’s journey as an elephant carer unfold.
Women in Conservation – Junior Elephant Carer, Khensani Ngobeni!
Stavros Chakoma is a cherished and highly respected member of our HERD Family. He retired in 2021, but continues to work with us on a six week on six week off basis, to supplement his income and help support his family in Zimbabwe.
Herman Khosa has been employed by Jabulani Safari since 2017 [MW1] and has worked with elephants since 2018. Herman began his journey as part of the maintenance team, and during this time, he started a worm farm.
After seeing the exceptional level of care Herman provided to this worm farm, Adine Roode decided to give him the opportunity to work with the elephants as a carer.
Herman has shown exceptional care skills and has become a valued member of the HERD team, providing essential care for the orphaned elephants.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tigere Matipedza began working with elephants at the age of 16 and has gained a wealth of knowledge over the years. Tigere had been working with the original herd of elephants, now known as the Jabulani herd, back in Zimbabwe before the evacuation took place. Having been through so much together and spending so many years together, Tigere has exceptionally close bonds with each elephant.
He officially started working at Jabulani in 2005 once obtaining the necessary visa and permits, joining his colleagues and the herd and meeting young Jabulani for the first time.
Since then, Tigere has shown exceptional leadership skills and an eagerness to learn all there is to know about elephants and share his knowledge with the world. He completed his FGASA level one in field guiding in 2017.
Tigere’s wife and three children live in Zimbabwe, and he returns home to spend time with them when on leave.
Carer Conversations ~ Adine interviews Elephant Manager, Tigere about life, lessons and elephants
Originally from Zimbabwe, Godknows Chivero has worked with elephants since 2003 and has extraordinary knowledge of these great mammals.
Godknows assisted in training the elephant carers at Jabulani Safari in 2003, but unfortunately, due to not having the paperwork to stay, he had to return to Zimbabwe.
Godknows, and his brother Blessmore, were finally able to join the Jabulani team in 2010 after working with elephants in Mozambique and Pilanesberg.
Liverson Sande first started working with elephants on a farm in Zimbabwe in 1996. He made the journey with the original herd of Jabulani elephants in 2002 and has been a vital carer of this herd ever since.
Liverson has extensive knowledge of young, orphaned elephant calves and has been deeply involved with HERD since its inception.
Joshua Dube has been working with elephants since 1987 and has played a vital role in the rehabilitation and development of several orphaned calves. His knowledge and passion have been an immense asset both to Jabulani since coming over from Zimbabwe with the elephants in 2002 and to HERD.
Joshua’s son, Emmanual Dube, has followed in his father’s footsteps, joining Jabulani in 2009.
Carer Conversations | With Senior Elephant Carer, Joshua Dube
Owen has been working with elephants since 1999, beginning his career in Victoria Falls, where he met Paul Coetsee, who was Jabulani’s Elephant Manager at the time. Recognising Owen’s talent and potential, Paul kept in contact with Owen.
Owen joined the Jabulani team in 2005 and has been a valued leader within the team ever since.
Carer Conversations | Insights and Stories with Elephant Carer Owen Dube
Stavros Chakoma is a cherished and highly respected member of our HERD and Jabulani Family. Stavros joined Jabulani the day the elephants arrived from Zimbabwe in 2002. He retired in 2021 but continues to return to HERD to help care for the elephants and train new carers.
Carer Conversations | Get To Know Elephant Carer, Stavros Chakoma
“The Elephants Are My Tribe.” – Senior Elephant Carer, Stavros Chakoma Retires
Shepherd Nkomazana has been working with elephants since 2000 and previously worked in the Pilanesberg National Park for close to ten years before joining Jabulani Safari in 2017.
Shepherd has a world of knowledge on elephants and has been an exceptional addition to the elephant carer team. He lives near the reserve with the family he has built here in South Africa, including his two daughters.
Born in Zimbabwe, Israel Shambira is an experienced elephant carer who has been working with elephants since 1996.
Israel travelled with the original herd of Jabulani elephants from Zimbabwe to South Africa in 2002 and has been with Jabulani Safari since.
Having a keen interest in orphaned wildlife care, Israel has been a huge asset to HERD since its conception, providing much knowledge and guidance to up-and-coming carers.
Much like his father, Joshua Dube, Tichaona Dube’s passion for wildlife has resulted in a career as an elephant carer. Before joining Jabulani Safari in 2005, Tichaona was employed by a game lodge in Zimbabwe. He then joined his father and brother, Emmanual Dube, at Jabulani Safari a few years after the elephants came over from Zimbabwe.
Tichaona is a quick learner with incredible dedication, which has earned him the position as a senior elephant carer.
Last Scholar is originally from Zimbabwe and has been working with elephants since 2005. Last spent four years training, learning about elephant care, and gaining practical experience at Elephants for Africa Forever before joining the Jabulani team in 2009.
The experience he has gained over the years has been of huge help to the HERD orphanage, and we’re grateful to have his knowledge and dedication on hand.
Keen elephant enthusiast, Clever Magiriva has been working with elephants since 2004 and first joined Jabulani Safari in 2013.
He had gained much knowledge on elephants working with a lodge in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa in 2006, gaining further experience through working with elephants in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.
Son to Joshua and brother to Tichaona, Emmanuel Dube’s family bonds to elephant care run deep. Emmanuel originates from Zimbabwe and has been working with elephants since he was employed at Jabulani Safari in 2007.
Emmanuel enjoys living and working with his father and brother and has formed many close bonds with the elephants of the herd.
Blessmore Gwerere has an amazing and personal history with the original Jabulani herd of elephants and travelled with them from Zimbabwe to South Africa in 2002. Jabulani Safari employed him as an elephant carer from 2002-2004 before leaving to return to Zimbabwe.
Blessmore re-joined Jabulani in 2010 and has been working with the Jabulani herd and orphaned calves at HERD since.
Carer Conversations | Lessons with Elephant Carer Blessmore Gwerere
With almost two decades of experience under his belt, Joyisa Hando is a valued member of Jabulani Safari’s carer team. He first began working with elephants in 2003 and has worked with elephants both in Zimbabwe and at a few elephant facilities in South Africa.
Joyisa began working at Jabulani in 2013 and has since formed wonderful bonds with the elephants of the herd.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Foster has been working with elephants since 2006 and has been employed at Jabulani Safari since 2010.
Foster gained experience working with elephants both in his home country, Zimbabwe and at a lodge in South Africa before joining Jabulani. He provides dedicated care to the Jabulani herd of elephants and assists with the orphaned calves too.
Simbarashe Ururi has nurtured a deep love for animals since childhood, so after completing his schooling in his home country of Zimbabwe in 1995, Simbarashe began working with elephants.
Simbarashe accompanied the original Jabulani herd from Zimbabwe to South Africa and has helped to care for orphaned elephants in South Africa ever since.
With a keen interest in medical care and much knowledge gained over the years, part of Simbarashe’s duties includes checking the herd each morning, tending to any minor wounds and keeping a close eye for any medical issues.
Colben Mogakane first joined Jabulani Safari in 2004 and soon developed an immense passion for elephants. He worked with the Jabulani herd for a year and then spent some time working with elephants in Knysna.
Colben returned to Jabulani in 2010 and has been an asset to the HERD orphanage, providing superb care to the young, displaced calves.
Originally from Zimbabwe, George Zulu joined Jabulani Safari in 2014 and has since become a highly valued elephant carer, both for the Jabulani herd and the orphaned calves of HERD.
George first began working with elephants in 2006 and gained much experience working with elephants at another lodge in South Africa before joining the Jabulani team.
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.
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