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 Reserve.
Born in 1997, Jabulani was rescued as a four-month-old little elephant, who was found stuck in the mud of a silt dam, abandoned by his herd. Against all odds, Jabulani survived his initial struggles and his health improved.
In 2002, he found a family of his own when he was accepted by Tokwe (the Matriarch of the elephant herd rescued from Zimbabwe). So began his life with his new herd.
Jabulani’s name is a celebration of this second chance at life – meaning ‘Happiness’ or ‘Rejoice’ in the Zulu language. Jabulani is a friendly, kind and loving elephant, intelligent and playful – he adores attention! He is always curious about his surroundings, always wanting to be part of the action. Jabulani is growing in confidence as a bull and in leadership and status in the herd and is second in dominance amongst the bulls.
The dominant Bull in the Jabulani herd, Sebakwe, is a true gentle giant in every sense. Named after a river in Zimbabwe, Sebakwe was born around 1985 and was part of the original herd that was rescued in 2002. He is by far the biggest, tallest and widest (both from the front and from the rear) elephant in the herd. His tusks are beautifully developed but in 2018, he broke his left tusk making it considerably shorter than his right tusk. While being a grand and striking bull, he is also tender and loving, and very protective of the herd. His favourite time of the day is when the elephants take time out from foraging to swim in one of the dams and he especially loves splashing about with a tree branch in his mouth or trunk, showcasing his impressive strength to his fellow herd. Sebakwe loves to spend as much time as possible with Setombe, the oldest of the females.
Named after areas where Mopane trees grow, Somopane was born in around 1987 and is part of the original herd that was rescued from Zimbabwe, during the country’s land reforms. He is by far the most intelligent elephant of the herd and is very confident, and comfortable in his skin – he never seems to feel the need to prove himself to others. He enjoys time alone, especially when out foraging, and is an excellent mediator, often preventing the younger males from getting into fights. Through the years, Somopane has always been a respectful, warm, loving elephant. His smarts and a phenomenal sense of smell have made him the perfect tracker of the herd. In terms of dominance, he is in the fourth position in the herd. He shares his stable area with Bubi and her daughter Zindoga. One of the taller elephants of the herd, Somopane has a slender body, less wrinkled skin, and a somewhat rounded forehead, with the thickest tusks of the herd, which are evenly levelled.