10 Questions with Camp Jabulani GM, Stefan du Toit

Part of Camp Jabulani’s new General Management team, together with wife Chantel, Stefan du Toit has been part of the herd for many years. He’s spent countless mornings with the lions out roaming in the golden light of an African sunrise, endless afternoons with the woodpeckers and rollers in flight, and hundreds of secret sunsets with the elephants big and small.

This is Camp Jabulani through his eyes.

10 Questions with Camp Jabulani General Manager, Stefan du Toit

Five things working at Camp Jabulani has taught you about yourself, life and love?

Interacting with people from across the world who has an interest in our wildlife is an amazing privilege. If you love what you do, what you do will never feel like work. I have a passion people and enjoy every moment I get to spend with guests.

How did your path lead you to Camp Jabulani?

When I finished University I needed to find a interim job before starting my next University course. I started working at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, not long after starting at the centre I was asked whether I would like to join the team at Camp Jabulani. Needles to say I jumped at the opportunity and well I never really went back to University. I met my wife at the Centre, after working at Camp Jabulani for 5 years we decided we would like to spread our wings in the industry. We got an opportunity in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve which was amazing but not as amazing as the being able to come back to where it all started.

Favourite part about living in the bush and in particular, the Kapama Private Game Reserve?

There is no better way to wake in the middle of the night and hear the Camp Jabulani elephants rumble as they communicate with one another during the night.

A never forget moment from your time at Camp Jabulani?

One evening during an elephant walk we came over a little hill and startled a male white rhino. The rhino started running towards us, with the intention to investigate what had startled it. It happened so quickly, before we knew it Jabulani pushed me out of the way, challenging the rhino. The stand-off that lasted felt like a lifetime but in reality it was only few seconds. The male rhino then turned around and ran off. Jabulani turned towards it in an almost light-hearted way as if he is saying, “Come on, get a move on.”

How has your relationship with Africa and her wildlife changed while at the lodge?

Growing up in Africa one can very easily become complacent about the animals seen every day. Being a guide for a long time, I had the privilege to experience Africa through the eyes of my guests, with a fresh perspective every day.

What is it like to spend time with the Camp Jabulani elephants?

Having worked at Camp Jabulani for 5 years and then leaving, the one constant piece missing was the elephants. Being back at Camp Jabulani is almost as if I came home and love seeing the elephants. Needless to say I try to spend as much time with them as I can. Nothing can compare to spending time with such magnificent animals.

You favourite meal on the menu?

Chilled tomato and apple gazpacho soup.

Favourite time in the bush and the best way to start the day?

Early morning. The best way to start the day is by watching the elephants start their day as they walk out into the bush.

The best way to unwind on a day off?

Sitting at one of the most interesting birding spots on the reserve and trying to identify as many bird species as possible.

What unusual and unexpected things does your job entail?

Unclogging drains in the middle of the night always makes for an interesting evening.

To Protect and to Serve in the Wilderness of South Africa


To protect and to serve – these words aren’t merely the dictum of US police departments. They’re what drive so many conservationists in Africa, fighting each day to conserve the Earth we call home.

They’re the words of special people like Adine Roode, Camp Jabulani lodge owner and elephant conservationist, and her team, who continue to inspire hope with their efforts to save the elephants and other endangered species of the continent in their special place in the Kapama Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Following their adventures adds a wild spark to our days back home, in the city, as they remind us that there is always hope as long as individuals continue to, well, protect and conserve.

In Adine’s own words, here is an update on another successful introduction of an elephant orphan to the Camp Jabulani herd.

For the Women of Africa, For the Women of the World

Above: North Island, Seychelles

On our travels, there have been so many men and women that have arrived seemingly out of the blue and stepped right into our hearts as though they were there all along. They arrive and never leave.

Today is about the women we’ve met. The phenomenal women that make an occasion like International Women’s Day such an obvious day to embrace. It feels, oceans and mountains away from those women, as though they are all here with us right now, smiling their big warm smiles, linking arms around shoulders in a show of that “We got this” strength and support.

Above: ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya

The women we’ve met have been in some of the most remote and wild parts of Africa, but also in the cities, in the boardrooms. We have walked together, talked together, we have cried and laughed and understood. We have shared in endless meals, in our homes, in restaurants, out on riverbanks and under infinite starry skies. We have sat with lions and shared in the “don’t make me look” fear and the “wait, let’s stay longer” excitement of Africa.

Above: Julia Geffers of Relais & Châteaux and Shan Varty of Londolozi Private Game Reserve

We have cycled across the Damaraland Desert of Namibia and the Maasai plains in Kenya. We have canoed with hippos and crocodiles on the Zambezi and sailed rough and calm seas together, in the kind of way that bonds you for life.

Some have battled the worst of life, only to emerge more in love with the best of life. Together, we have been quiet and loud, with children, families, lovers, and alone. We have given and we have received.

Above: 20 Degres Sud, Mauritius

In our travels, we see women across the great stretch of land and ocean embodying the words of Rudyard Kipling in his great poem, If, but instead of a man and a son, they make us desperate to rewrite our own version, to extend it to the truth of what it means to be a women…

“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Woman, my daughter!”

Above: Annie-Claude Bergonzoli, Director of Relais & Châteaux Africa and the Indian Ocean, at Mara Plains Camp, Kenya

In the women of Africa, the women living, loving or working here or those simply passing through, we have seen the greatest examples of spirit, persistence, love, community and a great joy for life, for all of life.

It is all of these women, the women seen and the women unseen, the women heard and the women not heard, that we celebrate and hold close today, that we honour for all they have shown us and all that they are. Happy International Women’s Day!

Above: Hoby de Foucault at Anjajavy le Lodge, Madagascar

Above: Exec Chef, Anna Ridgewell at Londolozi Private Game Reserve

Above: ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya

Above: The Cellars-Hohenort, Cape Town

Above: Jill Wagner, Great Plains Conservation

Above: Tanja von Arnim, Delaire Graff Estate, Cape Winelands

Above: Adine & Lente Roode of Camp Jabulani, South Africa

Above: Tina Aponte at Royal Chundu, Zambia

Above: Beverly Joubert of Great Plains Conservation, in Botswana (Zarafa Camp and Duba Plains Camp)

Above: Sophie Vaillant, Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge, South Africa

Above: Ellerman House, Cape Town