We were drawn to Limpopo by the hidden treasure – Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development (HERD) centre – where Founder, Adine Roode, has made it her life’s work to give orphaned elephants a second chance.

Adine’s journey with elephants began over 25 years ago when her mother, Lente Roode, hand-reared their first orphaned elephant. Today, the Jabulani Herd consists of 16 elephants – 11 of which are rescued orphans and five that were born to the herd over the years. 

In 2019, Adine founded Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development or ‘HERD’ as a response to a growing number of young orphaned elephant calves that needed a place of rehabilitation where they could join an existing herd that would accept them unconditionally. 

As its name suggests, HERD creates an adoptive family structure for baby elephants that is crucial for their well-being and survival.

“It actually started in 2019 because of a lot of different circumstances. The main reason was in 2016, we started seeing a huge increase of elephant orphans that needed assistance and because of the Jabulani herd that accepted these orphans, they were a perfect herd to assist us in raising our orphans that were coming in,” explains Adine. 

A mother of two, Adine started out as an accountant but moved into marketing and has learned the impact of social media in sharing awareness of these giants. This week, we met the elephant that inspired the whole operation – Jabulani. 

Wanting to help these beautiful creatures, the Jabulani Lodge was founded in 2004 to help sustain the herd. The proceeds received from tourism go towards the care and management of the elephants.

“The reason why we built the lodge was to generate income to assist looking after the elephants. We also have an elephant levy that guests actually contribute directly towards HERD which is a non-profit organisation,” says Adine. 

“Jabulani actually offers a soulful safari experience, not only offering game drives and a big five game reserve, but adding new experiences around the elephants – watching them swim and watching them at sunset, as they return back from their day out in the bush. So, that really is adding to the whole experience.”

If this multi-talented woman inherited her mother’s way with animals, then from her father Johan, she learned how to run an efficient business.

“With my hours that I work, from early morning to late afternoon, early evenings, and sometimes throughout the night, I want a bank that’s accessible. Capitec has this remote onboarding service where you can, in the comfort of your home, open an account without going into a branch,” says Adine. 

“All you have to do is pick up the smartphone, download the Capitec app, add your ID number, take a couple of selfies, enter your personal details and you have a new bank account.” With her banking made easy with Capitec, Adine has more time for her mission.

For her work, Adine Roode was recognised by a world hospitality organization as their Woman of the Year for 2020.


If you have your own plan for how we and our natural world can live better, let us know and stand a chance of winning a R1000. Simply reply to the competition post on The Insider SA’s social media platforms using #CapitecLiveBetter.  Ts&Cs apply and can be found on The Insider SA website.

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