South African National Jamboree (SANJAMB)

South African National Jamboree (SANJAMB) Timeline

In Scouting, a Jamboree is a large gathering of Scouts who rally at a national or international level. The first World Scout Jamboree was held in 1920, and was hosted by the United Kingdom.

One of the earliest Jamborees in South Africa was a local event held in Cape Town on the 24th May 1921 and this was soon followed throughout the country by many other regional Jamborees.

The first South African National Jamboree (SANJAMB) was held in 1936 and East London was the host city. It was attended by Baden-Powell himself.

Baden-Powell once said: -
The average Scout Life of a boy is a comparatively short one, and it is good for each generation of Scouts to see at least one big rally, since it enables the boy to realize his membership of a really great brotherhood, and at the same time brings him into personal acquaintance with brother Scouts of other districts and other countries.

Editor's Note: The source material is limited to old reports, personal scrap books and logbooks archived in the Scout Heritage Centre, Cape Town - but I'm sure there must be many more anecdotes waiting to be included! Please add your contribution.

Year Details logo

East London
Jamboree – 8 to 16 January
About 3500 Scouts and Leaders attended from every part of South Africa, South West Africa (Namibia), Moçambique and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). The Chief Scout, The Rt. Hon. Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, with Lady Olave and their daughters Heather and Betty attended


Jamboree – May
Celebrated 50 years of the Union of South Africa and included Scouts, Guides, Voortrekkers and Jewish Youth Movements
From the Cape Western Division there were 122 Scouts and 19 Scouters


The first 'Jamboree' for Roman Catholic Scouts
A Camp filled with religious insight and spiritual enrichment. Interesting speakers and activities that gave spiritual growth. The camp was held on the coast at Genezzano, 45 Km north of Durban.


Jamboree – 28 December 1963 to 4 January 1964
Hosted by the Cape Western Coloured Division
300 Scouts attended – Groups from Western Cape, Transvaal (Gauteng), OFS, Natal and Cape Midlands (Eastern Cape)


The second 'Jamboree' for Roman Catholic Scouts


Jamboree – 3 to 13 January
The Jamboree site, Chase Valley, was quite the most beautiful place at which to hold a Jamboree. The valley was once used as a trout hatchery and had many beautiful trees and streams of water running through the camp. The Camp Leader was Mr. Tubby Goldman


The Republic Festival Jamboree was in celebration of 5 years as a republic


Howick - Albert Falls
SANJAMB - 11 to 18 December
The Jamboree was held at the Natal Parks Board site of Albert Falls


Howick - Midmar Dam
SANJAMB – 14 to 21 December
Fifty daytime activities with the water activities being very popular. Mud wrestling was even popular with the Guides. At times there were thunderstorms and fierce winds, but on the whole the weather was kind.


Howick - Midmar Dam
SANJAMB – 14 to 21 Decemberb
1500 Scouts and Guides. Visitors from Australia, England, Ghana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, France, Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia and USA.


Vaal Dam
SANJAMB – 12 to 21 December
Also celebrated 90 years of Scouting


Vaal Dam
SANJAMB – 10 to 19 December
About 1000 participants attended with contingents from the Netherlands, England, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho


Doornkloof Farm, Free State
SANJAMB - 8 to 16 December
It was the first time in over 16 years that the Jamboree was held and hosted by Scouts South Africa.