Jambo: From African dream to the best campsite in Denmark
In 1964, the first sod was taken in a deserted patch in the middle of the forest close to the North Sea as the start of a camping adventure that is still flourishing.
The dream and plans began elsewhere: on a farm in Tanzania. Bitter and Anders Matzen ran a farm where they grow pyrethium plants, which after processing became an oil for insect poisons.
They had three children, and when school time came, the family decided to return home to Denmark. Here, camping was gaining ground as a popular form of holiday for families, and Anders Matzen set out to find the perfect place to establish his own campsite. The choice fell on 23 acres of land at Saltum Strand.
The campsite had to have an original name. The choice fell on the “jambo”, the family had used as a greeting for many years. Jambo is Swahili and means “hello – welcome”. An important basic value was that the place should stand out and that everyone should feel welcome.
Jambo Vesterhav Camping quickly became one of Denmark’s most popular, and families with children from Scandinavia and Germany frequently visited the site. Even then, activities for children were emphasized, and, among other things, the innovative Anders Matzen was the first in Denmark to build a swimming pool on a campsite.
In 1989, Jambo, together with other forward-thinking campsites, founded the chain TopCamp to raise the standard in Danish camping. In 1990, Jambo Vesterhav Camping distinguished itself by erecting the world’s largest tent peg and was entered in the Guinness Book of Records.
In 1996, the Matzen family sold the campsite to a new, enthusiastic family: Egelund. Karsten Egelund had been introduced to the camping life from childhood at his parents’ campsite Egelunds Camping in Lønstrup.
With Else and Karsten Egelund at the helm, the strategy was for Jambo to go all the way to the top. The couple began a thorough renovation and set new standards for luxury camping with new service buildings. In 1999, Jambo was upgraded from 3 to 4 stars.
In 2004, Jambo received foreign recognition as one of the very best when it was named SuperPlatz by the German ADAC. The title has since been reacquired every year. The site was upgraded to five stars by the Camping Council in 2009, and the same year the company changed its name to Jambo Holiday Park.
Today, all buildings have been replaced by new luxurious facilities Still, the spirit of the early beginnings is preserved as a place that stands out and guests feel welcome.
In 2008, Europe’s largest miniature golf course was opened with an African savannah theme. All road names in the square are African animal names, and the characteristic road signs with figures of African savannah animals have been preserved.011
For the 2011 season, Jambo joined the European chain of luxury campsites Leading Campings of Europe.