Skip to content

South African National Parks (SANParks)

Kudu Awards 2012

The South African National Parks (SANParks) supported by First National Bank (FNB) awarded deserving conservationists at their 8th annual Kudu Awards ceremony held at Gallagher Estates in Midrand on 30 November 2012.

A total of 13 Finalist in four categories were announced, these include Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award, Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation, Community Contribution to Conservation and Environmental Education/Capacity Building.

The Lifetime Contribution Award (Chief Executive Officer's Awards) was awarded to Dr U. dv V. "Tol" Pienaar (posthumously), the former Chief Director of SANParks from 1987 until his retirement in 1991. He spent 35 years with SANParks, of those 32 were spent in Kruger National Park. Dr Mabunda said, "Dr Tol Pienaar ranks amongst those who have had the most influence in shaping the Kruger National Park into the world renowned conservation icon that it is today."

Kudu Awards Winners

Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Individual):

  • Afeefah Patel, a seven year old girl based in Johannesburg wrote a letter to President Jacob Zuma highlighting her concern about the plight of rhino in South Africa. Her letter did not only get the Presidents attention but also gave an impetus to a call for a campaign to unite against poaching. Her actions did not go unnoticed as SANParks celebrated her effort by declaring her the winner of this year’s Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Individual).

Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Group):

  • Gora Elephant Camp in Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape was awarded the Business Partner of the Year award.

Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award (Profit Making Organisation):

  • The winner is Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi for their contribution to the fight against rhino poaching through their sustainable fundraising initiative Unite Against Poaching which has seen more than R5 million donated towards anti-poaching initiatives in the Kruger National Park.

Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation (Best Journalist)

  • Tiara Walters from Sunday Times was awarded the Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation. She conducted her reporting in a socially responsible manner and has given extensive and balanced reporting on conservation related matters. Sheree Bega from Saturday Star received a Merit Award in this category.

Environmental Media Contribution to Conservation (Best Publication)

  • The winner is Getaway Magazine for their extensive balanced and educational coverage of conservation and tourism issues.

Community Contribution to Conservation (Individual)

  • The recipient of this award, John Nzira – Ukuvuna Community Training Centre contributed in the advancement of sustainable conservation of our biodiversity and cultural heritage in a number of rural communities which include Limpopo, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Community Contribution to Conservation (Group)

  • In the group sub-category, the Pretoria-based Mothong African Heritage and Northern Cape Department of Basic Education are the joint winners who both made significant contributions in environmental education and awareness in their respective communities.

Community Contribution to Conservation (Region)

  • This is the SANParks Honorary Rangers (a volunteer organisation working in national parks) Awards. This year’s winner is Pretoria/ Tshwane Region of the SANParks Honorary Rangers. This region has been awarded for their sterling job in amongst others area integrity of the national parks, environmental education projects for disadvantaged communities and general fundraising projects. 

Community Contribution to Conservation (Project of the Year)

  • The second winner in the Honorary Rangers Awards is Nampak for the Project of the Year. Nampak is awarded for their contribution of baboon-proof rubbish bins and their assistance in the management of waste in the Kruger National Park.

Environmental Education/Capacity Building (Individual)

  • In this sub-category Vernon Gibbs-Halls from Eden District Municipality in the Western Cape was recognised for his leadership role in the broader conservation field spanning over 20 years.

Environmental Education/Capacity Building (Group)

  • This award was presented to The Jewish National Fund (Group) who has contributed to educational programmes in Mamelodi, Pretoria that further enhanced the value of conservation and biodiversity within an impoverished area.

Chief Executive Awards Winners

Website Community Choice Award

  • Jan Kriel
    Given to SANParks employees who are nominated and voted for by the members on the public forum hosted on the SANParks website.  For his interaction on the forum, informative pictures and posts, as well as his excellent guiding abilities in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The Leadership Award

  • Teke Victor Mokoena
    In recognition for his leading role in the establishment of relationships with key stakeholders ("Connecting to Society") and his ability to create tangible opportunities and benefits for the Golden Gate Highlands National Parks and its stakeholders.

Best Customer Service Award

  • Ellina Mona
    In recognition for her excellent performance in dealing with customer at the Tsendze Rustic Camp in the Kruger National Park.

The Best Performing Camp

  • Groot Kolk in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
    For overall best performance and showing highest Income to Cost Ratio, Highest Occupancy Bed and Unit and Highest Occupancy Growth

The Best Performing Park

  • Table Mountain National Park
    The award in the category Best Performing Park is presented to Table Mountain National Park for performing exceptionally well in the core functions of conservation, constituency building, and tourism development, including the implementation of a Visitor Safety Plan to reduce crime, and growing the guests to the Park by 5,5% while increasing the income to cost ratio to 1.75 for the 2011/12 financial year.

The Best Ranger Post

  • Crocodile Bridge Ranger Section in Kruger National Park
    In recognition of continued and outstanding service to conservation management and tireless effort in maintaining the area integrity within the iconic Kruger National Park.

In the Overall Best Performer Awards, there are 3 sub-categories:

  1. Overall Best Performer Awards - 1st Sub-category
  2. Overall Best Performer Awards - 2nd Sub category
  3. Overall Best Performer Awards - 3rd Sub category
The Overall Best Performer Awards - 1st category:
  • Elwin Naidoo
    In recognition of his ability to identify with the customers and their needs and his outstanding cross-selling of different South African National Parks tourism product offerings and activities.
The Overall Best Performer Awards - 2nd Category:
  • Edmond Voss
    In recognition for his passion and commitment towards his work and service delivery at |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
The Overall Best Performer Awards - 3rd Category:
  • Januario Fernandes
    In recognition of his leadership, commitment towards his work and service delivery at the Kruger National Park.

CEO's Special Awards

Every year this prestigious honour, the CEO's Award, is presented to an outstanding leader, nominated and selected by the SANParks Chief Executive Officer with help from Members of his Executive Management. It is a unique honour as it recognizes how the nominees have aligned their organization's interests, vision and mission to their daily functions.

  • Norman Sanderson from Kruger National Park
  • Miranda Moraba from Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site
  • Mario Scholtz from SANParks

Shield Award for Bravery

  • Graeme Ellis
    For his exceptional bravery in saving the life of a colleague while endangering his own life during a lion attack in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.


General Information



The Kudu Awards is an initiative that aims to reward stakeholders for their contributions and efforts in making South African National Parks the custodian of choice for protected areas.

A select number of persons and organisations who have made significant contributions to conservation will receive a Kudu Award in the form of a bronze sculpture of a Kudu head. The award is a symbol of pride, just as the Kudu itself is often feted for having a proud and majestic bearing.

The Kudu Awards is fundamental to the practice of recognising, acknowledging and praising the people who have, over the years, given financial and other resources to SANParks and other conservation agencies, while also recognising those people that have made it possible for conservation agencies to operate in a conducive and enabling environment.

Internal staff members will be bestowed with "top achievers" awards, known as the Chief Executive Awards. This national award recognises their dedication and selfless efforts towards acheiving the goals of the organisation from across 22 National Parks under SANParks management. The Chief Executive Awards are meant to encourage staff to do their work with 'pride and joy' and to always view this organisation as their personal business.

The Kudu Awards is an annual event that launched in June 2005, and is one of the highlights of the social calendar in conservation circles.