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KNP Uniforms

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Guinea Pig
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KNP Uniforms

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:29 pm

I've seen them at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria and more recently at the Emerald Game Reserve in Vanderbijlpark - uniformed guys with green shoulder badges, but I've never really paid attention to what was on the badge. Did these guys complete the same training as the rangers in KNP and other parks and are they allowed for example to apply for a job in one of the National Parks? The other question - how do we know when it's a genuine park official and not one of the private guys running round?
I know the zoos aren't linked to SANParks directly or are they?
Last edited by Guinea Pig on Mon May 09, 2005 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: KNP Staff uniforms

Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:41 pm

Hi Forumites

This is a really good question and I am so glad that GP has asked it.
The reason for me saying this is simple:
There are many organisations that are going around with similar or fairly similar uniforms to SANParks, but they are certainly not SANParks.
In fact, there was a group floating around that collected money "for conservation" a while back with epaulettes similar to SANParks.
I can remember seeing one of them near Hartebeespoort dam two years ago who took one look at me (I was in uniform) and scattered.
SANParks will never raise money in this way!
The moral of the story is be very careful who you give money too, the only legitimate fund raising attempt of this type sanctioned by SANParks are the anti poaching "tins" found in our shops and at certain locations across the country.
This is an Honorary Rangers project.

But this plethora of uniforms out there is one of the reasons why we are set to change our uniforms over the next two years but, for the meantime, let me discuss the official uniforms of the KNP (read SANParks):
1) Green Army-style uniform with epaulettes
This heavy looking dark green uniform has definite Kudu Kop (see above left hand corner of website) worn as an epaulette.
This is worn by conservation staff, rangers, scientists working in the field (including game capture) and security officials (excluding our contracted security company).
Staff in other departments - like myself in Public Relations - may not wear this uniform.
2) Two tone khaki
With its SANParks logo (Kudu Kop and words "South African National Parks) this is the "normal" day-to-day uniform of most (if not all) staff members.
Women are allowed to wear it - it is incredibly cool and comfortable - and can be worn with short- or long-pants.
It can also be worn with slightly darker green long pants.
3) Golf Shirts
There are also two golf shirts that are technically uniform.
They are a creamy colour and a green colour and both have the SANParks logo (kudu kop) on the pocket.
4) Green women's uniform
This is a variation light, dark and patterned green uniform worn by women.
It includes skirts, shorts, slacks and a variation of shirts.
The Kudu Kop is embroidered on the shirt, usually the left chest.
5) Working uniform
This is a tough khaki uniform for both men and women used by labourers and domestic workers.

In KNP, we have been issued security passes (used to be yellow cards but are now blue with an animal picture, mine is a lion - :evil: NOT A SHARK!) and we can use this to identify ourselves when not in uniform too.
Many of us have been given permission to use magnets for our vehicles with the SANParks logo - normally for law enforcement purposes - but this is our choice whether to use them or not.
All security passes have our photographs, name, employee number and division where we work.
Not all parks have this system and we in the KNP are still busy issuing all staff with this card but this is a pretty good guide.

Many other conservation authorities, zoos, private game parks, provincial game parks and tour guide organisations have taken to wearing some sort of epaulette in recent years.
There certainly is no specific qualification to wearing them, other than the type of industry that they work for.

Regarding ranger training, let us first make the distinction between the different levels (which many lump under one heading "ranger" but they are totally different in role and responsibility.

Ranger (section or district)
Most undergo at least a National Diploma in Nature Conservation before applying for a job as a ranger but many have other degrees or qualifications.
One particular ranger that I know and respect highly has just submitted his Master's Thesis!
They are - in essence - wildlife protectors and are allocated an area of the park as their responsibility.
Apart from law enforcement and possibly answering a few questions (in my experience they are a really nice bunch of guys and girls) they don't really see that many tourists.
In their sections, what they say is law!

Field Ranger
These guys work directly under section/district rangers and are the guys who actually patrol the area, protecting the wilderness against everything from soil erosion to poachers.
They have normally done in service training together with courses and learn their skills as time passes and with their more experienced colleagues.
The field ranger corps are a paramilitary arm and have all the characteristics of a military unit, including incredible espirit de corps.
The late L/Cpl Ndlovu was a field ranger.

Field guides
Although the qualifications can vary considerably, these guys and girls have normally got a FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) or similar qualification, which has various levels, from vehicle guiding to being weapons qualified which enables them to take guided walks.
Although most refer to them as "rangers", they are actually guides and are also trained to "interpret" the "language" of the bushveld to their guests.

Trails ranger
This is an interesting person as he/she is part guide and part section ranger.
Most have all the training of a full section ranger (including Nature Conservation Diplomas) but are specifically deployed to interact with guests, particularly on Wilderness Trails.
They have all got their full FGASA qualifications.
Many trails rangers in the KNP have gone on to become full section rangers and some, for example Wouter Jordaan (who answered that question about bicycle patrols a few weeks back) has climbed even higher and is now a Quality Assurance officer: Wildlife Management (a senior post in our Conservation Services Department).

That, in essence, is the difference between them.

Zoos aren't really linked to any National Park by organisation.
Most fall under some or another Zoological Society or organisation.
That said however, there is no reason why we can't work together with them on some or another project. For example, the "Take animals back to Africa" project with the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
Basically speaking, the Frankfurt Zoo has a breeding pair of black rhino and, every time one gets too old for its enclosure, it is trans located to South Africa.
It usually spends time in our bomas here in Skukuza before being released in Marakele National Park.

Phew, probably my longest post but I trust I have explained this fully.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Re: rangers

Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:24 pm

Hi Fevertree

As you probably know, the ranger corps is divided into Regions or Districts. Each of the four districts has a "District Ranger". Then each district is divided into a number of Sections, each with its "Section Ranger". Reporting to each of these Section Rangers are Field Rangers. There are an average of 10 per section - depending on the size of the sections (which vary considerably in size). For example, Letaba Section is 55 782ha and Mahlangeni Section is 116 082ha so, theoretically, Mahlangeni should have twice the number of field rangers than Letaba (but it doesn't always work out quite that easily).

Some of the names that have been here for a while include:
Louis Olivier (Northern Region Ranger)
Kobus Wenzel (Far North Region Ranger)
Mbongeni Tukela (South Region Ranger)
Albert Mashaba (Central Region Ranger)
*** The following are all Section or Assistant Section Rangers ***
Bruce Leslie
Johann Oelofse
Peter Scott

The younger up-and-coming rangers in the KNP include the likes of:
Jazz Nariandas
Rob Thomson
Neels van Wyk
Dalton Mabasa
Hendrick Mugwabana
Claire Ntshane
Richard Sowry
Steven Whitfield (his father was a well known KNP ranger)
David Manganye
Thomas Ramabulana
Evans Mkansi
Joe Nkuna
Oupa Modirwa
Reckson Seani
Karien Loubser
Lombard Shirindza
Dereck Mashale
Thomas Mbokota

Many of these rangers were former Trails Rangers and others were Day Walks Guides but a sprinkling of them were formerly Social Ecologists - particularly in areas bordering large communities with close links to the Park. And then you get living legends like Oom Louis and Johann Oelofse.

Those - and their field rangers - are our merry men in green who daily work hard to protect the integrity of the KNP from various forces (and a nice bunch of guys and girls too, I must tell you!).

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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rangers

Unread postby fevertree » Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:26 pm

Thanks for this info, it is heartening to see that some of the older "legends" are still going strong. I think there presence is important in imparting to the younger corps the traditions and values of the Kruger Park as they were in the old days, and ensure that they are maintained into the future - obviously without all the old apartheid traditions of course!!
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Unread postby Senyetse » Fri May 30, 2008 10:29 am

Having once been a guide myself, I noticed that people often are confused as to the difference between a guide and a ranger.
Field guides do just exactly that, they guide tourists through game parks, providing a (hopefully) richer and more educated experience.
Guides work with people, and are part of the tourism industry, usually having very little to do with conservation management.
Game rangers on the other hand, are hands on conservationists, working to keep the biological side of game reserves functioning, patrolling, fixing game fences, waterholes, doing game counts.
They essentially are wildlife managers and they adhere to a set ecological management plan.
Very often, especially in some of the private reserves, they do fulfill both roles.
But in KNP the roles are mostly separated.
Then you also get the ecologists who are the researchers, studying the natural systems to gain a better understanding of how it all functions so that they can inform the rangers how it should be managed.
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Re: Park hierarchy

Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:18 pm

saraf wrote:Where do the Honorary Rangers fit in?


As BB said, the HRs are volunteers and not employed by SANParks.

Honorary Rangers
Public Volunteers in Conservation

The Honorary Rangers are a collection of dedicated people who contribute to South African National Parks (SANParks) in their private capacity in the same way as renowned charity groups contribute to various other social causes. Our contribution is manifested in many ways, such as raising valuable funds, creating vital public awareness and supplying much needed manpower and equipment to supplement various conservation, tourism and environmental education needs within SANParks. Without our assistance the parks would be so much poorer and in some areas struggling to survive.


Read more here
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KNP Uniforms

Unread postby winston879 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:34 am

I've seen them at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria and more recently at the Emerald Game Reserve in Vanderbijlpark - uniformed guys with green shoulder badges, but I've never really paid attention to what was on the badge. Did these guys complete the same training as the rangers in KNP and other parks and are they allowed for example to apply for a job in one of the National Parks? The other question - how do we know when it's a genuine park official and not one of the private guys running round?
I know the zoos aren't linked to SANParks directly or are they?

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Re: KNP Uniforms

Unread postby forestgump » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:14 pm

Many places have their staff with eppaulettes on the shoulders, but this does not refer to training or qualifications at all.
The zoo is not Sanparks they will have their own emblem.
Differant lodges,zoos etc will have their own differant company emblems displayed.
However Sanparks have the kudu logo as theirs.
No to speeding in Sanparks.

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Re: KNP Uniforms

Unread postby Dabchick » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:04 pm

Yes, the Nature Conservators at zoological gardens such as the Pretoria National Zoological Gardens may well have exactly the same qualification as the rangers at SANParks - that is a higher diploma or Btech degree in Nature Conservation.
And yes, if they do have one of these qualifications they can apply for positions at SANParks as, for example, rangers.

However, a SANParks ranger may also have a BSc degree in for example ecology or zoology or botany (these are traditional academic university based degrees, where the more practical nature conservation courses are presented at what used to be called "technicons", now called "universities of technology").
It is unlikely that you will find a BSc Ecology graduate working as a nature conservator at a zoological garden, but the other way around is quite likely.

However, you will have some difficulty distinguishing between a "junior nature conservator" at a zoo (who is very likely working while studying part time - distance learning), and a full "nature conservator" who will already have received his/her degree/diploma.
Also, even admin staff wear these uniforms with epaulettes, as it is the standard uniform for all staff, so you'll either have to look for batch that indicate that a specific person is a nature conservator or not, or you'll have to question the person...
In some instances, junior conservators will wear t-shirts rather than uniform shirts with epaulettes.

No, the national zoos and national parks (SANParks) are not directly linked.
I think, however (correct me if I'm wrong), that they are both parastatals reporting to the Department of Environmental Affairs (as is SANBI - the national botanical gardens)...

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Re: Park hierarchy

Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:49 pm

The park warden is now called KNP's Managing Executive, and the position is held by Mr Abe Sibiya.

Only the regional ranges are listed on the website - See here.
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Re: Park hierarchy

Unread postby K-4S » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:21 am

From the link that DinkyBird posted it seems that there are only two section rangers. From what i can see everything south of Orpen is Derek Machapha and everthing North of Orpen is Louis Olivier. Quite a task overseeing such a vast area. Good job Guys :great: :congrats:
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Re: Park hierarchy

Unread postby ndloti » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:28 am

There are 21 ranger sections in the KNP - each has an individual ranger who lives on the section - though certain posts may be vacant at times.
In addition there is a regional ranger for each of the 4 regions ,
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Park hierarchy

Unread postby DinkyBird » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:40 am

K-4S, the guys listed on the list I linked to are Regional Rangers. Section Rangers fall under them.
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