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Media Release: Custos Magazine rises from the ashes

Date: 2013-11-08

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The nostalgia associated with Custos, the national parks and wildlife magazine, can now be recaptured after South African National Parks (SANParks) received a full set of the Custos magazines and an electronic version for the archives from the SANParks Honorary Rangers. 

The project initiated by the Pretoria Honorary Rangers Region, through members whose families were involved with Custos when it was being published, handed over the compiled set and electronic version at SANParks Head Office in Pretoria on 8 November 2013. 

Reynold Thakhuli, SANParks Acting Head of Communications said that Custos was a household name to many visitors and friends of our country’s national parks for many years.  “It was very much a part of any visit to SANParks, as each visitor received a copy as they entered the park’s gates.” 

“We are delighted to be associated with the SANParks Honorary Rangers who have for the past 50 years worked hand in hand with us in the journey for conservation. We are excited that this benchmark of communication has been reborn with stories and articles that are still relevant today. The public can now reminisce about days gone by and relive memories that formed a large part of the last quarter of the previous century with this treasure of natural scientific information.”

A key role player in this project was Jeanine Smit who was the editor of Custos and is the wife of Danie Smit a Senior Honorary Ranger member. Speaking at the handover, Janssen Davies, the SANParks Honorary Ranger National Chairperson said “the magazine which was published from December 1971 up to the final edition in September 1998 was an invaluable source of scientific and historical information and carried interesting facts and figures about the parks’ fauna and flora.  It also contained fascinating tales of wild and wonderful sightings, narrow escapes with the dangerous big five and amazing photography.”

A box set containing digitally scanned copies in PDF format of the entire collection of this magazine is now available for sale.  Funds raised will promote nature conservation activities in South African National Parks. For more information visit or to get your hands on a copy contact  

Front Cover of Custos Magazine 1982.

Issued by:    
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170

Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks Acting Head of Communications
Tel: 012 426 5203;  Cell: 073 373 4999



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