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SANParks Honorary Rangers

The SANParks Honorary Rangers (SHR) is the official SANParks volunteer organisation mandated in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between SANParks and SHR. We are a registered public benefit and non-profit organisation. We provide the people of South Africa and our business community the opportunity to support our National Parks.

We are one of South Africa‘s leading conservation nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).

Among the non-governmental South African initiatives, funds are allocated according to a wish list system compiled in consultation with SANParks, with the lion’s share of support for counter-poaching activities. 

Honorary Rangers are involved at various levels, including assisting at entry gates, raising funds for anti-poaching and other SANParks activities, assisting with visitor management, running youth activities and specialist advice on infrastructure and scientific projects.

Each of the 31 regions engages in local projects and initiatives, including raising funds, maintaining hiking routes, running birding weekends and renovating historical areas.

The SANParks Honorary Rangers movement has a rich history. The first volunteers were active in the Kruger National Park as early as 1902, where they helped alleviate the workload of full-time rangers. The organization was officially established on 5 May 1964, but functioned informally until 1987 when the Association of Honorary Rangers was formed with 301 founding members. Rules, uniforms, insignia and financial structures were adopted and as of 1988. Today, there are over 1 900 SANParks Honorary Rangers – all volunteers – based in 31 regions around the country and working in all 21 of our national parks.

Over the past 10 years, SANParks Honorary Rangers has provided SANParks with over R248,6 million in public and business donations and volunteer support.

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.

Several regions run very successful Junior Honorary Ranger programmes.  Children from 12 to 18 are taught about nature, animal behaviour, conservation and bush skills. 

Our Purpose - To give of our best to conserve our natural heritage.

Our Vision - To be a world-class volunteer organization operating as an integral partner to South African National Parks in support of their strategic objectives.

Our Mission - To support SANParks in developing, managing and promoting sustainable national parks that represent our biodiversity and heritage assets through innovation and best practice, for the just and equitable benefit of current and future generations.

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