African Conservation Awards
Photo Credit: Supplied

Honouring nature’s heroes from around the continent are The African Conservation Awards, and the finalists have been announced!


Africa (03 September 2023) — The African Conservation Awards give people who work tirelessly behind the scenes in nature, their moment in the sunlight. From field rangers to reserves and veterinary teams, conservation’s finest are incredibly deserving of their shiny shoutouts for efforts that enrich all life.

This year’s finalists have been announced following 60 nominations from 11 countries across the African continent. Female rangers make up half the finalists in the Field and Game Ranger categories while different African countries also made their way to the finalists table.

“The African Conservation Awards showcase extraordinary people doing extraordinary things for nature. It is our privilege to give them the recognition they so richly deserve. Well done to all the nominees who continue to inspire us with their dedicated contribution to conservation. We look forward to celebrating their exemplary efforts!” Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa.

Without further adue…

African Conservation Awards Finalists 2023

Field Ranger:

  • Givemore Bako: Senior Ranger and Head Rhino Monitor of Anti-Poaching Tracking Specialists, Savé Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe
  • Nkateko Letti Mzimba: Sergeant of Black Mambas Unit, Olifants West Nature Reserve, South Africa
  • Reginah Smith: Corporal of the Rhino Protection Unit, Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa

Game Ranger:

  • Amos Gwema: Principle Investigation and Security Officer, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Zimbabwe
  • Orlat Ndlovu: Head of Ranger Services, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
  • Petronella Chigumbura: Deputy Ranger Supervisor, Akashinga, Zimbabwe

Conservation Team:

  • Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
  • Wildlife Action Group, Thuma Forest Reserve and the Dedza Salima Escarpment Forest Reserve, Malawi
  • Zinave National Park, Mozambique

Conservation Supporter:

  • African Pangolin Working Group, South Africa
  • Joseph Serugo Ssalongo, Honorary Wildlife Officer, Uganda
  • Rhino Man, South Africa

Highly Commended Nominations

As determined by the judging panel for the excellent work done:

  • Field Ranger Owenyo Alphonse (Uganda) and Marine Ranger Tima Dago (Kenya)
  • Game Rangers Ali Hassan (Kenya) and Simon Ewoi (Kenya)
  • EWT Soutpansberg Rangers (South Africa) for Conservation Team
  • Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital (South Africa) for Conservation Supporter.

Each organisation and individual that has been shortlisted has shown remarkable determination to succeed when the odds have often been stacked against them. Conservation areas continue to face many challenges, including limited resources and working against criminal syndicates. Despite this, remarkable people continue to do amazing things for wildlife and the communities who benefit from it.

These awards are hosted annually by the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa (GRAA) and the winners will be announced on 16 September at SAWC where they will be celebrated by their ranger colleagues at the Southern African Wildlife College.

Sources: Supplied
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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