Park Manager

South Africa’s 19 national parks, covering over 9 million hectares, aim to conserve rich biodiversity, landscapes and heritages sites. Various provincial and local government nature reserves complement this aim. These conservation areas generate revenue and contribute to the economy through nature-based tourism and support neighbouring communities whose livelihoods rely on the natural resources within and around these conservation areas. The efficient, effective and sustainable management of parks conserve biodiversity and associated ecosystems and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.

Park managers oversee the management and conservation of natural and cultural resources according to the Protected Areas Act. They establish the goals and objectives of a park to ensure recreational experiences align with conservation targets as well as supervise resource conservation programmes and research within park premises. They also oversee the procurement of required personnel, resources, equipment and materials and control budgetary expenses. Some park managers also supervise educational outreach initiatives.

Park managers engage with park rangers, researchers, citizen groups, local communities and other stakeholders in the promotion, conservation and engagement with parks and reserves. They work between an office and the field conducting inspections of park areas.


Park managers require experience in natural resource management, conservation area planning and biodiversity stewardship and an understanding of relevant legislation, coupled with:

  • Strong leadership, management and business acumen
  • Understand ecological, cultural and socio-economic interactions
  • Strong planning and organisational competence
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills


Direct park operations according to government regulations

Plan and oversee resource conservation services

Manage the planning, construction and maintenance of facilities

Manage administrative functions and cooperative relations with stakeholders


B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Environmental Management at UFS, UJ, UNISA and UP

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Environmental Science at NMU, RU, UCT, UJ, UKZN, UMP, UP, UWC and Wits

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences at all universities

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Environmental Management at CPUT

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Nature Conservation at CPUT, MUT, NMU, TUT, UMP and UNISA


National, provincial and local government parks and reserves.

Public and private game reserves.

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