To further conservation education and youth development within the broader community of the Kruger National Park, a long-term partnership has been formed between Jock Safari Lodge and the Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA).

Jock Safari Lodge was the first private concession granted within the Kruger National Park, and has a long-standing commitment to both sustainable and community development.The collaboration with the WFA is positioned to take community empowerment and development to another level.

“We are extremely honoured and excited about the new prospects and possibilities that this partnership brings, which will enable us to have a greater impact in engaging with, and including those that can work alongside us to preserve this rich landscape that we are so passionate about,” said GM and Director of Jock Safari Lodge, Louis Strauss.

This year, two key intervention programmes will be rolled out as part of Jock Safari Lodge’s partnership with WFA – the Siyazenzela leadership and employability skills training programme, and the Imbewu Wilderness Trails programme.

Siyazenzela is aimed at previously disadvantaged youths between the ages of 18 and 26 and training courses are run as a four-week short-term project. Participants gain job preparedness skills, are provided with job shadowing opportunities and, on graduating, are enrolled into a resilience support programme that ensures they stay connected for peer mentoring purposes.

The Imbewu Wilderness Trails programme aims to connect youths to their cultural-environmental heritage. Trails draw attention to the resilient and healing power of nature, leading students to make life-changing choices and lifestyle changes that equip vulnerable young people to be economically active and environmentally responsible citizens.

Dr Andrew Muir, CEO of Wilderness Foundation Africa said: “We are excited to be partnering with Jock Safari Lodge, with its impeccable commitment to sustainable development and a leader in nature-based tourism.  There is much to learn from each other in the common cause of ensuring that our natural heritage is preserved and enjoyed by all citizens of our country.”