Park Ranger

What is a Park Ranger?

Park Rangers teach people to respect nature.  They are employed by the government (national parks) or private game farms.  Park Rangers work throughout the country protecting the natural environment for future generations. They enforce park rules and regulations, prevent forest fires and see that visitors behave right. 

Park Rangers are good campers with a lot of knowledge about plants and wildlife. The also control the number of visitors, provide information regarding park use and areas of interest, issue fire permits, and collect fees.

What does a Park Ranger do?

  • protecting the natural environment for future generations
  • carrying guns because of poachers
  • making sure the park laws are obeyed
  • protecting people – they may rescue a fallen rock climber or chasing away a wild animal that is scaring campers
  • maintaining all equipment, camping sites and mend any vandalised areas
  • dealing with emergencies
  • teaching campers how to use camping equipment
  • taking visitors on nature walks
  • setting up exhibits
  • lecturing on historic and other interesting nature topics
  • handling budgets, making and setting new rules
  • managing staff
    helping to train new rangers

Are you . . . ?

  • a person who loves the outdoors?
  • a person who loves nature?
  • a people’s person?
  • a person who can live in remote places?
  • self motivated and confident?
  • organised?
  • mechanically-minded?
  • practical?
  • fit and healthy?

How do I become a Park Ranger?

In South Africa, you can start your Park Ranger career as a trainee junior Park Ranger with SANPARKS.  They will train you on the job. 

Extra courses in nature sciences would be recommended.

Recommended school subjects:  Biology, Geography.  Literacy skills an added advantage.


Offer ourses in field ranging
Field Ranger Selection Course (14 days)
Conservation guardianship. (6 weeks)

It does not look like any special minimum requirements are necessary to do these courses.  A love of nature would be recommended.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Zoo Keeper or Amusement Centre Manager

Is becoming a Park Ranger the right career choice for me?

See below for more info.