Earth Ranger Training kicks off

By Dr. Cleo Graf/Nandi Thobela

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of wrapping up the year 2020, the first EarthRanger Training took place in Somkhanda Community Game Reserve (SCGR). The training was facilitated over two days and was aimed at data capturers who also work as field rangers on the big 5 reserve. 

Somkhanda Community Game Reserve is a formally declared protected area that was established in 2005 and later proclaimed as a Nature Reserve under the National Protected Areas Act 2003. The 12000ha reserve is located in the northern KZN Zululand district and is co-managed by Emvokweni Community Trust and Wildlands Trust. In August 2020, through the Innovation Hub at the Southern African Wildlife College, SCGR expressed an interest in using EarthRanger. After successfully deploying EarthRanger with SAWC support, there was a need to train and capacitate the staff that will be using this application. 

A complement of 11 staff members were trained, including the reserve manager. The training objective was to give a basic understanding of how EarthRanger can be used in SCGR, provide an overview on the importance of data collection, and how external devices can feed information into EarthRanger. 

Using participatory and applied teaching methods during this training, learners were able to practically engage with the content through live demonstration and context based exercises. There were a few challenges faced in leading the training; including unstable network connection and very high temperatures.

We look forward to offering more support and training to Somkhanda and any one else who would like to make use of technology to support conservation. If you are interested to find out more please contact us on

To read more please see this article written by Meiring Prinsloo, the Manager of Somkhanda GR.