They will gain valuable experience and bolster the resources reserve management can call on.
Sbongile Moyana obtained an Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation 2019 at the University of Mpumalanga. She grew up in Kwamhlanga, Mpumalanga. Although she didn’t know much about nature conservation before she began her diploma, Sibongile has truly become a convert and has ambitions to build a career in Nature Conservation, and to gain a doctorate in Ecology one day. She is looking forward to broadening her exposure to the practical realities of managing and conserving biodiversity at Verloren Valei.
Sharon Mahlangu is 23 and hails from Draaikraal and Lydenburg. Her rural upbringing gave her a love of the natural beauty that surrounded her. She received a Diploma in Nature Conservation from the University of Mpumalanga in 2020, and spent time at Verloren Valei doing her practical work. During that time, she learned a lot about the practical side of nature conservation, such as fire management, as well as the importance of wetlands. “I fell in love with the beauty and colourful flowers of the Reserve,” she says.
She has developed an interest in photography, and believes images of the beauty of nature will play a role in helping to change our communities’ attitude to conservation.
Sibusiso Mabena holds a Diploma in Nature Conservation from the University of South Africa. For the past seven years, he has been working as an environmental monitor a SS Skosana Nature Reserve in Groblersdal. There his duties included conducting patrols, alien plant control and combating poaching—skills and experience that will be a valuable addition to the Verloren Valei team. He is passionate about nature, and is planning on studying towards a degree in Environmental Management. He would like to be a reserve manager one day.
Welcome to the new interns, we hope they gain a lot from their work at Verloren Valei.