Founded in 1970, the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa (GRAA) is a non-profit organisation which is the oldest, largest and most representative ranger association in Africa.

We provide a well-established defined community of practice which provides networks, support and representation for rangers across Africa. Over 1800 members have joined the GRAA since 1970, representing more than 26 countries. The GRAA is a proud member of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with recognised chapters in Angola, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. Our members are from a variety of disciplines operating at the coalface of African conservation.

The GRAA believes that the continued future existence of Africa’s wilderness and its wildlife is ultimately and irrevocably liked to the expertise, ethics and motivation of those tasked with the “on the ground” protection and management of this priceless asset. This involves inter alia the conservation of the natural heritage, and the promotion of sustainable utilization of natural resources, ecotourism, community involvement and environmental education. The Ranger in Africa has many real needs, but without real support and relevant training the Ranger will fail, and Africa’s priceless natural and cultural heritage will be lost forever.

During the Third World Congress of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) held during September 2000 in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, a Memorandum of African Continental Understanding was signed by all of the African delegates present. This Protocol acknowledges the GRAA as the voice of the Ranger in Africa, and binds the signatories into forming national associations within their own countries.


Ian Player


The Game Rangers’ Association of Africa is proud to have had Dr. Ian Player as patron. Dr. Player is a world renowned conservationist who began making his mark in conservation circles shortly after becoming a Senior Ranger in the Natal Parks Board in 1954.

As Warden of the iMfolozi Game Reserve he lead the ‘Operation Rhino’ initiative which is credited with saving the Southern White Rhino from the brink of extinction.

Dr. Player was instrumental in establishing the first official ‘wilderness’ areas in Africa within the iMfolozi and St. Lucia game parks. Dr. Player went on to found the Wilderness Leadership School, the Wilderness Foundation , and the World Wilderness Congresses amongst other things.

Together with his colleague and mentor, Magqubu Ntombela, Dr. Player played a significant role in the conservation and preservation of our natural heritage. He has been and will continue to be an incredible source of inspiration to game rangers around the world. Dr. Player remained actively involved in the Game Rangers’ Association of Africa until his passing in 2014.

For a full version of Dr. Player’s achievements please click on the link below.

pdf icon Dr Ian Player CV



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