About Us

Sondela Academy

It all started with providing our staff with the basic skills like reading, writing, and computer literacy and today we provide qualifications recognised worldwide.

The Sondela Academy Campus

Where nature conservation and education meet

Animals in Field

Welcome to our academy!

Sondela Academy is located on the Sondela Nature Reserve where we are serious about nature conservation, hospitality, and training our youth in coaching, facilitator, and occupational health and safety courses and many more. We provide the managers and staff of tomorrow with the skills and coaching they need to excel. While a student learns the theory to become a manager, facilitator, or chef, they also get hands-on experience on the nature reserve.

Way back in 2007 Sondela Nature Reserve offered training in the basic skills (reading, writing, computer literacy) to its employees. We also developed a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) per Government’s legal requirements to promote staff training. The success of Sondela Academy’s WSP led to Government allocating Learnership students to Sondela Academy in the hospitality and electrical field. Energy Guides, a Gauteng-based training provider, also decided to train their allocated Tourist Guide Learnerships here. These programmes were highly successful with many learners progressing to formal employment.

Many visitors to Sondela enquired as to practical training opportunities at the nature reserve, and we saw the demand and opportunity to provide quality, workplace-orientated training in the hospitality industry, conservation, and gamekeeping. With the registration of the first private students, Sondela Academy was formally established in its current format and has grown from strength to strength.

Sondela Academy training includes the basics of theory as well as hands-on experience. In their second year, students can acquire skills in facilitating, assessing, and coaching younger learners with some even becoming junior managers. With the approval of the Institute for Leadership and Management, we now extend our training programmes by offering management training to our managers. Enterprises Pretoria University (Pty) Ltd has been presenting 3 Entrepreneurial Studies courses at Sondela Academy since 2016, providing learners with the skills and knowledge to manage and operate a business.

Sondela Academy has become a leader in WSP training as well as in the Hospitality, Nature Conservation and Food Preparation & Culinary Arts (Chef) courses it presents. Growing demand means that we are constantly improving and adding courses. The qualifications that private learners, employees, and management receive are recognised worldwide – just have a look at the personal bodies and accreditations we are affiliated with.

Possible Careers

Whether your aim is to be a Chef, a Manager in the Hospitality Sector or Conservation Manager, you can achieve your goals when studying with us!

Have a look at a few career possibilities after completing your qualification with Sondela Academy:

  • Sous Chef
  • Head Chef
  • Executive Chef
  • Chef de Partie
  • Pastry Chef
  • Restaurant & Deli Cook
  • Commis Chef
  • Fast Food Cook
  • Food & Beverage Service Attendant
  • Kitchen Hand
  • Hotel Manager
  • Front Office Manager
  • Executive Housekeeper
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Lodge Manager
  • Wildlife Centre Animal Assistant
  • Assistant Wildlife Manager
  • Wildlife Centre Manager

The path to success with Sondela Academy

Wildlife Centre Animal Assistant
Captive Animal Care Course (NQF 2)

Assistant Wildlife Manager
Captive Animal Care Course (NQF 2) Leadership Skills

Wildlife Centre Manager
FETC: Captive Animal Management Course (NQF 4) Leadership & Management Skills 48435 (NQF 4)

Additional Services

The holistic nature of Work Integrated Learning

The Sondela Training Group and Sondela Academy focus on more than just educating private students with our Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and Workplace Skills Programme (WSP). We aim to improve the industry with various projects and solutions.

The Sondela Training Group is uniquely placed to achieve this aim:

→ We are training specialists with extensive experience in the training field.

→ Participants use a Learner Management System (LMS) to record their progress. Clients have access to this interactive system to monitor their graduates or interns.

→ Clients work with one Service Provider and one Service Level Agreement (SLA) making administration much easier.

→ Workplace preparation is part of the process.

→ Post rotation results in maximum exposure to the various aspects of the workplace.

→ Workplace readiness audits are conducted to determine the suitability of the workplaces identified for the WIL programme.

The Sondela Training Group provides in the needs of companies that require the retraining or reskilling of their staff due to retrenchment. Sondela Training Group delivers training interventions as well as the workplace environment to facilitate Work Integrated Learning(WIL). Although we focus on the Tourism Industry, our extensive experience in the training field enables us to provide this service across many sectors, skills programmes, and disciplines. Candidates partaking in the WIL process will have a higher re-employment rate due to the work exposure they have experienced.

The Sondela Training Group actively participates in a Skills Development & Government Project that provides a Training Managements service. It places and manages graduates from TVET Colleges and other training institutions in workplace environments, with the full support services provided through Service Level Agreements. An intern programme is also offered in which Interns work in real work environments for specific periods.

Project features offered by Sondela Academy:


Arrangement of workplace

→ Contracting graduates and institutions

→ Placements and workplace rotations

→ Logistical and administrative support (including payment of stipends)

Another project important to the Sondela Training Group is Human Resource Solutions & Recruitment based on the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP). The effectiveness lies in the fact that students can be utilised in the workplace under the direct supervision of permanent staff and managers to supplement the current workforce and improve the delivery of services. This solution has a direct impact on the “bottom-line” over time and has been tried and tested at Sondela Nature Reserve since 2007.

When a business decides to become involved in this HR Solution, Sondela Academy takes the lead in supporting them with the implementation. It is a process-driven implementation that starts with training through the WSP. The business is prepared to be ready and aligned to receive students and implement their training and workplace exposure to the maximum benefit of the business and the individual.

Professional Bodies and Accreditation