Sabi Sands Pfunanani Trust

Conservation and communities partnering for social change.

The Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust is a community upliftment organisation based in Mpumalanga. They work in the Bushbuckridge area, one of the poorest areas in the country.

The Trust collaborates with landowners, NGOs and lodges within the Sabi Sand Wildtuin to make a tangible difference in addressing the social challenges in this region.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

The Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust aims to see communities of Bushbuckridge, South Africa benefit from conservation. This is achieved through partnership between conservation and communities helping one another – the meaning of ‘Pfunanani’.

With a focus on social upliftment, the Trust’s core value is building lasting relationships.

Set in this deep rural area, these communities are far removed from many public resources and often last in line for schooling, transport, water and other basic services. Although they lack financial resources, the area’s communities have a great asset in their abundant natural and human capital. The Sabi Sand Pfunanani Trust works across 3 key pillars: Education, environment and enterprise.


Photographing in these communities is always an eye opening experience. Being professional photographers enables us to travel to quite a few places. Basically we get to meet new people on a regular basis and see how their lives works.  Sometimes one get’s emotionally removed with the job at hand,as it doesn’t really touch you personally. With CSI work like we’ve done for Pfunanani trust it is different, seeing the positive change that happens in the lives of normal people is priceless,  it is a huge privilege to get to tell their story  and photograph ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

We were tasked to provide Sabi Sands and the Pfunanai trust with updated content of all their projects as they need to showcase to stakeholders and donators the great work they have done. CSI work involves a lot of “run-and-gun” work as you can never plan your location or know who or what the subject will look like. A lot of the times it is a rock-up-and shoot whatever there is. This keeps it really interesting and eventful , and helps as to constantly be adaptive, weather it is to the shooting environment or communicating our vison of a photograph across a language barrier. Needles to say Shooting CSI work is probably one of our favourite areas to shoot in as you have to constantly stay creative motivated.

Pfunani trust has quite a few amazing projects that can be seen in the images below.