John Hartnick - Stores and Gate Manager

John manages the entrance gate and stores at Rondevlei Nature Reserve. He is one of the longest serving staff members in the City of Cape Town’s Nature Conservation branch. John grew up at Rondevlei as his mother worked there before him. In 1964, after leaving school, he got a job as a labourer doing conservation work in the nature reserve, including checking and repairing the fences, building paths, fighting fires and removing alien plants.

John remembers when the hippos were introduced to Rondevlei in the 1980s. When the first male calf Bruno grew up, his father Brutus started fighting with him and chased him out of the vlei. John tracked the young hippo every day to make sure that it didn’t pose a danger to people visiting the reserve. They built a boma and eventually captured the young hippo and sent it to another reserve where it would be safe.

John can identify all the birds at Rondevlei and has passed his knowledge and skills on to many nature conservation students who have worked at Rondevlei. He enjoys working with people and nature and looks forward to staying at the reserve until he retires.














Conservation Careers in the City of Cape Town
  • The City of Cape Town employs a small but committed team of people to manage its network of nature reserves.
  • Find out what some of these people do and how they feel about their work:
  Clifford Dorse - Area Manager   Tshepo Mamabolo - Reserve Manager
  Dalton Gibbs -Area Manager   John Hartnick - Stores and Gate Manager
  Erika Foot - Area Manager   Mzwandile (Zwai) Peter - communications Manager
  Adele Pretorius - Reserve Manager   Bronwen Foster - Environmental Education Officer
  Lewine Walters - Reserve Manager   Patricia Holmes - Biodiversity Specialist