The History of Sondela Academy


In 2007, the constant desire of management to keep delivering excellent service, coupled with a sincere commitment to investing in its employees, resulted in the launch of Sondela’s very own training academy. From offering basics such as reading, writing and computer literacy to staff members, this academy was also tasked with developing a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) in line with the legal requirements set by Government as an initiative to promote staff training. This resulted in employees receiving training in, and being awarded with qualifications across all resort disciplines.

The success of the Academy’s WSP led to Government allocating Learnership students to Sondela in both the hospitality and electrical fields. These programmes also proved to be very successful and many of the learners progressed to formal employment after their training. Energy Guides, a Gauteng-based training provider, also decided to train their allocated Tourist Guide Learnerships here – this training too was successful, resulting in many of their Learnerships also finding post-training employment.

In the meantime, visitors to Sondela Nature Reserve started enquiring about the possibility of their children receiving their practical training at Sondela. As a result of this demand the Sondela Academy saw a need in the hospitality industry for quality workplace-orientated training and expanded their curriculum to offer qualifications to outside candidates across resort disciplines such as hospitality, food and beverage, conservation and game keeping. With the registration of the first private students, Sondela Academy was then formally established in its current format and has grown from strength to strength.

From the basics of theory and Sondela’s unique seven phases of training, private learners in their 2nd year can expect to have already acquired skills in facilitating, assessing and coaching younger learners and some may even be elevated to junior management positions. With the approval of the Institute for Leadership and Management, Sondela Academy can now extend its training programmes further by offering management training to its managers. Since 2016, Enterprises Pretoria University (Pty) Ltd are presenting 3 courses regarding entrepreneurial studies at Sondela Academy: Know your business for 1st Years, Grow your Business for 2nd Years and Extend your Business for 3rd Years. We aim to train students and enrich their lives by providing them with the necessary skill and knowledge of management and operation of a business.

Word of the Academy’s success is spreading fast, making it a leader in not only its WSP training but also in the Hospitality, Nature Conservation and Food Preparation & Culinary Arts (Chef) courses it presents. Growing demand has led to the addition in 2014 of two new courses to its already rich selection of training programmes – Beauty Therapy and Event Support Management. Being accredited to award qualifications from internationally-renowned Award Body, City and Guilds, as well as its filial company, The Institute for Leadership and Development, also the South African Qualification Authority, SAQA, coupled with a working association with Enterprises Uni-versity of Pretoria, ensure that the qualifications the private learners, employees and management receive at this multi award-winning resort are recognisable worldwide.