Solly Mathonse received the bravery award at the 12th Kruger National Park (KNP) Achievement Awards that took place on Friday, April 20 2012 in Skukuza. The bravery award, also known as the Kruger Cross, is the highest award in KNP and is awarded to a candidate that has performed an act of exceptional bravery to save a colleague, tourist or any person or animal's life.
Solly put his life at risk when he saved a colleague from an attack by an injured buffalo during a routine patrol at the Crocodile River on 23 August 2011. Although under immense pressure, he stood his ground to save his colleague from serious injury and possibly death.
Managing execuive, Abe Sibiya, recognised the efforts of Nhlanhla Themba, Don English, Evans Mkhansi and the KNP concessionaires for specific outstanding efforts during the year.
Nhlanhla promoted the SANParks brand and enhanced the image of the orgnasition. Don and Evans were awarded for their continuous efforts shown in the fight against anti-poaching in the southern region of Kruger especially in the Pretoriuskop area, while the consessionaires - Lukimbi -, Imbali -, Tinga - , Shishangeni- , Singita Lebombo -, Jock Safari Lodges and Rhino Walking Safaris were all prasied for their efforts and role played in the anti-poaching patrols during the 2012 rangers strike in the KNP.
Section ranger, Neels van Wyk and his team were awarded as best ranger station for the year, while Phalaborwa Gate scooped honours for the best gate. Berg-en-Dal is the best camp for the 2011/12 year and the Nyalaland Wilderness Trail has been voted as the best trails camp of the year, with Bateleur taking the bush camp of the year prize.