The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG) has been a declared National Research Facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF) since 1 April 2004. As an independent government agency, the NRF promotes and supports research in all knowledge fields. The National Research Facilities, placed under the custodianship of the NRF, contribute to the provision of a high-quality research platform for the research community across the national science system. The NZG as a National Research Facility is in a unique position to generate new knowledge, core technologies and data pools/collections commensurate with international standards. It provides a critical mass of equipment, skills and users and the potential for networking and attracting collaboration. The facility offers unique opportunities for the advancement of science and for an interface between science and the public, and the additional provision of opportunities for people development. The broad strategic contexts of the NZG are thematic drivers. These drivers focus on the way the organization attracts, develops and retains talent. The aim is to uphold excellence in all investments in knowledge, people and infrastructure.