The provision of artificial nests can improve the conservation status of threatened bird species that are limited by nest-site availability. The shortage of natural cavity nesting sites is one factor limiting the population growth of the Southern Ground Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri. In an 1,800 km2 study area in north-eastern South Africa, 31 wooden nest-boxes were installed during 2002–2015. We investigated the relationships between nests, as well as environmental and social factors, with breeding. Generalised linear mixed models were fitted to the observational data and identified positive relationships between breeding attempts and each of home range size and the previous year’s rainfall; as well as positive relationships between breeding success (amongst the groups that attempt breeding) and each of earlier breeding, nest height and thickness of the nest cavity wall. The provision of nest-boxes increased the number of breeding groups and although breeding success also increased initially, it later declined as the density of breeding groups increased above 20 groups. Although nest-boxes alone did not increase overall breeding success, they are an effective conservation tool to enhance the population of Southern Ground Hornbills if spaced optimally, to enhance reproductive output in areas where suitable nest-sites are scarce or lacking.