What inspired you to become a game ranger?
As a child born in Johannesburg, I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Kruger National Park on a regular basis, it was there where I fell in love with nature and the animals. I had the best two role models (Duncan and Raymond) that showed me the way and taught me everything I know, to watch them do what they love and to see the passion which inspired me to follow through with my dream of becoming a field guide.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Waking up every morning excited to see what the bush has in store for me and my guests.
A wise man once told me the day I don’t wake up excited for drive is the day I hang up my boots, and after 7 years of living the dream there hasn’t been one day that I’ve woken up without butterflies in my belly.
What do you do on an average day as a game ranger?
Wake up to the sounds of lions, leopards or hyenas calling. Get ready and head up to morning coffee where we meet the guests between 5:30 and 6:00.
Morning drive for about three hours or so.
A bush walk with guests either at the end of morning drive or after a nice hearty breakfast.
One of my favourite things to do is log what we have seen on the drives in Leopard Hills Sightings books. (These books go way back to some of the first drives at Leopard Hills, you can find them in the library)
Check vehicles and prepare for afternoon drive
Say farewell to guests and do airstrip pick ups or drop offs
We normally go on break for a few hours during midday
At around 3 we are back and getting ready for the afternoon drive.
Meet guests for high tea at 4 and head into the bush once everyone is ready
Back around 7 and set a time for dinner.
Dinner starts. Another favourite of mine is joining guests and spending time with them.
In Sabi Sands Game Reserve you have trackers. How important is the relationship between a ranger and a tracker? And how does having a tracker impact guests' experience?
There needs to be a brotherly bond between us. We spend around 6 to 8 hours together and the bond and trust needs to be there. He is a very important part of drive as he helps to spread the workload with guests. I want a tracker who wants to interact with guests as much as I do. A guide and tracker team needs to be incredibly tight. Guests love it when we involve them in our tracking sessions and a tracker is the best person to get them involved, the reward of finding an animal we have tracked is incredible.