Alex is a great ranger! She is friendly, pleasant and young at heart. She has been with us for almost 2 years now and loves her job exploring the wilderness at Shamwari Game Reserve.
Name: Alexandra Budd
Title: Game Ranger
Started at Shamwari: April 2015
Hometown: Cape Town
Previous roles: Before working at Shamwari Game Reserve I studied geography and conservation at Stellenbosch University.
Gardening, drawing, fishing, collecting and identifying different species of grass for research at Shamwari.
I love meeting guests and learning about different cultures, backgrounds, and countries. I am passionate about creating interest in guests in all aspects of nature including plants, insects, birds as well as the big five. Showing the guests something that they’ve never seen before, the African bush and sharing my knowledge with them.
Favourite part of the job:
Being out in the bush on a game drive every day with guests – you never quite know what you’re going to see. I love that my job is exciting, challenging and humbling. When you’re in nature every day you realise the small place you occupy in the world.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. Tolkien
An Elephant – they are very sensitive and emotional animals and that fascinates me.
Favourite animal in a sighting:
A Black Rhino – it is always a thrilling encounter as you never quite know how they are going to react towards your approach. They are extremely unpredictable.
Most exciting encounter while on a game drive:
I have a few that really stand out at my time as a ranger:
My guests and I found a cheetah on the reserve and while following him, we realised he was stalking the general game in the area. The game spotted him and voiced alarm calls. Suddenly, a male Zebra then decided to take charge and chased the cheetah away. It was a very unusual sighting to see the prey chase the predator and the guests were particularly happy that they all got to live another day.
I recently witnessed a springbok giving birth. Surprisingly, it was out in the open among the herd and the sighting lasted about 40 minutes. We watched from when she was in labour, to when she gave birth and we also managed to see the lamb take its first steps and start suckling. It was amazing to see how quickly the lamb managed to get to his feet without struggling too much and it was something incredible to witness.
Another awesome sighting that I was fortunate to enjoy with guests was seeing the five southern lion cubs on a kill with their dad. It was the first sighting of the 3 newest cubs and it was special considering that they hadn’t been brought out into the open. Their dad was really calm while they were all feeding off the kill and it was great to see the interaction between him and the cubs. In total, it was 5 Lion Cubs, 2 mothers and the dominant male on the reserve who is the father. It was phenomenal to see the whole pride together.