Name: Jessica Tyrer
Title: Game Ranger
Comes from: Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
Started at Shamwari: December 2012
Previous roles: Game Ranger on various game reserves throughout KwaZulu-Natal
Studied what and where: Diploma Tourism and Tour Operations at Varsity College. Game Ranging at Enviro Training Africa in Mpumalanga. Cultural guiding KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces at UNISA.
My passion: All things nature
Favourite part of the job: Being in the company of elephants
Quote: Let nature slow you down, stop and appreciate the smaller things.
As a guide we have passion for the job we do. Every day on Shamwari is an adventure, we may set plans for a day and nature has a beautiful way to alter our course. I grew up in a city and my heart led me to the bush. I have no regrets as I now love the job I do and am honoured by the experiences it has given me. My career in the industry has led me to meet exceptional people and be overwhelmed by amazing sightings in nature.
I enjoy the moment with my guests, when we stop at one of those spectacular view points. I get to watch how nature slows us down and puts us in the moment to appreciate how beautiful nature is. My biggest passion is the elephants. I will never tire from being around those magical animals. They make me feel very humble to be in their presence. I enjoy watching what they do, how they manage to communicate to one another without us knowing. I take many elephant photos, to the point I think my computer will suggest a time out soon or lack of memory. I have a soft spot for the more secretive and elusive smaller cats, the Caracal and Serval. Sightings with those smaller cats, is like comparing a sighting for someone experiencing a lion for the first time.
My other passion that has been created, thanks to my head ranger, is flowers. I have a task to document the flowers found on Shamwari Game Reserve. It is a very interesting task, I’m learning as I go and teaching myself with some mentoring along the way. It does have a requirement to be passionate, patient and in need of a good sense of humour, as I’ve learnt flowers won’t wait for me to come back another day to take their photo. It is a wonderful challenge I have accepted on this journey at Shamwari Game Reserve.
Photos are important to me through my career, each photo can take me back to the sightings. What the weather was like? How that sighting made me feel and very often I’ll remember the guests I got to show that to. I have memories from giggling with my guests getting stuck in the pouring rain or seeing a leopard, finding myself speechless in the moment. It’s a rewarding job when you get to create that dream safari, which I know has taken years to plan for many. We have one chance to make that dream special and memorable. I like to understand and try my best to let people experience their best safari experience. The smile on guests’ faces is priceless when you know they’ve seen something from their dreams.
I am proud to be a member of the Shamwari team and proud of our game reserve I get to show off to our guests.