Jessica has been with us for 4 years. She is a brilliant ranger and is incredibly well-liked by guests and colleagues alike. Her knowledge of the fauna and flora at Shamwari as well as her friendly personality make her one great game ranger!

Name: Jessica Tyrer
Title: Game Ranger
Started at Shamwari: December 2012
Hometown: Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
Previous roles: I was a game ranger on many different reserves around Kwazulu-Natal


Advanced Field Guide


Photography, Fishing, Wild Flowers


I have a passion for exploring the outdoors and a big appreciation for nature. 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.

Favourite part of the job:

I love meeting new people. 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.

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.

“Let nature slow you down, stop and appreciate the smaller things.”

Favourite animal:

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.

Favourite animal in a sighting:

A serval because they are super busy! 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.

Most exciting encounter while on a game drive:

I have two stories…

The first one was on a very quiet drive; the weather wasn’t fantastic as it was drizzling. After about two hours we managed to find a serval. She caught one rodent and killed it but then dropped off. She then proceeded to find another rodent to kill. She then picked up both and took them to her kittens to feed. They were tiny and so cute!

With the second one I had an encounter with four young male lions. They were inquisitive of a male black rhino and tried their luck with approaching the rhino. They obviously came off second best and the black rhino ended up chasing them around the bush.

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