Ranger Leon guides predominantly out of our adventurous Explorer Camp during the summer season. He is very friendly, enthusiastic and passionate about nature and sharing his love for the bush with his guests. His vibrant personality & charm will surely make your experience at Shamwari a memorable one.

Name: Leon Strauss
Title: Game Ranger
Started at Shamwari: 01 October 2016
Hometown: Strand, Western Cape
Previous roles: I studied at Ulovane Environmental Training before starting at Shamwari.


FGASA Field Guide
Trails Guide


Birding, hiking, playing guitar, squash, cross-fit


I’m passionate about meeting new people from all over the world and having fun and knowledgeable experiences with them. I’m also passionate about tracking, trailing and walking in the bush. I love observing and interpreting the behaviour of animals with guests and making sure that they have the best experiences.

Favourite part of the job:

Seeing the excited & happy expressions of my guests that are just as passionate about nature as well as the guests that are experiencing their first safari. I really enjoy teaching them about the bush and sharing my knowledge. I always try to have some fun with my guests.

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” – Mary Davis

Favourite animal:

The characteristics of a lion fascinate me, a male lion can be lazy when he needs to rest but also possess such power and agility at the same time. It’s amazing to watch a lion in action. I also find the father characteristics of a lion intriguing where he can be gentle when playing with his cubs, but when he has to he can also show them how to be individuals and learn how to fend for themselves.

Favourite animal in a sighting:

They are very intelligent and closely related to humans in many ways. Like us, they also have hierarchies in their family structures and they show respect to each other in their behaviour. Mothers also play important male and female roles – they can be gentle with the little ones and also assertive when they need to be.

Most exciting encounter while on game drive:

I was guiding out of Sarili Lodge and my guests and I were eager to find elephants. It was a beautiful afternoon so we left the lodge to go out and see what we could find. I decided to do a longer route and went past an area that hippos used to frequent. As I stopped to have a look at the hippos, a male elephant popped up out the bush in front of us and within a few minutes the entire herd followed.

They made their way down towards the water and we witnessed some awesome displays of playing and wrestling in the water. They then moved out into the open and the babies started playing in the sand. My guests and I absolutely loved watching them in their natural environment. It was certainly one of the best sightings I’ve had to date at Shamwari Game Reserve.