Westley has been with the Shamwari rangers’ team for about 7 years. He’s a passionate about showing guests all the wonders of Shamwari, especially the smaller, often overlooked animals. These include reptiles, arachnid and insects.
Name: Westley Lombard
Title: Game Ranger
Started at Shamwari: 01 July 2012
Hometown: Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
Previous roles: I worked in the Greater Kruger area before starting at Shamwari Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape
FGASA Advanced Field Guide
Full trails – lead trails guide
Track & sign level 3
Photography, cricket, fishing and hiking.
I am passionate about meeting people and sharing our national heritage with guests from around the world. More specifically, introducing nature and the wonders of the bush that our guests don’t typically get to see.
Favourite part of the job:
I really enjoy doing bush walks. When I guide out of our Explorer Camp, I’m in my element as it’s a walking trails adventure, showing guests nature on foot is a completely unique experience.
“Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” – Chief Seattle
It’s a humbling experience that makes you feel in awe when you’re in their presence. It’s the only animal that I’ve seen bring guests to tears, in a good way, because of the sheer magnificence of the animal.
Favourite animal in a sighting:
Hyena’s at a den.
At Shamwari, we have brown hyena that have den sights. It’s one of my favourite animals in a sighting because when the whole family is together, the interaction between the cubs and the adults is fascinating. It’s also amazing to see the accumulation of bones and skulls that have been collected over the years as they are scavengers. They don’t necessarily kill animals, they scavenge off carcasses. They have endless stamina and strength. The cubs are often very curious at the den site whereas when they’re older they’re more elusive and wary.
Most exciting encounter while on game drive:
About two years ago I was guiding out of Long Lee Manor.
My guests and I had had several giraffe sightings as well as many other wonderful sightings, so we decided to stop for sundowners. Giraffe groups that were seen that afternoon in the area all came together in a massive journey right in front of us.
It was one of the most incredible sightings in my guiding career, seeing a super group of giraffe at sunset near Springbok Flats. We lost count near a hundred! It’s a rare occurrence to see such a large aggregation of giraffe in an area. We were very fortunate considering that giraffe are also on the IUCN list, they are considered endangered.