Before qualifying as a field guide, Kerry-Lee studied fashion design. For her final-year graduate show, she designed a safari-inspired range for women. It won an award, but the reality of working in the fashion industry could not compete with the call of the wild. Kerry-Lee’s decision to change tack, by signing up for a year-long adventure of living and studying in the bush, was fuelled by happy memories of family holidays to the Kruger National Park with her parents and grandparents. Encouraged by her mother to follow her passion for all things nature and conservation focused, she chose to study through Ecotraining.
Kerry-Lee guided at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand before moving on to work at Motswari Private Game Reserve in the Timbavati. Joining the guiding team at Tswalu has made her appreciate afresh the adventure of becoming familiar with a challenging wilderness environment, while appreciating every tiny aspect of this beautiful slice of the earth. She has a particular interest in birds and insects, and is working on further qualifications to improve her knowledge and skills. As a guide she believes you never stop learning or feeding your curiosity, and in this profession has found a way of truly living in the moment.
In her own words: ‘I enjoy photography and through it have found a way of exercising my creative urge, by capturing scenes and moments from this beautiful reserve. Building meaningful relationships with guests from every corner of the globe, imparting knowledge and being able to provide them with memories to last a lifetime is really what my job is about. I am so lucky to live this life and to be at Tswalu. Taking in the never-ending vistas, sunsets and incredible sightings reminds me of this every day. It is an unbelievably beautiful, soul refreshing, unique part of South Africa.’
All images by Kerry-Lee Roberg