Tarryn recently joined the team at MORE Field Guide College as Campus Manager at the NJ More Waterberg campus in Marataba.

Tarryn is no stranger to the bush, as she grew up travelling to nature reserves and national parks, and visiting family in Vaalwater where her dream of working in the bushveld started. She studied Natural Resource Guardianship after school and when the opportunity to study as a field guide arose, she grabbed it with both hands. She is passionate about nature and has worked in reserves such as Dinokeng Game Reserve and Pilanesberg National Park. Tarryn is excited to be back in the Waterberg mountains, a place she likes to consider home.

We got to know Tarryn a little better by asking her the below questions…

What are you most excited about in your new role?

The most exciting part for me about becoming campus manager is to share my passion and the bushveld stories I have with the next generation of field guides, as well as learn and grow as a person.

Why does Marataba and the Waterberg Mountains feel like home for you?

The Waterberg mountains are a unique ecosystem with some species of plants and insects only being found here. Having grown up learning about these plants and listening to these insects at night brings back memories of my childhood visiting the Waterberg regularly. There is something about being surrounded by the mountains that brings happiness and peace to me.

What is you most memorable moment in the field?

Having worked as a field guide, I have many memorable moments. One that comes to mind, and that was a huge learning curve, was when I was working in Pilanesberg National Park. I was driving to a lookout at the top of one of the mountains in the centre of the park. I came around a corner, with very thick bush on one side and a bit of a slope on the other, and was face to face with the biggest elephant bull in the park while he was in musk. He wasn’t very happy to see me suddenly appear and charged me. I didn’t really have anywhere to go, and the corner was too sharp to reverse back so I had to stand my ground. I shouted at him a few times which stopped him in his tracks as he tried to push my vehicle multiple times. After 15 long minutes, he tried again to show me who was boss but did not expect the loud telling off I gave to him. After seeing that I was not going to back down, he decided the challenge was over and he backed away, heading back to the rest of the herd, and leaving myself and my guests in shock.

What is your favourite animal?

Leopard. Not only are they such beautiful creatures but understanding that you will only see a leopard because it has decided to show itself makes seeing one even more special.

What sighting is still on your bucket list?

To see wild dogs in nature. They are such a beautiful species and knowing that they are endangered animals makes it even more exciting.

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