Everybody Loves Raymond

Posted on December 15, 2009

Raymond Mahatlani has been with us at Leopard Hills since the Lodge first opened its doors nearly 12 years ago.

When we first opened our doors all those years ago, Raymond joined us as our Tracker, and as the Ranger in those days, I spent many hours with him in the bush, and I feel he taught me so much as to the workings of this wonderfully diverse and beautiful area. If I thought I know anything about the bush before I met Raymond, then I was very much mistaken, he opened a whole new world up to me regarding my surroundings, and for this I will be eternally grateful.

It became apparent right from the beginning that Raymond had a dream of becoming a Ranger, and he pushed himself hard to study and acquire the right qualifications to obtain his guiding ticket. Having done so, it was with great pride that as soon as the next vacancy opened up in the Ranging Department, Raymond was promoted, and has never looked back.

For those of you, who have had the privilege to go on Safari with Ray, will testify to his unbelievable local knowledge of this Reserve, and the passion with which he shows people around his “home”.

To me, Raymond is not just an employee of Leopard Hills, he is far more than that, he is a true friend, and I am honored to have been a part of his world for the last 12 years.

I salute you for your true dedication and spirit, and realize how lucky we are to have you as part of our Leopard Hills Family.

Thank you to Ann McAfee and Rick Elligott for the picture below


And thanks to Amanda Williams-Meek and her husband for this picture as well.

0 thoughts on “Everybody Loves Raymond

  1. Never a truer word spoken – please pass my appreciation to Raymond. Yes, an encyclopedia of "bush" knowledge and desrves every accolade that comes his way

  2. Totally agreed. I’m been there twice and I have to say that the experience in the bush with Raymond was top of the top as a ranger and as a person. Congratulations and thanks for being as you are.

  3. Don’t forget his sense of humour. I think Raymond was my tracker on my first visit – back in the Phillip and Ryan days. He is the best.

  4. Raymond was our tracker during our visit in January 2008. His picture flashes up on my screen saver almost daily along with other pictures of our stay at Leopard Hills. He is truly a special person and a wonderful ambassador for not just Leopard Hills but for his country as well. I am so glad we had the chance to spend the time with him that we did.

  5. In May 2008 my husband and I and four of our friends had our first Africa experience. The first reserve we went to was Leopard Hills and we had the joy and priveledge of going out with Raymond. It was an amazing few days! Raymond’s knowledge was/is exceptional, complemented by a delightful personality. We could not have had a better start to our trip.

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