Recently, we had some one-on-one time with Ryan Andraos, our Deputy Reserve Manager. Amanzimtoti born Ryan has been with us for many years and his unrelenting love and passion for the environment and its creatures is nothing short of contagious.
Ryan has an honours degree in Environmental Management and Geography, is a GASA Level 2 Nature Guide and a VDPA Trails Guide. That may not mean much to the average person, but to us, it shows a true dedication to and interest in the natural world.
Why did you choose to work in this field?
“It’s very rewarding to see how nature can create such happiness and delight in people… It’s very busy, always changing and [I find] satisfaction in knowing I am hopefully making a difference in our attempts to restore and protect our natural environment.
His role comes with more challenges than one might have originally thought.
“It is a very general position so I need to have some form of knowledge in almost every little thing from grasses, trees, wildlife, snakes, fire fighting, rainfall, roads, general maintenance, fencing, radio systems, alien clearing, erosion, herbicides, game capture, hospitality sector, vehicles and machinery, staff management… There’s always space for self-doubt… but the great part of doing this every day is that I learn so much!”
We believe that nature is the best classroom. Zululand has immense character, beauty, history, wildlife and diversity… the hidden hills and valleys have a calling to provide safety, knowledge and excitement to its people, the animals and those who visit it.
In terms of a future for Zulu Rock, he believes that the sky is the limit. He believes that Zulu Rock has the potential to decrease its alien species through careful management, increase tourism, wildlife diversity with the introduction of flagship species, create rural employment and rehabilitate erosion sites.
So why choose Zulu Rock?
Ryan’s response is succinct yet true:
“The views are mind-blowing and the climate is mild, a truly lovely place to live!”
Click the image below to watch our latest interview with Ryan.