Soulful Jabulani Secrets with Ranger Layla de Andrade

by jabulanisafari

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Get to know our female ranger, Layla de Andrade as we celebrate World Female Ranger Week from June 23-30. World Female Ranger Week amplifies the voices of female rangers around the world to support their impactful work in protecting wildlife, empowering women, and uplifting communities. Join us to celebrate and support female rangers globally and protect wildlife, biodiversity, and wild spaces. We asked Layla a few key questions below.

We all have different connections to nature and the animal world. Can you describe yours?

I think my connection is different because of the respect I have for nature and the animal kingdom. Nature is a space where mutual respect is a big thing and if we as humans could understand that we would have a much better understanding of each other. Nature has an infinite amount to teach us about itself, but nature can teach you about yourself as well.

How have you developed your understanding of the South African wilderness?

After meeting people from around the world my understanding has definitely evolved. “Fortunate” is the word that comes to mind. South Africa’s wilderness is like nothing else in the world. I have developed my understanding by being still in nature and just observing. Taking a step back, listening, appreciating, and being thankful for what our wilderness has to offer has helped me to develop for the better.

What unusual things do you love about the wilderness?

Nature absorbs or feels energies. Going out in nature with a good intent is the best thing you can do. Nature gives you what it thinks you deserve. It might sound a little crazy but firsthand I have witnessed how good energy just attracts immaculate experiences. Guests who come in and demand specific experiences compared to guests who come and know nature won’t disappoint definitely get different results.

How do you handle fear in the wild in yourself and your guests?

I try and not to get into situations that will cause fear but in the bush anything is possible. With the fear has to come confidence and trust in yourself but also in the animal you encountered. The trick is to always stay calm. Calmness is an energy that spreads just like fear. The calmness starts with me. I make eye contact and with hand signals, try and communicate to help my guests be still.

What are your five important rules to life in the wild?

Always stay calm.

Show respect and you will receive respect.

Nothing in the bush is “ugly”.

Don’t get tired of the small things.

Have a good time.

Best meal and drink on the menu at Jabulani?

Chicken strips and a Jabu-cocktail

How do you believe you can help make the world a better place through experiences and places like Jabulani?

Being outside in a big environment around big animals puts things in perspective. It removes the tunnel vision of tall buildings and small apartments. The world is alive and places like this I think open people’s eyes to have to look after nature by seeing how animals interact and the compassion that animal behaviour entails. Just the pure beauty in the silent trees and the moving shadows. The sun shining over a hilltop. It makes people appreciate the smaller things in life. Bit by bit, places like this make small changes to souls going back into the world to make it a better place.

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