Thornybush Staff Profile: Liam and Alison Rainier – Waterside Lodge

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It takes a special kind of person to have the courage to follow their dreams, and Liam Rainier is one of those individuals who can proudly say he has done just that. Liam owes his love of the bush to his father who taught him all about the ways of the wild. After his last exam had been written, and before the ink on his Matric certificate had dried, Liam was ready to rush off into the wilderness. However, like all good and dutiful sons, heeding the advice of his father, he set off to study something lucrative at university before deciding what to do with his life.

He graduated from Pretoria University in 2006 armed with a BSC (Quantity Surveying) and took a job in the construction industry in Johannesburg for three years – then he came across the game-changer.

Liam met Alison while she was employed in the hospitality industry, but it would seem that she also had her heart set on working at a game lodge one day. Before long the couple were married and after much soul searching, decided to head out of the city in search of the destiny they so fervently craved.

Constructing a life in the bush

First stop was a six week course at the Inkwazi training camp at Phinda, after which Alison took a temporary post at Garonga camp in the Makalali Game Reserve. Liam meanwhile, furthered his studies at the Bushwise Academy nearby. The couple were then asked to take up a relief position at Simbambili in the northern Sabi Sand Reserve.

Determined to make the most of this opportunity, this dedicated pair made a great impression on the Thornybush team and they were then transferred to permanent posts at Thornybush Game Lodge. Here Liam's dreams of becoming a full-time game guide became a reality at last.

Just a year later they were on their way back to their beloved Simbambili where they remained for four and a half years. Both their children were born at Simbambili and grew up loving the bush just as much as their parents.

Inevitably the time arrived for the little ones to begin their formal education and the family was transferred closer to Hoedspruit to take up a position at The River Lodge, and later to their current position as the management couple at Waterside lodge, which Liam describes as 'hard work, lots of fun and satisfying results'.

Besides managing our Waterside operation, Liam is an avid photographer and lover of leopards, so be sure to ask him for some tips on your next visit to this luxury camp.

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Saturday, 16 December 2017