MEET THE TEAM

Our team of naturalists shares an avid passion for wildlife.

Each member of the team was handpicked by Noel for their experience and expertise. Personalised service is our forte and we will always cater to the requests of our guests’ individual needs, no matter how large or small. Our aim is to make you feel comfortable, informed and at home in Sri Lanka’s wildest destinations.

Noel

Cecile

Sajith

Dhanushka

Praneeth

Noel Rodrigo, founder

Noel Rodrigo, Sri Lanka’s ‘Leopard Man’, is extremely passionate about nature and wildlife, and has dedicated most of his life to exploring the great outdoors, traversing Sri Lanka extensively, researching wildlife and leading expeditions.

Having worked as a cabin manager for Sri Lankan Airlines for 25 years – a job that took him across the world – Noel gained an in-depth understanding of the service industry. This has allowed him to develop his Leopard Safaris in accordance with international standards and ensures his company is the best in the field.

Noel takes a hands-on approach at the company by leading and guiding his team to give customers an unforgettable and unique safari camping experience.

Cecile, head of marketing and finance

Hailing from Germany, Cecile studied business administration on a prestigious course at the University of Cologne, as well as Finance at the University of Leicester in the UK. In early 2011 she came to Sri Lanka when she met Noel and decided to spend the rest of her life with him in the wild. 

On her first visit to the camp she witnessed a leopard killing a crocodile, a rare and life-changing experience that sparked her interest in wildlife. She decided to stay in Sri Lanka and join the team. She is the head of bookings, administration, finance, marketing and project planning at our head office. Cecile also puts her artistic talents to good use by hosting wildlife art classes at camp for kids on request.

Sajith (Saj), camp manager/naturalist/wildlife photographer

Sajith spent his early years in the company of a wildlife and snake enthusiast who took him on numerous trips to Yala National Park, so it is no surprise that he has developed a keen interest in Sri Lanka’s wildlife and the island’s great outdoors. Superlative local knowledge, keen eyes for spotting wildlife and an enthusiasm that’s positively infectious makes Sajith an excellent member of the team. He is responsible for overseeing the camps and leading game drives.

Sajith has just completed his Field Guide Level 1 qualification with the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa and is an active member of the Young Zoologist Association and the World Wildlife Federation. Additionally he is our wildlife photography expert. His passion for wildlife can be seen in every picture he takes and if you would like to get some insights into the interesting world of wildlife photography, or just get a few tips, Sajith would be happy to teach you!

Dhanushka (Dhanu), camp manager/naturalist

Since his early childhood when his uncle introduced him to Sri Lanka’s national parks Dhanu dreamed about working in an organisation that dedicated itself to wildlife. He began working in sales and marketing on the Solomon Islands, but his passion for Sri Lankan wildlife soon encouraged him to return to his homeland whereupon he quickly joined the Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris team.

Dhanu’s superb knowledge of Yala National Park, his love of the outdoors and wildlife makes him an ideal and enthusiastic nature guide. He absorbs any gaps in his knowledge by avidly reading wildlife books, and is especially knowledgeable on Sri Lanka’s “Big Three”, the leopard, elephant and sloth bear.

Praneeth, camp supervisor/naturalist

Currently studying for his Natural Science degree in the Open University of Colombo, Praneeth has also completed a degree in Tourism and Hotel Management at OUSL and a certificate course in Wildlife Conservation and Management. Having previously worked at Sri Lankan Airlines he is an excellent people person with superb customer service skills. His passion for wildlife and the great outdoors drove him to join Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris.

Being a member of the Young Zoologist Association of Sri Lanka, he has studied in depth about snakes, birds and other animals. He has also completed a course in wildlife photography and enthusiastically assists in a number of conservation and wildlife/nature research programs.