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

Sameera

Pasindu

Darshana

Noel Rodrigo, founder

Noel Rodrigo known as the 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/naturalist/wildlife photographer

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/wildlife photographer

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 our 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.

Sameera, naturalist / host

Since Sameera was young, he was passionate about wildlife and tried to spend as much time as he could by doing camping around the country and watching wildlife. This passion was so strong that he decided to study natural science and zoology as a main subject to learn more about those topics.

“Being in the jungle and to learn about jungle and wildlife is my hobby, but now it became also my job which I love”.

Sameera has a lot of experience in the Knuckles mountain range, where he feels at home surrounded by the Sri Lankan flora and fauna.

Pasindu, naturalist / host

Pasindu worked 3 years as a financial analyst for a world renowned clothing brand, but love and passion towards nature and wildlife kept him away from the office. Every weekend and holiday you could find Pasindu hiking, camping and looking for adventures in the jungle. His passion became his job, when he started to coordinate and initiate corporate wildlife and nature conservation projects.

After completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s, Pasindu made the big move to follow his dream job, to work as a naturalist for Sri Lanka’s No. 1 Safari Camping operator.

His enthusiasm in birds has made his career more interesting and loveable.

Darshana, head chef

Dharshana started his carreer as a chef 10 years ago. He has joined Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris about 3 years ago, and has since cooked delicious local food for our guests.

Cooking is his life. He loves food as much as he loves cooking. All his delicious food that he makes is coming with lots of experience and love for his work, which is not only work for him but also passion. „My ambition is to cook for our guests and give them the best ever food in Sri Lanka they can experience“

He also loves being in nature and therefore likes his job here where he can stay in a camp surrounded by nature.