Ryan Johnston was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, but from a very young age he set his heart on working and living out in the African bush. School was much of a formality for Ryan as he already knew his life path and so sport helped speed up the time. Ryan represented Eastern Gauteng through his younger schooling carrier. Luckily for Ryan his parents took him on as many bush holidays as they could and his knowledge for the fauna and flora grew. Ryan took a particular fancy to birds and so his bird list also grew.
After studying Game Ranging and Lodge Management, Ryan’s dream of working in the bush became reality at the end of 2006 when he moved to take up the Student Guiding position at Simbambili in the Sabi Sands. In July 2007 he was offered a full guiding position at Arathusa Safari Lodge, where he spent the next 6 years. It was here where Ryan watched the world famous Mapogo Coalition and the documentary, “Brothers in Blood, Lions of the Sabi Sands”, was filmed. It was also back then that Ryan and Tristan met one another, becoming great friends guiding in the Northern Sabi Sands together.
In June 2013, Ryan moved across to Ulusaba Game Reserve, in the Western Sector of the Sabi Sand. Here he continued to guide, but also managed to further his abilities, adding tracking to his set of skills. Great training and mentorship under Lee Gutteridge. Being a keen birder, Ryan already had a keen eye for detail, and this helped with the tracking.
Throughout his career in the Sabi Sand, Ryan was involved with helping with predator research and so his knowledge of the lions and leopards, especially the history and lineages, is great to have.
After leaving Ulusaba in November 2021, Ryan managed and helped set up a private camp in the Klaserie Nature Reserve. He had a great time working in and learning a new area, but Ryan missed the call of the guiding world and so is back! His knowledge of birding, big cats and general love for the wildlife is a great add to the team.