- "Somewhere on this island is the greatest predator that ever lived. The second greatest predator must take him down."
- —Roland Tembo(src)
Roland Tembo was a big game hunter from Mombasa, Kenya and widely regarded as the best of the best. He was chosen by Peter Ludlow to be the team leader of his expedition to Isla Sorna to capture dinosaurs, although he originally turned down the invitation. After being asked to stay permanently, he refused.
Bored with hunting because he was always too successful, he believed no quarry existed on Earth that could give him a challenge. He was so bored, in fact, that he purposefully picked a fight with some rowdy tourists in his favorite Mombasa bar for harassing a waitress and interrupting his reading. He easily broke one man's jaw. His longtime friend Ajay Sidhu is the one who ended up convincing him to go to Sorna. Roland's desire to face a new challenge, a Tyrannosaurus rex, is most likely the reason that he agreed to lead Ludlow's team. In a deleted scene, Roland is shown to lament that even "tigers have advocates", while him and Ajay are speaking about how there is nothing left for them to hunt.
Uninterested in money, Roland made certain Ludlow allowed his payment to be the right to hunt one of the Tyrannosaurs. To this end, he attempted to use a baby Tyrannosaur as bait to lure the adult into the open.
This did not go well, as the infant was rescued by Sarah Harding and Nick Van Owen as they were sabotaging InGen's base camp. This also led to the parents stalking the group. Even after being sabotaged by Nick and the rest of Hammond's team, Roland helped the team up the cliff that their trailers had fallen off of.
Because Nick had stolen the shells from his elephant gun, Roland had to use an air rifle with tranquilizer darts to defeat the Tyrannosaur Buck when it attacked the hunters' makeshift camp. Afterwards, he learned that Ajay had been killed, news that deeply saddened Roland. Not wanting to spend any more time "in the company of death", Roland wisely quit Ludlow's employment, turning down a job offer at InGen, and went home.
Personality and traits
While widely regarded as being the best in his department, Roland soon became disinterested in his occupation as a hunter and would occasionally pick bar-fights with patrons who bothered him. During his tour of Isla Sorna, Roland showed that he was a level-headed and serious man, taking charge with an iron fist and making sure his subordinates made no mistakes.
In spite of his somewhat abrasive nature, he showed a rarely-seen compassionate side and asked that no one tell Kelly, and when he saw Sarah's bloody jacket, thinking it was her blood, he immediately made sure she was alright. This, along with his defense of the waitress in Mombasa, suggests that he respects women. Notably, Roland had little to no interest in financial compensation for the expedition and considered hunting down the T. rex his sole reward for the mission.
Roland also shared an especially close friendship with Ajay, and when news of his death hit him, he made the decision to quit working for InGen for good.
During his tour on Isla Sorna, Tembo most notably used his custom Searcy Double Barrel Rifle chambered in .600 Nitro Express. However, he was unable to use it when a pair of Tyrannosaurs invaded the camp. He subsequently armed himself with a modified LAR Grizzly Big Boar.
- This character's name is a reference to Warren Zevon's song Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner, as is Nick Van Owen's name. The song itself was in fact a Army Ranger cadence, that was extended and adapted.
- The character's surname, Tembo, is the word for "elephant" in Swahili, one of the national languages of Kenya.
- It is also known that Roland is an expert hunter, and he may have a personal moral code.
- He seems not to know much about dinosaurs, as he is unable to pronounce some names correctly, like Pachycephalosaurus or Parasaurolophus. However, he does have enough knowledge of Tyrannosaurs as he often anticipates scenarios and behavioral patterns based on his experience with hunting regular predators.
- Roland claims to have "seen" parts of Isla Sorna before the events of the movie, suggesting he was very widely traveled and had toured the island many years before the dinosaurs were bred there.
- Following the death of his actor, Pete Postlethwaite, it is unlikely that Tembo will appear in future live action films.