Ulovane Update: August 2017

01 Sep

Ulovane Update: August 2017 Newsletter

Where to start about the Amazing month of August? If I look back on all that the students were involved in and who they got to meet, I would have to say we had an extraordinary time.

Everything from animal capture and release, photographic workshop with Johan van Zyl (previous student and Ulovane Ambassador), tree planting missions with World wide experience (the lovely Taryn and Claire), Track and Sign and trailing assessments with Adriaan Louw and a fun hospitality, food and wine pairing evening with me!

The students even got to attend the FGASA Eastern Cape annual general meeting which was held at Lalibela Game reserve, a fantastic day of networking, game drives and guest speakers!

Learning from others and their experiences in the industry is a wonderful opportunity for these young guides and being able to work together with other experienced guides, trainers and lodge staff can only enhance the experience for Ulovane students.

Huge thank you to everyone for the opportunities made available for our students. Your valuable skills and knowledge are just as important to the Ulovane team as it is to the students!

Let’s get started………

There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.” ― Idowu Koyenikan


News from the Field Guides

Week 4: This past week was, an interesting week filled with lots of different activities. We paid our tributes to rangers across the world ranger day. We attended the FGASA AGM of the Eastern Cape and had an inspiring talk by Quinton Coetzee. Friday took us to Grahamstown to see the Albany Museum and S.A.I.A.B the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity. My highlight was definitely the inspirational talk by Quinton Coetzee as well as the much-needed rain that we were blessed with yesterday! – Rogan

Week 5: Last week was an awesome week at Ulovane! We enjoyed a tracking mock assessment drive, which took us deep into the reserve and what better way to enjoy lunch in the bush than to have a lekker braai! We had a fantastic opportunity to join an eland game capture which was absolutely insane, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. To be involved with the reserve team and see what they get up to on a daily basis was great, they sure have their hands full during a game capture, we were stoked to be able to help them! A night drive and frog hunting was also a highlight for us this week. All in all a very eventful week here at Ulovane – Dylan V

Week 6: Just over half way through our 10 weeks, can scarcely believe how fast time has actually gone! This week had us out in our bush classroom, learning to read tracks and signs that tell a never ending story. Best of all, we finally had some beautiful and much-needed rain!

Saturday’s sustainable living was just great, such a rewarding feeling re-using waste materials and turning it into something constructive and beneficial! Not to mention getting truly stuck into the digging, cement mixing and leveling! Perfect ending to our week on a horseback ride through the Bush! Thank Woodbury horse trails, what a fantastic experience – Melissa

Week 7: Our seventh week of our course was incredible! We had our last lectures and focused on conservation. We got down and dirty by doing some conservation work on Amakhala by fixing some roads and mitre drains to lessen the erosion. Some hardworking fun! We had the opportunity to be involved with a rhino darting on a reserve in the area – my heart almost stopped being so close to this giant, what an amazing opportunity. This experience I will tell my children and grandchildren about one day. I will continue to fight for and protect rhinos and be a part of saving them for future generations. Worldwide experience one of Ulovane’s partners, invited us to join them for an early Arbour day adventure, which included planting about 200 baby spekboom trees at Founders Lodge, a new reserve and lodge in the area. A fantastic day with like-minded people, thank you for inviting us to join in! It really was a great week of practical conservation! – Rogan

Let us Nurture Nature so that we can have a better future – Anonymous


News from the Back up Trails Guides

Week 4: The bush teaches us who we are, truly, it humbles us and opens our eyes to everything that is around us. It shows us just how small and insignificant we really are in the bigger picture and yet, it also shows us that, no matter how small you are, you can still make a difference. My advice to everybody that has never experienced a true wild bush is. do it, get out there and see what nature shows you, one thing that is guaranteed is that you will walk out of that bush a better person than when you walked in. – Dylan W

Week 5: This week has been one the quickest since we started. The students who passed ARH had the opportunity to walk as lead guides with our instructor, Piet who was walking at the end of the line. Some mistakes were made, some poor decisions were taken but at the end of the day, they learned a lot. Isn’t it how you truly learn? In every mistake, there is a potential for growth.

I also had the opportunity to help set up “Jungle lane” (a lane with some “real bush situations” – cannot explain more, you’ll have to come and see by yourself because first rule of jungle lane is “you do not talk about jungle lane”). It was a big eye opening for everyone. Not only does it help to point out the weak points that we all need to focus and work on but it also helps to realise that we’re never ready enough to face the bush and its mysteries.

I am so grateful for what I’m learning every day, yes it’s tough sometimes but when you think about working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion. – Philippine

Week 6: Can’t believe we are already on end of week six quite surprised how time flys when having good time on such a wonderful blessed environmental training place to be with awesome knowledgeable people. My highlight of the week was the sleep out sleeping in the middle of the bush under millions of stars with the mysterious sounds of nature was epic. A jackal came to wake us up in the middle of the night not forgetting the buffalo and elephant encounters the next morning, it was incredible. Last but not least congratulations to my trails team for all passing the track and signs with high marks.   – Lenny

Week 7: 7 weeks done and dusted! Our last week was jam packed with mock exams, final assessment walks, study, study, study and final exams. A few of us had interviews at nearby game reserves for our placements too. These last 7 weeks have just flashed by. We had such great bush walks filled with adrenaline and experiencing nature closer than ever, on foot. I can personally say that trails has gotten me more interested in the environment around me than before if that’s even possible. This has definitely been one of the best and most challenging adventures yet. But I loved every moment of it!! I would do it all over again! – Keryn

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead – J.R.R. Tolkien


News from the Ulovane Team

Challenging Week 5 of Back up Trails

Week 5 of trails has come to an end. The physical and mental demands of this course (and career if so chosen) is starting to show with some students needing a visit to the doctor’s office and needing a day of recovering the bodies and minds to take on the next couple of weeks.

During the week we had some amazing sightings during our trails following the elephants and even witnessing a giraffe capture hiding away in the bush peeking through the leaves.

At the end of the week, it was time for the students to face the Jungle Lane, a true reflection of your own personal skills. The first rule of jungle lane is to never talk about it so will keep it short and basic. The day is super important for us on our trails course, where students have the chance to truly learn the value of observational and situational awareness and just the constant mental focus that is needed to keep your guests, the animals and yourself safe whilst on a walk. With a lot of lessons learned and a lot of personal growth, the students are eager to see the change in their ways of walking when we get out there again on Monday next week. – Pieter

We live in a beautiful world, it is up to US to keep it that way!

We live in a beautiful world. But, we live in a fast world, where everything speeds past us and often we do not notice this world we live in.

Most people get up; go to work; go home; switch the TV on; have dinner (in front of the TV); go to bed. We live in a smartphone apocalypse. Every single little thing is available at the touch of your fingertips.

We need to get back to the basics. Find out what is truly important. We need to notice that bee sitting on top of the flower or the way that sunbird gracefully sucks up sweet nectar from the Aloe. We need to feel the wind on our face, smell the soil after rain and walk barefoot through the bush.

These past three days’ Cybertracker Trailing evaluation made me realise how far we got detached from nature but how easy it is to become one hundred percent part of it again. To completely and fully “loose” yourself in nature. It is a humbling process, to say but the least; but an extremely fulfilling process.

If only we can realise how easy it is to stop and take a break, look around you and notice. Notice the freshly fallen leaves of AAutumn Notice the aromas filling the air on a hot summer ‘s night. Just pause for a second and look up from your smartphone. Yes, I mean you!

See! Touch! Smell! Taste! And live to make a difference in the world.

And this brings me to our next topic – living more sustainably and critical thinking. The next time you go to a shop; THINK before you buy something – do you really need it? THINK before you throw something away – can I not maybe use it again? Ask yourself questions like ” where did this food that I am eating come from?” Have you ever really thought about the hands that planted the seeds of the tomatoes that you nibble on?

Yes they come from seeds that need a healthy soil and water and sunlight! And what about milk and cheese and meat and fish etc. The list goes on and on and we can spend ages talking about that, but this is not that time.

What I want to do today is challenge you all – next time you go shopping, DONT buy plastic bags at the till in the supermarket to pack your groceries in. Take a bag from home. Re-use your old glass bottles and paper and tin. Next time you standing with an empty tomato sauce bottle in your hand and want to throw it in the dustbin – think! ” How can I use this again?”

There’s a famous legend about the origin of chess that goes like this.

When the inventor of the game showed it to the emperor of India he was so impressed that he said to the man…

“Name your reward!”

“Oh Emperor” the man responded, my wishes are simple. I simply wish for this.

” Give me one grain of rice for the first square of the chessboard, two grains of rice for the next square; four for the next square; eight for the next and so on for all the 64 squares on the chessboard; with each square having double the number of grains as the square before”.

The emperor was amazed at the man’s request; that he asked for so little. But little did the emperor know!

After a week the emperor’s treasurer came back to him and informed him that the amount of rice works out to an astronomical amount! Far greater than what they would be able to produce in many many centuries!

Why this story? If we all make a difference, f only one person starts today to make a difference, and tomorrow two, and the day after four and so on and so on. Imagine WHAT we CAN do…

My dream for Ulovane is; is to instill that way of thinking and living in our students. Every little bit helps. – Shani

CONGRATULATIONS Track and Sign and Trailing Achievements

Well done to all the Ulovane students who each achieved a level in track and sign. They had two days of constant rain and wind and cold! Despite the difficult conditions the students managed to walk away with 4x level 3’s; 2 x level 1’s and the rest all got level 2. An exceptional achievement, well done everyone! A big thank you goes out to Adriaan Louw for the assessments and to Taryn Ingram Gilson who came out yesterday with the group.

Our very first Cybertracker Trailing evaluation in the Eastern Cape of S.A. ended well!! Out of seven participants; everyone achieved a level: 2 x level 1’s, 2 x level 2’s and 3 x level 3’s Trailing! Now we know that trailing is possible in the Eastern Cape!!! We had extreme weather conditions, ut everyone stayed positive and focused and did very well. Everyone is keen and excited for the next trailing evaluation. Thanks again to Adriaan Louw who assessed the trackers! And well done to ALL!! – Shani

Hospitality Evening

We all know it is important to have wildlife and nature knowledge before you can take guests on a game drive. However it is just as important to have social and entertaining skills, to keep your guests entertained after you have given them a mind blowing experience in the bush. Most guides in training are rough diamonds and it is up to me, to polish them up to make sure they are putting their best foot forward when they meet their guests and when entertaining them during meals. The hospitality evening is just that, a chat about what to expect when arriving at a lodge, what you can do to improve team work at a lodge. How to give your guests the ultimate all round experience. One bit of advice I always give is, believe in yourself, you have all these knowledge and skills, you can do this, be confident. To feel good you must look good, make the extra effort, go the extra mile, your guests will love it. During the hospitality evening we pair different foods and wines, none of us are professional sommeliers but we try, we laugh and we have FUN! Looking forward to hosting our dinner together for lodge managers and guides from Amakhala next week! – Candice

Ulovane Ambassador – Mike Rosati

We have a new Ulovane Ambassador! Meet Mike Rosati, passionate and down to earth private guide and entrepreneur.

Why did you choose Ulovane as your preferred field guide training provider?

I was looking for the best training provider to suite my needs. I was looking for a well-established, small and intimate training provider with real earthy people. Also a good family friend of ours, Grant Fowlds highly recommended Ulovane.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the interview.


Please join us at our upcoming Open Day on the 30 September contact us for further information! Candice@ulovane.co.za.

We still have availability on the October Intake for the Field Guide and Back up Trails Guide courses. We also have space on our November Marine guide course. However space is limited!!

Please contact us for rates and dates enquiries@ulovane.co.za.

Thank you for taking the time to enjoy our updates. Any positive feedback or comments are always welcome. Huge thank you as always to all the students and staff for their stunning photos and updates.

Until Next Time,

Candice and the Ulovane Team

There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these. – Michael Nolan

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