There really are no words to express my gratitude and happiness for having been introduced to this environmental training centre, and the pride of which I feel for having completed my nature field guide training through Ulovane.

What they offer is so well rounded and all-encompassing, often going completely above and beyond the stipulated quota of what it is we ‘need to know’.

I really have conservation and education very close to my heart, for I believe this is exactly where our world is falling short; if you are educated on something, then you have the chance to positively make an impact.

It was heartening to be involved with some local communities in the area, as well and being able to get real physical and practical with conservation work on the reserve and in surrounding areas too. There are not many more things more rewarding than being able to physically see a difference one has made by just a little bit of attention and care. One of the biggest things that struck me about Ulovane is the attention to the detail they put into every aspect of the course. And for me, that’s important, because, at the end of the day, the Little things ARE the big things!

There is such a support structure that comes with living at Ulovane, it’s home from the second you walk in the door! When I arrived there, I knew I was in for an incredible journey, but I have left these 10 weeks a different person to the one who walked in on the 9th of July! The personal growth and life lessons I have gained were definitely not bargained for – but that’s exactly what makes it so beautiful!

We were a small course, one of the smallest yet for field guides, but the instructors made each and every second worth our while, most times doing so much more than was required! For that, I am so very grateful because of the exposure we’ve had in just two short months.

I can’t compare any other training centre to this; I don’t need to.

We always end up where we’re meant to be, and not for one single second do I believe I would have gotten a better start to my career anywhere else, than what I have gotten here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the laughter, the tears, the hard work, the cement mixing, the braais, the walks, the drives, the lessons, the banter, but most of all, for the love and support you’ve shown us! You’re moulding strength and wisdom into many young people, I hope we go forth into the industry and make you all proud!

If you have the chance to make a difference, even by just putting a smile on someone’s face, do it – The world needs more of that!

🐘🐾🌻

Kind regards, Melissa Gomes.

I came to Ulovane on a 4-week program designed for Savannah/Wet Tropics guides in Australia. We participated in class and practical training for field, trail and marine guides. It was very interesting to witness the new generation of guides ” in the making”. I was full of admiration for the professionalism, dedication and deep knowledge of the trainers and impressed with the range of subjects thought during the courses. Every day brought a new adventure, something new to learn and discover. Never a dull moment, like in a big family in a lively household where through character building experiences people bond, form friendships, awareness expands. Exceptional trainers: Shani, Peter, Justin and the adopted parents: Candice and Schalk, people with passion and deep respect and feel for bush and nature. And “behind the scenes” heroes: Jacques, Mamma Thabs and Joyce who were keeping us well fed and clean. Thank you to the Ulovane team for an awesome experience. – Sylvia Pecinska (May 2017 Savannah Guides)

From the moment I stepped out of the plane and into Eastern Cape. I knew I was in for an amazing adventure. However, I didn’t realise the magnitude of the experience that I was about to receive from Ulovane Environmental Training. After the meet and greet, I was ready to settle in at Eastern Cape and to start to paint my new picture of my wilderness experience at Ulovane Environmental Training. With a dynamic group of new friends at this new environment, it took time for me to adjust but it shaped the amazing experiences I had at Ulovane Environmental Training for the last 17weeks. After countless hours absorbing some principles of ecology, fundamentals of using a rifle and other aspects of being in the wilderness, I started to enjoy the beauty of being in the pure wilderness on foot for hours. Sometimes, I would just get up early in the morning and just get lost in the wilderness of Amakhala game reserve, I would sit and observe how everything revolves around another on the horizon, I would track wildlife and feel the footprint they left behind, smell the strong scents of their territories and hear the incredible little creatures above the earth working jointly to shape our environment. This incredible experience moved me, it took my passion for wildlife into a whole new perspective; It taught me to appreciate nature even more than before! My newly acquired knowledge of wilderness was vital to my full comprehension of my surroundings. I felt like this course has unlocked my sixth sense! Thanks to my trainers Schalk, Pieter, Justin and Shani, many new friends that I made through this program and everyone at Ulovane environment training for a lifetime experience! Lastly, it was such an honour to be assessed by one of the legend master tracker in SA Adriaan Louw. – Shatri Mfinanga – April 2017

During this course, I’ve learned a lot of information from books, but I don’t think the amount of knowledge I’ve gained from the people around me could ever be measured and for that I am sure we will all be forever grateful.

Thank you to Retha & Paul, who had accepted us {crazy} humans into your home, and who were such a big support to us during the course, whether it was by just having a chat in the kitchen, or helping to organize amazing food for us, we are super grateful for every little thing you did.

To Piet and Shani, who for all purposes were the greatest mentors, not just for the course, but also for life, THANK YOU for always going just the extra bit to help us, and make life a little easier for us, although I’m sure we didn’t always do the same for you & for that I apologize sincerely.

To Schalk and Candice, I don’t even have words to really explain how grateful all of us are to you. During this course we again saw truly how amazing the two of you are and how dedicated you are to Ulovane as a whole, and I guess that is really what makes Ulovane such an amazing institute, the fact that it is run by two people who have such a passion for their job, that nothing is ever too big of an effort for you!

And then to our peers, like I said in the beginning of the blog, you guys truly are some of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and I would like nothing more than for you to have a successful life and persevere in all the challenges you may face. You guys have played a big part in the amount of fun and excitement I’ve experienced in the past 17 weeks, and I already can’t wait for the reunion we’re planning. It was great while it lasted, but now it’s time to go and explore the world!

Dominique Janse van Rensburg – 1 Year course – January 2016

I really can not thank Ulovane enough for everything during my 2-year program. I have made so many friendships, which really have turned into what feels like family. Piet, Kyle, and Schalk have been amazing mentors to me through every challenge and have helped me to conquer them all. Candice was there from the very beginning–answering ALL of my questions (of which there were many), and being there to support all of us through some tough times. There were many ups and downs throughout my time spent with Ulovane, the latter of which is only worth mentioning because of the brief time spent being discouraged, having difficulty finding a work placement due to my international status… but this was also rectified, thanks to the dedication and helpfulness from my mentors.

If you are looking to enter the guiding industry, Ulovane Environmental Training will help you start your journey in the best way possible–receiving the most thorough education with high expectations of all their students, resulting in a greater appreciation for everything around you in your working [and living] environment. Whether you want to acquire your Level 1, Trails, Marine, or even do a quick specialization course in Birding… There is no better organization to be a part of. Being situated in the rich, natural surroundings of the Eastern Cape, the possibilities for learning seem endless.

Thank you so much, again, to everyone who has been with me along the way. I am sad to have ended my time with Ulovane, but happy to have been apart of such an incredible experience.

Victoria Burman – 2 Year Course – July 2014