Hello from the beautiful Eastern Cape ~
Below please see our July update. You can click here to get the full mail with pictures:)
WELCOME TO THE JULY ULOVANE MAIL ~
A busy exciting fun month with our June students out on the reserve! Even though the mornings have been chilly and the evenings even more so – it has not dampened spirits and put a hold on being out on Amakhala, living, breathing and loving the beautiful winter bush. 6 weeks into the June course and the students are already talking about FGASA exams, FGASA Level 1 practical assessment – no doubt the pressure is on – I have full faith in the FAB FIVE and know that they are will make us proudJ
The FAB FIVE were joined by Alex an ex Zimbabwean currently living in the UK. Alex has only been able to join us for 4 weeks and I promise you it is four weeks he will never forget. He has an absolute ball – we will be very sad to say good bye to our Zimbo – but he will be back we know it! Alex did an update for us but it was so great, I am going to add it to the newsletter.
In this months newsletter ~
4Weeks of HUGE FUN – Alex Kellas
An AWESOME experience – Amy Law
COURSES & FGASA Assessments available
Ulovane visits Riverbend & Kuzuko
Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us – John N Mitchell
* 7 DAY BUSH WHACK for 12-18 year olds
22 August – 29 August 2010 – don’t get left out of this FUN adventure
05 December – 12 December 2010 – kids are going to need some excitement in the long December holidays!
4 WEEKS OF HUGE FUN ~ Little did I realise when I met Candice at the airport three weeks ago what incredible life experiences were about to unfold for me …
… to be stood over the hulking great weight of a darted Black Rhino, helping to prepare his horn to receive a new tracking device – to hold his mouth open to allow photo’s of his teeth to be taken – followed by a serious days work out in the capture of five Water Buck and 4 Eland …
… spending an amazing day with Raz & Nathalie – learning what an important role they are playing in developing an understanding of the cheetah movements within the Reserve and of their behavior – watching the cubs gallop honey badge-like after mom and then without any apparent communication you and I would be aware of, they stop and wait patiently while mom goes off to hunt …
… taking some “me time”, getting up at sunrise & heading off to “Klipgat” gate to take some photo’s along the game fence … to turn around and meet the stare of a magnificent male cheetah … with a mere 8 meters and a game fence between us for him to be comfortable enough with me being there that he lay down to rest, groom and observe me for the next 2 hours …
… it’s the sleep out … the anti-poaching patrol … the rifle handling … the days fishing on the Sunday River … it’s the “just sitting” and breathing the African air … it’s the sunsets and the sunrises, the moon casting its cool shadow across the plain as we sit quietly and have a “moment” …
,,, but most of all it has been about the people, about the Rangers on the Reserve, about Ben, Jandre & Sarah, about Candice & Schalk, about the 5 fine students that I have had the privilege to share this learning experience with … its about the Ulovane Family. – ALEX KELLAS
* 2010 THREE MONTH FGASA Level One Guide Certificate |
APPLICATIONS FOR 2011 are open and filling up fast!
It is hard to believe 5 weeks is already behind us. It seems we are moving through the weeks so fast that I can hardly recognize one from the other…
This month has been incredible, our brains continuously being stretched and our passion and love for Amakhala Game Reserve ever growing. There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning to the ever confusing calls of the Southern Bou Bou and going to bed at night with the Magical Jackal calls, I think it is safe to say we have all settled in well and Ulovane has become our home away from home.
This week has been a little different considering we had first aid for most part of it. Andrew Miller from SMART Response came through from Johannesburg to do our Level One first aid and most definitely taught us about what happens if you do not put safety first and ignore the signals wild animals give you. We had a practical at the end where Emile was our patient with a severed hand and bloodied body, with fire and snakes as props (Ok, so the snakes were plastic). It was very entertaining getting him bandaged up, on the stretcher and back to camp. But in between learning how to bandage and giving CPR, Andrew entertained us with his life stories and his paint ball obsession. (He literally has an outfit that makes him look like a tree).
After three intense days of first aid we headed out on Thursday morning early for a sleep out and Mother Nature decided to give us a shower, so we ended up finding shelter at the Bird Hide and had a Taxonomy lesson while we waited for it to clear up. That evening we made Roester Brood and all listened to each other snore for the rest of the night… Friday arrived and all the girls headed off for Tracker duties to the various lodges, of which it seems we all had a great time learning from the Guides and having some time with Guests. The boys, who are both looking a little worse for wear with tick bite fever headed out on Saturday for their tracker duties…
As for the rest of the weekend, our noses will be in our books getting through Taxonomy, Biomes and Tracking.
Reflecting on the last month brings a smile to my face, as I think about Charlotte and her profound fear of rain spiders, Eddie with all his logical answers, Anna-Marie with her camera, Emile with his lion obsession, Alex with his dancing shoes and all our magical moments in the bush. All of us are so different but have become like family, learning to accept our strange behavior, looking past the silly little things and just enjoying laughing with each other and living everyday like it is our last day in the bush… – AMY LAW
OUT & about
MEETING NEW PEOPLE & EXPERIENCING MAGICAL LODGES
For us at Ulovane getting to visit other lodges in the area is a huge privilege and a great learning experience. Our main reason for going to the lodges to assist with guide development and growth and assist those needing FGASA assessments. Working together for the greater good – can only be a good thing and ensuring that all guides have their qualifications up to date and help them further their qualifications can only be a great opportunity for the guiding industry in the Eastern Cape! Being able to experience other lodges and what they have to offer is also important, as feedback good or bad can only lead to a positive outcome.
In the last couple of months we have been invited to Riverbend Lodge in the Addo National Park – http://www.riverbendlodge.co.za. While at Riverbend Schalk did a FGASA assessment and the boys and I were invited to join and enjoy the lodge. WOW what an amazing child friendly lodge – Riverbend really caters for kiddies and I would recommend any parents that want to have their kids in the bush and experience a very friendly lodge environment – Riverbend is it! Elephants are always at the lodge, as you can see in the picture, a big herd welcomed us to the lodgeJ Joe and Steffi were awesome hosts and we look forward to spending another magical couple of days at Riverbend!
Kuzuko Lodge http://www.kuzukolodge.co.za was next to visit – oh my word the view of the Karoo Plains and Winterberg mountains was just MAGICAL – sorry I did not take my camera but if you view their website you will see what I mean. It was great to meet the team of guides and also go on a game drive in the Karoo – dry, yes very dry – but it still has a magical quality about it. Awesome sightings of Pale chanting Goshawks and Gymnogene’s – stunning birds of prey. It also turns out that the General Manager of Kuzuko also started his career at Mabula – many years ago, as Schalk and I did. What a small world! Thanks again to Gerhard, Jeandre and team for your warm hospitality.
* OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY GROUPS | * Please contact us for FGASA assessments our facilitators are qualified to assess Level 1, 2, 3 | * Any lodges looking for Freelance Guides in the Eastern Cape area. Please contact me.
VETS GO WILD ON AMAKHALA
During the winter months, Brothers safaris have VET students from all over the world on a Wildlife Immobilization & Conservation Course. As with our students from the moment they arrive its go go go. The students experience everything from lectures to darting of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe and black rhino – as always no shortage of immobilization – never a dull moment.
Dr Peter Brothers and Dr William Fowlds who run these courses are considered two of the top VETS in the country and we are very privileged to have them on Amakhala Game Reserve and even more so, as our students are often invited to join these immobilisation’s. For more information please go to their website http://www.brotherssafaris.com. They have AWESOME pictures, videos and a great blog that keeps you up to date with all the happenings.
LAST BUT not least
September course is full up and we have students from all over the world and South Africa – we are looking forward to meeting our new resruits! January 2011 applications are open and already a few spots are taken – so don’t miss out, contact me asap to confirm your place on the course.
Huge Thanks to Andrew Miller for coming all the way from Johannesburg to share his skills and knowledge of First Aid with our students – there is never a dull moment when Andrew is here:)
August is going to be an exciting month ahead with plenty of interesting and fun moments for us and the students – so be sure to keep up to date, with our updates on the website and Facebook.
Thank you Amy and Alex for your fantastic articles – Alex we will miss you and wish you well on your adventures ahead. Thank you both for your stunning pictures!
Your positive feedback and comments are always welcome – Thank You!
UNTIL NEXT time,
Live Laugh Love & Explore