Life as a trainee Field Guide: Building Confidence every step of the way
Ulovane update: Every week at Ulovane is exciting and this week was no different. Monday we spent in lectures on Botany (which includes trees, plants, wildflowers and grasses) who knew there was so much to learn and so interesting! Tuesday we were lucky enough to head out onto Amakhala Game reserve for another sleep out, yes it was pouring with rain and cold, no we were not going to let that stop us! Our camping place for the evening was bush boma and luckily the rain finally stopped and we could enjoy a big roaring fire! We had the MOST incredible night drive, Aardvark, cheetah, BUSHPIG! rhino and lots of night jars (evening birds)! Apparently we are a VERY lucky group with our night drives, not everyone gets to see as many of these elusive animals! The night watch groups had a fun time keeping their eyes and ears on a rhino bull who decided to sleep close to camp, he was so close we could hear him eating all night!! A caracal also came to visit sometime during the night, we found proof of its dung while cleaning up camp. So yes our camping trips have been very successful so far! Heading back to camp we came across the whole lion family, Mom, Dad and sub adults, this was our first time seeing the male, as he has not been with the others – he is just gorgeous and so majestic! It really was special seeing them all together.
This week was really interesting learning about our human connection with plants. You don’t actually realise how many medicinal uses plants have and that most of our medicines come from plants. The fact that we use plants as a defensive mechanism to protect ourselves, just as they do, is incredible.
On Thursday as a part of our conservation management contribution, we assisted at the Amakhala Game Reserve annual game count. The method that was used was a road strip census. The reserve was divided into 5 sections and we were all divided into 5 teams. Each team then had to record/count the mammals in their sections (of course we did a bit of birding in between). It was a great day and we learnt a lot about the reserve, the team that operates the reserve and the guides who are out on the reserve everyday!
Friday we caught up with lectures, Biomes (different vegetation types) being our hot topic of conversation. It was super interesting that the subjects we have covered so far, specifically geology and climate, determine the vegetation in certain areas.
Sunday after the exam was Funday! We joined the Trails Guides at the Intaka Campus for a pizza day. It was great to meet new people and share our experiences so far on the different courses. Many thanks to everyone for making the day possible!
A great week, our confidence in our driving and guiding skills is growing and as a team we are working together to make everyday interesting and fun!
- Corlia and Schalk
“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin