Life as a trainee Trails Guide: Exciting times as the Walking begins….
Ulovane update: Even with adverse weather conditions, we all had a very enjoyable and educational week three.
On Monday we started out with a test on rifle handling as we had continued advanced rifle handling practicals on our usual test day, Sunday. Due to bad weather, the rest of our Monday was rather a Sunday and we stayed indoors and enjoyed a movie afternoon. But you always keep on studying so we prepared ourselves for our first walks on Thursday and Friday, which half of the group did on Amakhala Game reserve, followed and filmed by the film crew for the Ulovane promotional video. Smile for the camera! On Tuesday, due to rain, we weren’t able to walk on Kariega game reserve and had a day of theoretical tracking classes, where we went over slides and were shown the differences between tracks by our facilitators, Pete and Shani. There is so much to learn, it is all very exciting!
On Wednesday the walking started, half the group headed off to Amakhala game reserve with the camera crew to get some footage of what happens on trails walks. Hollywood in the middle of the bush! But as soon as we got out there everything became very real and serious. You have to try and have your eyes and ears everywhere. It is not about having a walk and carrying a rifle around- it is to become aware of what messages mother nature is giving and showing you and learning to respect and listen to her, so as not to get any surprises and upset the wildlife along the way.
The encounters were just the icing on the cake during a magnificent walk. It is a completely different world standing in the middle of the bush and the only thing you can hear is an elephant wandering through the thicket and feeding, even from 100m away… just wow!
We wanted adventure this is an adventure! On foot we are off road, always keeping the sun and the wind in mind. Not even a river could stop our path, option A and B ended at the river so we just went through it. After the vehicle-based guiding and training, it is a whole new world for us and it really gives you a new perspective on guiding in the bush.
The rest of us walked on the eastern side of Kariega game reserve where we had some awesome encounters with elephants, giraffe, and many other animals.
The weather has been a challenge, but it has done nothing to damper our spirits and thirst for knowledge, if we cannot be outdoors, we pour over the books to learn as much as possible, so that once the sun shows itself we will take full advantage and put our theory into practice!
We finally got back in the bush this week! Yesss- we had a great week 3!
Thanks a lot to everyone
- Ben & Cora XX
“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.” – Roopleen