Ulovane Update: January 2017

02 Feb

Ulovane Update: January 2017 Newsletter

Back with a bang!!

The Ulovane Team kicked off 2017 with new energy and high spirits after a well deserved holiday over December.

First on the list was to repaint and fix up the Field Guide rooms; clean; sweep; cut and more cleaning. All had to be spick and span for our new group of students arriving in January. The Field Guide bathrooms have been retiled and gas geysers have replaced the solar power geysers – YES!!

Arrival day is always a bit of an award occasion since everyone is still in shock after a long flight and/or meeting a bunch of strange people knowing they have to spend ten or seventeen weeks together. What THEY don’t realise then is that they will leave best of friends and with tears in their eyes!

Our January group is from all over the world, a seriously diverse bunch of people from all different backgrounds. There will definitely be interesting times with these guys and girls. We must also not forget to welcome back the back – up trails students! We already KNOW that they will provide plenty lot of laughs. David has already proved this with his insane acting skills on the Field Guide ‘s final First Aid practical assessment. Thank you David- you are a hoot and good for the spirits!!!

As always, the students have learnt so much from Doug from Medwise and will now be more prepared when it comes to wilderness First Aid. Thank you Doug!

Summer is here in full swing and we have experienced some sweltering hot weather here on Amakhala Game Reserve! All was rectified with a lekker swim in the Bushmen ‘s river on Sunday after their exams☺

As I’m writing this, sitting under a lovely River Bushwillow on the banks of the Bushmen river, I’m thinking again how lucky and privileged we are to call this beautiful piece of land our home and our job. The greatest satisfaction comes from seeing how these people change and progress.

Ulovane is not just a place, it’s a family and we welcome all of you guys into the Ulovane family!

 – Shani Preller, Facilitator at Ulovane

More News from the Field Guides

Rocking Lectures

The best way to learn Geology is more often than not to approach it head on and practically. We set off to a particular vantage point that overlooks a huge part of Amakhala Game reserve and where a lecture was conducted on the different Supergroups accompanied by their rock formations as well as discussing the major rock types. This included Igneous (Intrusive and Extrusive), Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks. During a small practical demonstration by Shani of the Gondwana and Faulkland Plateau being illustrated by models, it was not only the students who were interested in what was happening. A very curious bystander in the form of a male Giraffe was keeping a close eye on the happenings of us humans in his territory. How lucky are we to have nature and wildlife in the middle of our classroom!
– Justin Barlow, Ulovane Facilitator

When you’re following your energy and doing what you want all the time, the distinction between work and play dissolves. – Shakti Gawain

News from the Trails Guides

Week one of Trails on Ulovane has been an eye-opener for all of us. Learning to respect the firearms and their place in the guiding world has not only been an exciting experience, but also an important one. Our training so far has been intense and it has paid off. We all passed the first stage of our Rifle competency exams and now on to ARH! (advanced rifle handling). – David English, Zimbabwe
– David English, Zimbabwe
Week two was full of fun and excitement for the group! We were on the shooting range for most of the week to practice ARH, and then the assessment came. Most of us past but it was not an easy road! It was great to learn how to shoot and finally feeling that recoil! After the assessment, those of us who did pass and were confident enough, we were able to start walking on Amakhala as backup guides with Pieter as the lead guide. Being out there on foot, was super intense, so far we are all loving every minute. For the encounters that we had with elephants, antelope and other big 5, the sore legs and tired arms have been so worth it! During one encounter, our nerves of steel were definitely put to the test, especially being in close range of a few majestic beasts. Safety is always first during all our experiences and we are thankful for Pieter’s calming presence and many years of experience. We are all having so much fun and we are only in week 2! Ulovane never disappoints!
– Maxime Perchoc, South African

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” – Barry Finlay

News from Ulovane Reserve

The short life of a Cape Mountain Zebra foal

Last week I was extremely happy to discover that a new zebra foal was born from a zebra I bought in August last year. This zebra was part of a group of 5 consisting of 1 stallion and two adult females with their young sub-adults. They were brought in the reserve to improve the genetic diversity of the zebras that were already breeding here.

Unfortunately, the stallion died during the night it was offloaded from the truck it came in, probably because of stress and the sedation they had to give him. The dilemma was now to replace this stallion or let nature run its cause and wait till a young stallion that was already here would take over the new harem.

Last week a foal was born from the group with no stallion and all looked fine; lively and playful it ran around its mother. You can imagine the disappointment when I discovered the foal dead and already half-eaten after two days. My guess is that the foal was killed by the dominant stallion on the reserve, as he was not the father and the carcass was eaten by some kind of scavenger of which we have some around (brown Hyena, Jackal and Bush pig).  I think it is unlikely, but not impossible, that it was killed by any of these scavengers as the mother is usually highly protective against them. The brute force of a stallion is something else.

This story does not have a happy ending, but it shows us that nature has its own ways of dealing with spreading the genes. Let us hope that soon a new harem structure is established and future newborns are better protected.

Ben Bremer

Where are they Now – Ulovane Ambassadors

Johan van Zyl

When did you finish at Ulovane and briefly tell us what you have been doing since then?

I finished Ulovane at the end of 2006.  Since then I’ve been Guiding and Managing various properties in Madikwe, Zambia and Botswana.

Where are you now?

I am currently based in Nelspruit and work as a photographic safari guide for Wild Eye.


What are your future plans?

To grow as a photographer and guide, helping people create lifelong memories and images.  I also hope that some of my images could help create awareness for rare and endangered species such as Wild Dogs and Rhinos.

How did your Ulovane experience prepare you for a career in the guiding, hospitality industry?

With Schalk and Candice you get the best of both worlds.  Schalk being an absolute walking encyclopaedia in the field, and Candice having that eye for perfection in camp.  “Realtime” scenarios are set up during the course, whether guiding “acting” guests or hosting some visitors in camp, one gets a feel for what the industry is all about.

What are your best memories of your year at Ulovane?

The walks, the sleep outs, the evenings around the fire and most of all the contacts that we’ve made.  My tent mate and I are still very good friends 11 years later and Candice and Schalk are like family.  Whenever you need advice on where to go or what to do, they most likely have been there done that and can give good honest advice.  For this, I am ever grateful and proud to say that I was part of the first group of Ulovane students.

Follow Johan on his amazing Instagram account – @johan_van_zyl_photography or Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JohanVanZylPhotography/

I do hope you have enjoyed our newsletter! We are going to give the monthly updates a try and see how it goes. Any positive feedback or comments are always welcome. Huge thank you as always to all the students for their stunning photos and updates.

We still have availability for all of our upcoming Career Focus and Specialised Courses. Follow the link for dates and contact us for rates enquiries@ulovane.co.za.

If you would like to be one of our featured Ulovane Ambassadors please contact me! We would love to know where you are and where life has taken you after Ulovane.

Until Next Time,

Candice and the Ulovane Team

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

Be bold Be Crazy January 2017 Field Guides

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