Ulovane Update: July 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to the July Ulovane Update.
We need to start with a warm welcome to everyone to the 3rd semester of 2017. This year is flying by and we enjoying the flight!
We have a wonderful team of students in house. Great to see the comradery and team work that is taking place. The Field Guide group is a small group, but the much larger Trails Guide group have taken them under their wings and are showing them the ropes. Mentorship is a massive part of the lodge industry and for us, it is fantastic that we are able to plant the seeds from early on in the guide’s careers that mentorship and teamwork is key in operating in the lodge environment.
July was a short month update wise, but both groups have had an amazing few weeks, here is their news and as always fantastic photos.
This month we celebrated World Rangers Day. World Ranger Day is dedicated to all the rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and celebrates the incredible work rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures. In South Africa, game rangers stand up to poachers almost daily as they battle to end the decimation of wildlife species, ranging from the poaching of rhino and abalone to the illegal removal of plants such as cycads and Proteas. The Ulovane team thank all rangers for their dedication, without you we cannot do our jobs! THANK YOU!
News from the Field Guides
Week 1: “Life is about moments, don’t wait for them, create them!” – July Field Guides 2017
We came, we have begun, we are yet to conquer
The bandages, gauze, burns and banter,
The fires, braais, laughter and chatter!
Small as we may be, dynamite you shall see!
Learn, live, laugh, love and be!
Hard to believe our first week is done already! This was a jam packed, incredible week, filled with plenty of laughter and lots of fun learning with Doug on our course for wilderness and remote area First Aid! We were blessed with our first drive on to the reserve to see the lion pride on a kill! – Melissa Gomes
Week 2: My second week in pictures and song….
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Bokmakerrie has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the word
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s re-creation of the new day
Regards, Colin Price-Smith
Very Poetic bunch 🙂
Week 3: It was a very busy but enjoyable and interesting week with class and practical activities. The highlight of this being a herd of black wildebeest entertaining us with a frolicking display early morning. We had an awesome lunch time braai with Shani who also taught us about trees, tracks and signs. All in all, a fantastic week! – Roelof Wiesner
The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. – Lady Bird Johnson
News from the Back up Trails Guides
Week 1: Week 1 of Trails and it’s so good to be back “home”!! We got to spend the day in PE at the shooting range and realized that it’s not just picking up a firearm and shooting but also “In our experience” a combination of push-ups, star jumps, push-ups and more push-ups, so far it’s been quite an experience!!! Thanks to Piet and Jacques for making our first week one to remember!!
Looking forward to the rest of the course. Good luck to all the Trails guides 😊!!
– Remember “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”
Week 2: Week 2 of Trails and we’ve already experienced so much!! We spent the week on the shooting range where we all had good laughs and learnt a lot of important aspects when it comes to rifle handling. One thing that stood out for me was the lion charge exercise!! I have never experienced something like that before, passing ARH was therefore a HUGE highlight of my week!!! Thank you to Piet for all the support and well done to everyone that completed the assessment!! I look forward to the rest of the course and the bush walks!! – Ryno Steyn
Our First Walk
There are not many words that can describe walking out there in the bush and becoming one with nature, the feeling is beyond humbling or humility, everything just makes sense and you have this feeling of fulfillment that makes you feel complete and a part of something much more important than anything you’ve ever experienced in life before.
As our journey for the day started we came across something quite remarkable, the tracks of one of our big cats, the lions. We tracked and followed them through the thicket, with little visibility and no noise, we tracked them the whole day. The feeling that they could jump out of the next bush at any second was beyond eerie! Unfortunately we didn’t find them (that day) but the rush of looking was incredible!
At least that’s what I got out from the first walk of Trails this week, I can honestly say I have never experienced anything like that before and am beyond excited for what more may come…
– Nathan Moore
Week 3: During our third week of training to become trails guides we have slowly but surely started to accumulate over 30 hours of walking, and have had 3 awesome sightings of big five. Two of my favourite sightings were the elephant and lion sightings.
After a brisk walk towards a large herd of elephants, we were able to position ourselves on a slope that was above the feeding herd of elephants. The herd of elephants were oblivious to our presence. We watched them and stayed with them for almost the entire day, without disturbing them, or moving closer to get a reaction from them. It was just perfect!
My favorite sighting was with a male lion. After fifteen minutes of walking we heard what was a male lion, roaring not too far from our position. Our lead guide was able to anticipate the lion’s movements and led us to a position where we were able to briefly view this majestic animal. We were so close to the animal yet there was no immediate threat. We safely observed the animal and moved after it, following its tracks. A moment in time I will never forget! – Greg Ford
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir
News from the Ulovane Team
Amakhala Game Reserve showing off for the newbies
The Field Guide kicked off with a bang as students had their first week consisting of Medwise Wilderness First Aid training. The following week our students had the privilege to be part of a game capture operation for a waterbuck bull. For many students it was sheer amazement to see the actual size when you are busy moving this large on a stretcher compared to being 20 meters away in a vehicle. However this opportunity allowed for close observation of the ridges on their curved horns to better understand the different tribes antelope are placed to, a module which we will cover in Taxonomy a bit later in the course.
Week three ensured a superb sighting with a Cheetah female and her 4 cubs, something I think the students will remember for the rest of their lives. Just before our week drew closer to its end we were fortunate to have a bush dinner on the reserve and allowed for excellent stargazing.
Modules for this week to be covered include Arthropods, Fish and Reptiles and although these are big modules it is important to have some fun out in the bush even if it means testing out your trees climbing skills to see who can have the best leopard pose during lunch on a day drive
– Justin Barlow
Three weeks of gunpowder, tracks and amazing sightings.
Another back-up trails course is ongoing and what a time we have experienced in the first three weeks of the course. As usual we started the course by getting everybody familiar with the use and legal aspects of rifles. A big number of or students have never even held rifles before so for many it is a very new and unfamiliar process. Starting off with an air-rifle everybody got some lessons on their fundamentals, from stance to trigger squeeze.
After three days and a few hundred pellets we took them to Port Elizabeth to write their theory exam and shoot with their first bolt action rifle, the massively intimidating .22 rifle. There was quite a nervous feeling around the shooting range in anticipation for the practical shooting, but all and all it went very well with all students passing the theory and the shooting with flying colours.
Basic fundamentals set and muscle memory starting to build it was time to take out the real macoy, the .375 rifles that they will use in the industry during their bush walks. The silence after the first shot was quite humorous and I think it took a lot of the students by surprise. After the initial anxiety settled down everyone started performing very nicely with the rifle.
Four days of training later and hundreds of rounds of ammunition echoing through the valleys there were four students who found themselves competent against the advanced rifle handling qualification for FGASA, which enables them to carry rifles during the training sessions on the reserve walking between the potentially dangerous game.
The first week of walking was full of excitement with a lot of knowledge shared on tracking and animal behaviour skills. Nature was extremely kind to us with regards to sightings, having a lovely day of spending 6 hours with the herd of elephants and bumping into the male lion at 10 meters going through a river crossing (with priceless expressions from the inexperienced back-up guides walking on point for the first few times).
The first half of the course is almost done and looking forward to the rest of the adventures awaiting us in the next four weeks.
“Unity is strength, when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” ― Mattie Stepanek
Please join us at our upcoming Open Day on the 30 September contact us for further information! Candice@ulovane.co.za.
We still have availability on the October Intake for the longer courses, however space is limited!! We still have availability for all of our upcoming Specialised Courses for existing guides. Follow the link for dates and contact us for rates email@example.com.
Thank you for taking the time to enjoy our updates. Any positive feedback or comments are always welcome. Huge thank you as always to all the students and staff for their stunning photos and updates.
Until Next Time,
Candice and the Ulovane Team
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett