Ulovane update: March 2017

31 Mar

Ulovane Update: March 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the March Ulovane Update.

We have come to the successful end of the first Intakes for the year. Proud to say that the Field Guides who completed their course this semester, ended with an 85% average. The Trails guides were successful during their 7 weeks, all students passed their Advance Rifle Handling, which was an excellent feat as not many groups get that right. The trails guides also ended off on a smooth 84% group average. The marine guides finish off today and they too impressed us with an overall average of 86%.

With final exams, game drive assessments, marine guide assessments you can just imagine quite a bit has happened over the last four weeks……

News from the Field Guides

The last four weeks of the Field Guide course was focused on preparing the students for their final Game drive assessments and FGASA National exam. The students hosted lodge managers and guides from Amakhala for a delicious dinner and did a great job of hosting the Trails guides graduation. Guests from the surrounding areas were invited to join on the game drive assessment adventures and they were blown away by the professionalism and knowledge of our young guides. Huge thank you must go to all our guests that came out to enjoy the wonders of nature and push the students to their full potential.

Week 8. This week all normal routine of the past 8 weeks was thrown out of the window as we all finish workbooks weekly tests and have moved onto the practical assessments, these have been the biggest eye openers through the course so far…This is because when dealing with guests you have to find and develop your own way of how to be a guide. Teachers can only give you so much information before you then have to learn through practical and real situations. Personally, I feel my assessment went well for a first assessment but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I did like it on my drive when one of the children guests pointed at an elephant saying it was a big orange fluffy tiger! – Freddy Thompson

Week 9. Round two of the assessment drives and we are still studying hard and pushing towards the end. We all went into it a bit more open-eyed, knowing what areas we needed to improve on and for me personally, I felt so much more comfortable, not so stressed and I managed to enjoy my drive and forget about my assessor. All in all, we had a good week lots of amazing sightings, and the notorious daga boy performed for us so well, and the elephants as well. With one week left on this wonderful course we are all quieting down this week and people are retreating to their rooms to the comfort of their books and I think it would be a good idea for me to do the same, thank you all Josh over and out as one would say on the radio. – Josh Reid

It’s all over!

10 weeks of blood, sweat, tears, joy, laughter, and learning. And whilst the 17 of us that started the journey are now all scattered across the globe again, the friendships forged and wisdom passed around is something that will be much more everlasting.

I could tell you about the animals sighted, the guests entertained, the trees felled, food consumed, and pool played, but what I really want to reflect on is the personal growth experienced. Whilst 10 weeks flies by at home, it can feel like a lifetime in the middle of a game reserve with little access to the outside world. And whilst this sometimes sends a few of us a little crazy on a quiet Sunday afternoon, it has also been the genesis of a great deal of personal improvement amongst the cohort.

Whether it was learning (or re-learning) the trials and skills of studying, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to host a group of strangers in an entertaining manner, finding your future path in life, dealing with demons of times gone by, living with strangers for the first time, or actually pushing for your dream as a field guide, we all walked away with something more than simply a FGASA certificate.

Ulovane is a practical environmental training facility. But it’s also a breeding ground for the identification and pursuit of dreams afar. It’s a safehouse for reflection and a community of adventurous souls.

If you’re looking for the most thorough and immersive Level 1 training in South Africa, then Ulovane is clearly the place to be. With its inclusion of Bush First Aid, daily cooked warm meals, real guests on practical assessments, and staff that go over and above for your success, it’s a no-brainer.

But if you’re simply looking for your next adventure, and a structured environment to test your boundaries and dreams, then the ambitious, adventurous, challenge-driven side of you should have already picked up the phone.

Thanks to all the staff for playing their part in our development and success. But most importantly, thank you to the 20 other students on campus that each allowed me to take much more than I was able to give in return.

I go home with a clarity about my future ambitions and a deeper understanding of what’s most important in life on the way to achieving the goals I have set for myself. –  Trent Fleskens

Extra study groups, assessment interviews and one on one sessions with trainers played an important role in these final weeks, ensuring that everyone was prepared for their game drives and exams. A round of applause to the Ulovane team, for their patience, care and dedication in pushing the guides to do their best.

News from the Marine Guides

The first week of marines was really great! Our first days were mostly theory focusing on sea plants and marine ecosystems. We did a canoe trip up the Bushman’s river and slept over in a cabin next to the river, it was great fun! A lot of rowing but it was an unforgettable experience. We enjoyed a trip to the beach in Kenton a few times to focus on what was covered in the classroom. We got to see the beauty of the Eastern Cape coastline and realized how much life there is just on the coast, things we previously didn’t even know were alive. The ocean is really amazing! We saw two octopus right next to each other it was awesome! We also snorkelled and witnessed another world under water. We are really enjoying marines so far it is a lot of work but it’s extremely interesting. Thank you, Shani, for being an awesome instructor! – Marine Team

Week 2 was such a great experience! We went to Port Alfred for a few days to focus on some practical work such as identifying birds, shells, sea plants, as well as fish. We had a wonderful boat trip up the Kowie river with Schalk to focus on birds and we definitely ticked off a few new birds which was great! We did beach walks and identified shells (a lot of them). It was very interesting to learn more about the life on the beach. On our last day in Port Alfred we went deep sea fishing with locals that had years of experience and they taught us a few more things on fish. Although the sea made some stomachs unhappy, it was so much fun and we were lucky enough to bring back some fish to braai!! Thank you Shani for taking us there it was awesome!! The rest of the week we studied and wrote tests! Loving Marines!! ???? – Marine Team

During the practical assessments days of our passionate Marine Guides, we have had the opportunity to work with junior school students and teach them about the marine life. We were very lucky to study very closely a little bit more of the octopus’s behaviour in its natural environment…What an experience!

This time, the octopus was busy trying to catch a crab while all the kiddies where watching amazed how the hunt was done. The crab was faster and safely hid away from the octopus, but some bivalves weren´t that lucky! The octopus decided that the kiddies toes looked tasty and went in for a little ‘nibble’, much to the delight of the little boy whose toe was clearly very tasty!

After all the lessons learnt and a very busy day at the beach, we ended up doing a beach clean-up, collecting all the plastic around and having an unforgettable experience together! Amazing values learnt for the new generations!

Thank you ALL for being part of this experience! Special gratitude to all the kids, who got involved and showed their interest in everything with contagious joy and huge smiles! – Shani and Leti


The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope. -Wendell Berry

News from the Ulovane Team

All this talk of assessments, we thought we should explain our processes in a bit more detail to you.

Unique Field Guide Assessment Process at Ulovane

At Ulovane we believe that the quality of our qualifications is in the ongoing practical Assessments and not only in the theoretical training. We have a unique and detailed process to ensure that you, our student, are assessed in a way that you are ready for employment when you successfully complete our courses.

We do feel that our unique Assessment Process is designed to give you the best opportunities to be fully competent in all the aspects of guiding. We are one of the few, if not the only training provider that provides all of the above opportunities. READ MORE 

An interesting article from Schalk on Aardvarks this month, incase you missed it……

Instructors Blog: The Aardvark Cucumber

Previously we have looked at the amazing diversity of relationships the Aardvark has with many animals. Animal species which are completely dependent on the Aardvark’s burrows for denning with their young include Spotted and Brown Hyena, Wild Dogs, Jackals, Bat-eared Fox, Porcupine, South African Shelduck, Ant-eating Chats and who knows how many other keys species of animals are dependent on the Aardvark to construct safe underground denning sites for their young.

But who would think that the Aardvark, who exclusively feeds on ants and termites, would have a close knit relationship with a plant?  The Aardvark Cucumber!! Cucumis humifructus READ MORE

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes

REMINDER: OPEN DAY AT ULOVANE 08 APRIL 11 AM please contact us for details candice@ulovane.co.za

Where are they Now – Ulovane Ambassadors

Jordan Davidson

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

I finished at Ulovane February 2015, and started guiding at Kariega private game reserve since

Where are you now?

Settlers Drift Kariega Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

What are your future plans?

Project management within the tourist industry.

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

The facilitators at Ulovane allowed me the space to fully delve into all the various subjects, that as well as guide my line of questioning into areas I had never considered. In a couple words blew my mind. It helped me look at nature in a completely different way, so when I interact with guests I help am able to further their understanding of what’s happening around them while they are on safari with me. READ MORE

A fantastic March Month at Ulovane. The last few weeks of a semester is always challenging and busy, however, if everyone works as a team, anything can be achieved. Thank you to everyone involved for making this semester a successful one. 09 April the next semester begins and we look forward to doing this all, all over again, yes we love what we do!!

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

Adventurous experiences out-of-doors are perceived to kindle the enthusiasm of the young, to develop their concern for others, for their community and for the environment. Such experiences provide the means of self-discovery, self-expression and enjoyment which are at once both stimulating and fulfilling. It thus emerges that, for young people and adults alike, Outdoor Adventure is perceived as a vehicle for building values and ideals, for developing creativity and enterprise, for enhancing a sense of citizenship, and for widening physical and spiritual horizons. – Lord Hunt of Llanfair Waterdin

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