Ulovane Update: October 2018 Field and Backup Trails Guides Week 6

13 Nov

After a peaceful weekend in Jeffrey’s Bay for most of our field guide students, week 6 brought many challenges and learning opportunities. With everyone coming back from their weekend off well rested and ready for the last half of the course, we’ve been incredibly lucky with everything that this week has brought us. Bianca and Charnè wrote this weeks blog, enjoy!

Field Guides

During the last week there were so many incredible things going on, that I don’t even know where to start. The most daunting thing for us Field Guides the most was probably birding. Have you ever listened to all the birds that call around your house when you wake up and tried to identify which birds are calling? If you did so, you probably know I’m right to say, that it is ridiculously difficult in the beginning. To help us with this task we went on bird walks every morning from Monday to Wednesday, to prepare us for our slide & sound exam on Thursday afternoon. As we listened to the same 40 birdcalls over and over again things finally started to become clearer and every one of us found their own, sometimes funny, ways to remember the birds and the birdcalls that belong to them.

Monday afternoon was filled with a four-hour game drive. Even though the weather was not really playing along, since it was raining which might dampen some spirits on a game drive, we had a really nice drive. Seeing four lions right in front of your vehicle is always a highlight!

Nothing can compete with a lion sighting, but still the wine pairing that we were able to enjoy on Wednesday evening was pretty close to that…

Another highlight this week plays in a totally different league, as only a very little amount of people get to witness such a sighting in their lifetime. I’m sure by that point of reading this week’s blog you’d start to think that not much could make this week better, so it must have been something truly special. Well, I hope by looking at the following picture you can figure out, that something about this giraffe’s backside looks a bit odd, because…

… It’s giving birth!

The week ended with a mock tracking exam, where we all took more or less educated guesses about 30+ tracks to see where we stand for the real tracking exam next week.

The last four weeks of our course are probably going to be filled with just as much information and awesomeness as the past week and we are all excited for the remaining time to come, but not for it to come to an end. All we can do is enjoy the time we have left at this wonderful place called Ulovane.

“Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keeps you very busy doing nothing.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour


Backup Trails

Week 6 of the Trails Guide course has unfortunately come to an end. I must say that the time I spent on this course went by a lot faster than I would have liked. This week we spent a lot of time focusing on tracking in preparation for our assessment of the Saturday and Sunday. We were also very fortunate to have the Adriaan Louw come and join us to do our assessment. It was truly amazing and a wonderful experience being assessed by one of the best. We are so grateful to Adriaan for assisting us with our tracking.

Earlier in the week we were treated by two of our instructors (Shani and Schalk) who took us to explore a part of the reserve which very, very few people have ever even seen. It is by far the most beautiful and exciting place I have ever explored and I hope that it will always stay so beautiful and serene and untouched by humans.

It is sad to think that our time is almost up here at Ulovane but it was definitely one of the best and most educational experiences I have ever had and I would not trade it for anything.

Thank you so much to everyone that made this unforgettable. Here’s to our last week as backup trails students.

“Ends are not bad things, it just means that something else is about to begin.” – C. Joybell

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