Ulovane Update: Field Guides
The weather last week brought a nice Bergwind to the Eastern Cape, which means we had a stunning summer feeling at or camp. Right on time for when we started driving ourselves on the reserve on Monday. It’s quite a learning experience in the beginning, because you have to remember and manage lot of things at the same time like driving, dealing with the radio, finding nice sightings and providing interesting facts as well. Everyone got a taste of it this week and we will continue training in the upcoming weeks.
Summer in South Africa has been such a different experience for many of us, and we got a chance to go to the Bushmans River for a nice swim on Wednesday and also took us to the beach at Kenton-on-Sea on Sunday. It was excellent to go out, especially after finishing our exams for the week. Another highlight of the week was going to the Albany museum and have a look at the local culture and history on Thursday.
For our midway-weekend-off next week (already!) we planned at trip to Jeffreys Bay and we are really looking forward to it after five weeks of intense but incredibly fruitful training. The time is flying and we are all struggling to believe that we are nearly half way through our FGASA Level One course.
– Joost and Charlie
“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work” – Steve Jobs
Ulovane Update: Backup Trails Guides
Week 4 at Ulovane has been an interesting one. We started the week off with advanced rifle handling training, and with the assessment coming up next week, the training has really paid off with most of us being able to shoot the target. The group is nervous because this is not an easy qualification to get and without it being a backup trails guide is not possible.
Midweek was something special with a sleep out on Amakhala Game Reserve. The day of the sleep out we commenced on 2 walks on the reserve with the group encountering lion on the 2nd walk. Seeing the lion on a vehicle and seeing them on foot are two totally different experiences, with being on foot my preference as you learn to truly respect a potentially dangerous animal and experience nature without any interference from humans.
Most walks I’ve been on at Amakhala have not included dangerous game encounters, but that’s not a bad thing walking through what nature has to offer is breath taking, from siting under the shade of ancient milkwoods to tracking the illusive Honey Badger. Ulovane has taught me a lot of things but respecting nature and its beauty has certainly been engraved in my heart.
We ended the week off with a day at Kenton beach which was most welcome. The hot sun and cool waves putting some post-exam and studying-filled heads at ease and some colour into the skin.
“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.” – David Attenborough