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Ulovane Update June Semester Week 3

Apprentice Field Guides

Simon, from South Africa, is here to share his story of week three of the Apprentice Field Guide course! He has experience in farm management and has joined us here at Ulovane as he is passionate about wildlife and has a desire to further his knowledge in this field.

From very cold mornings to outstanding sunset afternoons; some things we are all privileged to be a part of at Ulovane. With a passionate, helpful, and graciously guided team, we are rather advantaged to be a part of this.
After a remarkably busy week filled with a lot of knowledge obtained, we have made it through week three. Everyone seems to be settling in well and ‘strangers’ have truly turned into friendships. This could highly have been a possibility from the great Friday nights spent around the fire socializing. People are coming out of their shells and I can feel a big change of positivity in our group this far.

Moving onto one of the highlights of our week! This must have been coming up Eliweni road, where just before the top we bumped into three lions. None of us saw them and before we knew it, we were 20 meters away facing these beautiful cats, lying down all comfortable, absorbing the morning’s rays.
Our Ecology lecture was of rather much of an interest to most of us, as well as Arthropods.
Midway through our week, we went on our first walk out with Justin which was an absolutely beautiful experience. Just getting out into nature, exploring the different types of vegetation and certain insect species found on AGR was a real eye-opener as to how many species we live around.

On our Friday fun day, we headed out on a drive with Melissa and the crew. It was a great day filled with joyous team building activities. I think we can all admit being blindfolded and trying to get to where you want to get to isn’t the easiest of things to do. However, a lot was learned through these activities and a lot of laughter and smiles were shared.

I feel that we are all keeping our heads high and we’re a real tight group. No one gets left out and we are working as a team to achieve our successes. Fun and laughter is always shared amongst all of us here at Ulovane and I feel that this is one of the best medicines to life.
To many more exciting days ahead, beautiful sunsets and friends we call family.
Simon de Kock

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. ~ Confucius

Apprentice Trails Guides

Jesse successfully completed his Apprentice Field Guide course with us at the beginning of this year. He is back with us for both the Apprentice Trails and Marine guide courses. So far, he is absolutely loving Trails, and has written a story for you all on week three!
The time I have spent at Ulovane thus far has taught me a lot.
I learned how to use a rifle properly and not negligently; that was the best moment of my life.

I am truly happy to have Piet as my trainer and mentor, it is such a wonderful opportunity to spend time with him, learning from and gathering all his bush skills and knowledge. I am now able to identify more animal tracks and different birds too. I am truly grateful for him being such an icon in my life.
I was one to always fear elephants because of the stories I was told about them, but now I fully understand that if you treat any wild animal with respect and not cross their boundaries, no one will get hurt. The most important thing I have learned in my life from Piet is to have patience, then you will be able to have beautiful sightings at the end! I was one who has never had patience.
My most interesting theoretical part of this week was the tracking class and watching the ethical trails guide clips of Adriaan Louw. We started our walks during the second week of our course, on Amakhala Game Reserve. It was nerve-wracking, but Piet told me that if you ever do a walk and you aren’t nervous about it, you aren’t doing your job properly.

This week was my chance to have my first time walking on backup rifle, and that was a life-changing experience to me because on that day we found the breeding herd of elephants, consisting of about twenty-one individuals. That was intense, but I am happy that I handled the situation and that everyone was happy and alive at the end of our walk. I also got my very first 5 hours under my belt and my first dangerous game encounter. I really appreciate my three fellow students currently on the course with me because they have become family to me, and we continually learn so much from each other.
Oh, I really missed the food and the jolly good times with everyone. I mean, to me, this is the best place to be, it’s like paradise. I am keen to learn more and I am definitely looking forward to the rest of my time here.

Knowledge will give you power, but character respect. Bruce Lee