Living an untroubled and exciting life close to wild animals in the heart of nature.
Having lunch and a nap under a tree on a hot day. Somehow this sounds strange in these crazy times but believe me it is possible. Here at Ulovane you have unforgettable experiences and learn the most interesting things about our planet and our natural environment so that the whole corona stress was getting yesterday´s news directly after the first few days. Now already four weeks have passed and it is very difficult for me to make a summary of the best experiences we had so far because every day in the bush is different and every adventure is marvellous in its own way.
In the third week for example we had an incredible sighting with the whole herd of elephants. They all together were at a water hole and it really was fun to watch how they cooled themselves to endure the heat. When the elephants then approached our vehicle, we wanted to get on our way in order not to disturb the animals. But the problem was that the engine of our car suddenly stopped. Therefore, we could do nothing but sit still and wait until the animals passed by. To be honest, my pulse went up a bit when suddenly an elephant was five metres away from us, but they were all very calm and relaxed. After these lovely animals passed, we had to jump-start our vehicle. Luckily, we discussed the procedures two weeks before in one of our lectures 😉
In the same week, we had a similar experience with a huge group of giraffes. We were on an afternoon game drive and suddenly without seeing the animals from distance we were located in between more than 20 giraffes: some of them were busy eating, others played with each other or watched at us and our vehicle. At this moment I really thought I was watching a movie, but it was reality: the whole scenery with the sun going down in the background was just incredible and I think that was one of my favorite sightings so far having these pretty animals directly next to you.
This week I thought it couldn’t get any better, but the fourth week proved me wrong: we had the opportunity to be part of the darting and the surgery of the lioness on Amakhala Game Reserve. We started our trip early in the morning and made our way to the lioness. The reserve’s ecologist had been watching the lioness all morning and kept us informed of her location. Actually, we should have hurried, but on the way to the lioness, we happened to meet the two male lions and a large group of otters. Fortunately, the darting team was waiting for us, so we finally made our way to the lioness. The darting itself went very quickly, but then we had to wait for the anaesthetic to take effect and the lioness to fall asleep. When that happened, we were able to carry the lioness onto a vehicle and finally bring her to an enclosure on the reserve. There she was operated on a gallery and we could watch everything from the beginning to the end. Normally I am not good at seeing things like this, but at that moment it was different. I can say that this was the most interesting thing I have ever experienced in my life and I think these opportunities you will not get as a normal tourist.
But not only our game drives make the time at Ulovane exciting and interesting. The lectures are fascinating and you really learn a lot about different things. In the third week for example we looked at the history of humanity especially on Amakhala Game Reserve where you can find lots of devices of former human activities. It is just incredible to touchstone tools that were used in the Stone Age for surviving purposes or to stand next to a grave of a proper Bushman. All the things we learn in the lectures as well as on game drives shows me how vulnerable our planet actually is and how we as humans influence our environment mostly in a negative way. This also makes me appreciate the little things in nature, such as insects and plants, and I am becoming more and more interested in things that are not usually noticed. I never thought I would develop such a great interest in it.
Over the last few weeks, our group has also grown together more and more: we all get along really well and I have the feeling that we are a really well-coordinated team. We help each other and have a lot of fun together.
This is only a short summary of the last few weeks but there were so much more experiences, sightings and information that will never be forgotten. After finishing school, I really thought a lot how I can broaden my horizons, learn something for my entire future life and to have some nice experiences and I definitively think that Ulovane is one of the best places to satisfy these aspects. That is why I am happy and thankful to be here and I can only advise everyone to leave the Corona stress behind, be open-minded and spend a few weeks in the bush here at Ulovane.
Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. Dale Carnegie