APPRENTICE FIELD GUIDES
Our Apprentice Field guides have had a busy first two weeks to their course! It has been packed full of some more wonderful sightings and outings that have been had. Anathi is here to share her story of week two of their course with you all. Anathi is from the Addo area, here in the Eastern Cape and joins us through our relationship with Wilderness Foundation Africa.
My most outstanding moment of this week was when we went for our sleepout with our course instructor, Justin, onto a section of Amakhala Game Reserve that has no Big 5 game on it, Carnavondale. It was amazing to be out there, experiencing nature and the bush, sitting around the fire chatting about our favorite animals, and getting to know one another better.
The lectures and practical’s we have here at Ulovane are amazing, and one thing that I really like is that if you missed part of the lecture or there is something you did not grasp when the lecture was being given, the lecturers here are willing to take that extra step and help us understand. The care and warmth we are treated with here really make this place feel like home.
My favorite sighting that we had this week was when we saw a pair of Secretary birds on Amakhala Game Reserve, who were building a nest! We got to see one of them who had nesting material carried in the mouth. We witnessed them jumping from the ground to the tree, which was fascinating to see because their long legs mean they have to get a ‘running start’ before they get enough speed to get up into the air to reach the tree they were building the nest in! It was incredible to see.
The Apprentice Trails guide students were in the last week of their course, so we got to celebrate their graduation with them on Friday evening. Our group of five, hosted the evening, doing everything from scratch, including the menu, the décor, and all the cooking too. The theme we chose was “An English Summer”, and it really came together superbly, with everyone having a wonderful time. It has been a newly acquired skill I have gained since being here, as it was a great evening and a wonderful opportunity to mingle with the guests, making sure everyone is happy and has everything they need.
“Sometimes to change a situation you are in requires you to take a giant leap. But, you won’t be able to fly unless you are willing to transform.”―
APPRENTICE TRAILS GUIDES
Tim is here to wrap up the last seven weeks of their Apprentice Trails guide course. It has been a challenging year, but these six have pulled through together and have had some wonderful adventures, making memories that will last them their lifetimes!
The seven weeks of our Apprentice Trails course have gone by so quickly. We started with minimal knowledge of rifle handling and how to conduct ourselves whilst walking in the bush. We leave here having all grown in both areas. We have also become better guides by being exposed to the elements without having the safety of the game drive vehicle.
One of the best things about Trails is practically witnessing what you learn about in books, which makes me recall a particular instance of us viewing a herd of three male buffalo who were in a riverbed. They became immediately aware of our presence and one old, and very big male, known as ‘dagga boy’, decided to come closer to investigate what was going on! One of the other younger males was thrashing its boss (horns) in a bush, which as we learned in our manual, is a clear warning sign that it’s not happy. We chose this instance to leave the sighting!
This is what each of my fellow teammates had to say about their experience over the last seven weeks:
Tyler – “The goal I’ve tried to achieve since high school has now finally been set in stone, the achievement of the course has also given my life more fulfilment.”
Kian – “This course has been the biggest life lesson I’ve learnt.”
Simon – “It taught me many life lessons and how small we all are when we are in the bush!”
Dom – “It was a great life lesson for me and a great experience!”
Hannah – “The knowledge I learned in seven weeks is amazing! Trails taught me a lot about myself and grew my respect for nature.”
Myself – “I loved the course as it taught me greater respect for nature. I also improved my knowledge in tracking and birds thanks to Piet our mentor.
It’s been an amazing experience that we will all remember forever. We are so excited to start our next adventure together when we start our marine course next week in Kenton-on-Sea!”.
Thank you to Ulovane for the opportunity you have provided, I am grateful to be one of your students!
“Wings are like dreams. Before each flight, a bird takes a small jump, a leap of faith, believing that its wings will work. That jump can only be made with rock solid feet.”―