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Expect the Unexpected!
Submitted by Bushwise on Sat, 2012-04-28 08:38
It is quite unimaginable that this week marks the start of the fourth semester and with that, a frantic scurrying to ‘polish’ guiding skills and finalise preparations for the upcoming week of Level 1 Practical assessments.
On both campuses the students went on ‘guest drives’, where the trainers showed the students one last time how to conduct a Game Drive in a professional manner and how to link, interpret and communicate what they see in an understandable way so that their guests would have a better understanding of the surrounding natural environment.
It was also the Garonga campuses turn to have a break from their normal routine with a scheduled Kruger Park visit. Several of the students have never visited the World renowned Park before, and with that came the excitement of seeing new bird, tree and mammal species.
Great sightings of an Osprey, Yellow-billed Oxpeckers and a White-headed vulture locking talons with a Bateleur was a treat for all the emerging Birders, and this too was great revision for the upcoming Bird Course examination which takes place over the coming weekend.
Mammal sightings included two cheetah brothers, a young hyaena, an abandoned newborn buffalo calf, and a pink hippopotamus. Nope, I’m not testing to see if you are reading correctly, we actually saw a pink hippo on the banks of the Olifants River! I have heard of this particular ‘mythical beast’ from former colleagues before, and great was my excitement to finally see the animal for myself. (From photos taken by the students it seems like the hippo is not an albino, but a leucistic animal. Leucistic animals tend to have limited melanin production on some parts of the body, and the iris of this animal had pigmentation whereas an albino hippo would have probably had blue eyes.)
It goes to show, that no matter how much time you spend in nature, there is always an opportunity to witness and learn about something new and unique, and that regardless of whether you are a guide that is about to enter the industry, or whether you are a Level 3 SKS guide with over 30 years of experience, one should always hunger for these rare experiences and improve one’s personal knowledge and skills as far as humanly possible. After all, it’s these unexpected events that should fuel the passion and drive of any guide.
With that statement I want to remind all of our students to study hard and to persevere in order to reach the final goal of obtaining a full Level 1 qualification. I wish all of you the best of luck for next week’s practical evaluations, and for the Theory test to follow. All of you can do it! Make us proud!
Margaux and the Bushwise Team