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So it’s that time of the year again, or should I say, that date of the year that some have been waiting for! Yes, the 8th of July indicates that a new group of Bushwise students have arrived for their dreams to become a reality! Well done to them for taking their first steps towards this dream of somehow being involved in the extensive career options that this field and the Bushwise course can offer. From Guiding, Animal rehabilitation, Breeding or Reserve Management, the list goes on and the choice is yours. Whatever they chose, it is a good start and by the end of the course I am sure those that were not sure on one specific end goal would have had a clearer idea of where they see themselves in the future.

Wednesday was the official arrival day, with students arriving throughout the day. By 5pm, all had been accounted for and were all excited to see their new surroundings and meet their fellow students.  Although the week has been relatively short, excitement at camp is quite difficult to explain as everyone is very eager to get to work and enthusiastic to learn. The group seemed to ‘click’ from day one with allot of chatter and stories being exchanged of who they are and why they are here. After a delicious dinner from Iris, all the necessary introductions were made and everyone retired early to unpack and get to know their roommates better.

Waking up to a beautiful day on Thursday morning, the students gathered at the Classroom for a quick intro to how things are going to work over the next few weeks and months on Campus. A quick health and safety briefing was held and for the rest of the day the students got to know their way around camp.

In the afternoon, Kobus gave a lecture on the some interesting critters the students could expect to come across at camp and what to be careful of. This included what venomous spiders, scorpions, snakes and insects to watch out for and what to do in case of any incidents regarding these critters. Needless to say, some of the students walked out of the classroom with a touch of paranoia and phantom itchy spots……

A braai was held that evening where we all got to know each other a little bit better around a ‘lekker’ bonfire. Trevor was our Braai Master and did a fantastic job with the steak which was cooked to perfection. Many of the students having not tasted braai meat before were pleasantly surprised, so thanks Braai Master Trevor!

Friday morning starts off with students getting ready for their first town trip, all looking very good in the new uniform. This is an opportunity to get any remaining supplies they might need, something they forgot or simply couldn’t fit in with their luggage. Saturday, will just be a quick introduction to the guiding and hospitality industry and basics of vehicles and radios etc.
The students experienced their first game drive on Friday evening and everyone was very excited. There were some special sightings which includes Brown Hyena and a breeding herd of Elephants. Some secretive animals were also spotted after dark like the Scrub Hare and Lesser Bushbaby. There was plenty general game to observe as well as some interesting birds like the Brown Snake Eagle and the Green Wood Hoopoe who were making plenty of noise in the high trees.

For this course, we not only have new students, but we also welcome three new Bushwise staff members joining our team. Welcome to the team Kim, who will be handling Sales, Almero, who is our new trainer and Sharin, who has taken over all the admin and behind the scenes Management that Shirell was handling.  Although some of you have been helping us and been connected to Bushwise for a number of years, it’s great to officially have you as a part of the team!

That’s all for this week,

From Charles and the Bushwise team