BY: Chloe Potier, Bushwise Student 2020
After a well-deserved rest week, we started our week in-full-force with taxonomy and bird tests. One way to get back into studying very quickly. We then continued with mammals and ethology lectures, extremely interesting chapters which nevertheless gave us a hard time as the scientific names of the different orders and families of mammals can be complex.
The few days before and after our return were quite rainy, so the Makhutwe river started flowing again, turning into a real torrent, signaling the return of the hippos in front of campus. After the rain comes the sun and with it the butterflies. We took the opportunity to identify butterflies in the reserve during which it was relatively easy to move away from the primary purpose of the mission and find oneself trying to identify and photograph each arthropod encountered. We also took advantage of the return of the water on Friday afternoon to go onto the banks of the river where we enhanced our knowledge of trees and birds while enjoying the calm of the bush.
This week we started our practical driving techniques. We were divided into small groups of eight students between two vehicles. So, while some enjoyed the comfort of the Land Cruiser others had to deal with the old Land Rover. Except for Alexander who seems to enjoy this car very much and took great pleasure in handling it. In these practical sessions, we learned to put our knowledge to the test which has been acquired in recent weeks about wildlife in order to entertain our guests as well as drive safely in the rough terrain. Some already seem very comfortable in this field and look like trained field guides already. This was quite impressive.
Finally, during these drives, the two groups were able to observe several lions including two magnificent males who offered us a superb show that many were expecting with great impatience. To such an extent that some, such as Zander our lion fan, could no longer contain his anticipation.
It was a full week full of discoveries that marked the beginning of this second semester, which I hope will be as incredible as the first. We wish you all a good day and look forward to what the next week will reveal for us from the Toro campus.