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    A warm hello to all. Another week has flown by and it is amazing to think that there is only a week left for many our placement students before they head off to take their places in the circle of life. Slightly earlier than usual due to the industry going into an unusually busy season (great news for the industry, but a bit daunting for our students). The FGASA exams have been sent to the office for moderation and the results are out. I will leave it up to the individuals to make their own results known.  This week consisted of Level 1 practical assessment drives and there was a lot of pre – planning, stress, blood, sweat and tears involved. 

    Charles and Cobus have been doing 2 assessments a day, every day, and have probably picked up a few kilograms being treated to some amazing snacks on the game drives. The students relied on all their skills and knowledge gained over the past four months as well as a few new gained tactics to impress their “guests” and assessors on this very important game drive. As the week progressed so the level of stress increased and for some more than others. That in turn assured for high temperatures and very humid conditions where we had a temperature of 36°C at 18:15 on Thursday afternoon.

    Sightings during the week were good with lots of general game and quite a few students finding lion and elephant on their drives. One that stands out has to be Shawn’s drive where his sundowners was quite rudely interrupted by a herd of elephants that were very confused as to why there was a land rover with no guests in, parked on the road. Another is that of an African Wildcat on CJ assessment drive. Special indeed. 

    The weekend ahead brings a bit of relief from the pressure of the last two weeks and coming Monday its back to studying for trails guide exam, ARH re- assessments and Level 1 re-assessments. Keep up with the determination and focus that you all have shown up to now because a week is short but lots can happen. 

    Well done to all our students who have certainly put a lot of effort into studying and preparing for their drives. You continue to impress us. 

    Until next time,
    Conraad and the Bushwise team.

    Photos: Frank van Tiggelen