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Semester 1 – Week 3. Week three began with lectures on Botany and Bird Theory – two very in depth subjects that we are so far only scraping the surface of! A couple of Botany Walks followed where we had the opportunity to use our new found knowledge to identify trees.


Wednesday turned out to be the day everyone had been waiting for. The first lion sighting of the course. A young male and female were found seeking shade beneath a couple of bushes and a poor leopard tortoise lay overturned – the end result of one of the lion`s shenanigans no doubt – only a metre or two away from them, but with some great navigating on the side of one of our fellow students and the brave stick of our trainer Trevor the tortoise was quickly turned upright. He made a surprisingly speedy escape.

wm upsidedown tortoise

On the afternoon drive another group was treated to even more lions, climbing up trees and being chased by grumpy rhinos no less. What an experience. Though those who had headed to the Makalali Game Reserve ended up getting a tad wet, when the enormous thunderstorm passed overhead. Yet at the sight of the sky being illuminated like New Year`s Eve as the lightning bolts streaked across the dark sky made any complaints about wet clothes evaporate into thin air.

On Thursday we were treated to a trip to the Kinyonga Reptile Park where we had the chance to get up close and personal with both the scaly as well as the 8 legged creepy crawlies, both local and international! Some of the group even overcame their arachnophobia and bravely held a large female Baboon Spider – well done guys!


In the afternoon we once again got the chance to go out on a Game Drive and found a bunch of hyenas at a recent wildebeest kill with the vultures and jackals milling around in the background, waiting for their chance to come.

Adrenalin marked Friday`s early morning. A couple of us students got to go on the first bush-walk in Makalali and boy they were not disappointed. We had some close encounters with the Big 5. Our nerves were definitely put to the test there, but in the end there was not one single face to be found that was not smiling.

Friday rolled to an end with fevered studying – as per usual – and the weekend close enough to grasp.

Blog by current student Rachel Watts