For the Hospitality students, Week 2 was filled with lots of practical activities and exciting outings in the beautiful surrounding areas of the Blyde River Canyon.
It kicked off this a South African Wine Tasting course at Safari Wine Club in Hoedspruit. They offer 300 plus different types of wine from all over South Africa. They showed the students how to identify wines and how the various regions affect the wines regarding their taste and smell. They also taught the students how to do wine pairing with food and how this will make the guests experience more rewarding.
Next was the a snake orientation course done at Khamai Reptile park near Hoedspruit. Some students had to face their fears and overcome them. Many of the creepy crawlies were too close for comfort but afterwards they definitely had a better understanding of dangerous snakes and insects. They now know to handle them and remove them safely if they pose a threat to guests.
An early morning departure to the Kruger National Park was arranged and Conraad educated students on various animals and birdlife found in these areas and to prepare them for questions Foreign guests may have regarding the Kruger National Park. A behind the scene tour of the Letaba Rest Camp proved to be very informative and an idea of how such a large camp operates. A visit to the Elephant museum was the highlight of the day.
The students started their radio communication skills as well as a basic 4 x 4 driving test. Let’s just say after this session all of them won’t be able to participate in the Dakar Off-road competition. Another lodge visit was done to the beautiful, unique and well established Garonga Lodge. The students got to see how each lodge is different but share the same elements. The students also had to get really creative and make their own welcome cards, design a menu & complete the bush dinner invitations. Afterwards they had to brainstorm and plan the finale Bush Dinner. All the students had awesome ideas and they came to life during the set up. Students had to do the whole layout, all the planning, budgets, menu and drinks list. A town trip was arranged to get stock and buy all the goods needed for the bush dinner.
The day of the bush dinner was a hive of activity, students were working very hard to make each step of the way perfect. From the bar area, to the dinner table & set up, to the bon fire and even the ‘bush loo’ had to come together and be both practical and functional………not too mention beautiful. The bush dinner was a great success and a lot was learned. Constructive criticism was given afterwards by experience guests from the Hospitality Industry and all were very impressed by the work done by the students as well as their hospitality and enthusiasm!
A surprise farewell lunch and outing to Blyde River Canyon was planned which all seemed to enjoy and appreciate. All the students are now at their placement lodges & settling in well. Constant support and communication will be kept during this period and we trust that they will make the most of it!
Good luck from Angela & the Bushwise Team