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Next step after Assessment Drives….Bush walks

After finishing up the last assessment drives on Monday and Tuesday, students were relieved to be able to take a break from studying and assessments. Starting from Tuesday, we began with bush walks which included learning about survival and navigation. This would prepare us for the Trails Course that many of the students will be embarking on soon.

Navigating steep inclines on a bush walk

Students were excited to begin walking, many of which these would be their very first bush walks, with the hopes of possibly coming across some awesome and incredible animals. From finding and following a herd of Elephants along the riverbed, with them having no worries about us at all, only to bump into another herd on our way out of the sighting. We were also able to see male Lions. Later on the constant sound of Vervet Monkeys alarm calling in the distance left us wondering what animal might pop out of the bushes, this time it happened to be two Cheetah brothers!

Cheetah on foot

It wasn’t all about the animals though, we were told to keep an eye on our lead guide and back-up guide through-out our walks, observing their behaviour and non-verbal communication during the three and a half hour treks down into riverbeds, through open plains and into dense bush, picking up skills that would be vital for us to know to one day successfully walk and guide our very own guests safely and happily out in the wild.

Break time

When your trainer asks you half way through your walk, “Which direction is the car?”, and you get eight students pointing in eight different directions all arguing that their direction is the right one is quite humorous! This gave us all a laugh, thankfully our trainers knew exactly where they were and got us all back safe and sound. Getting lost in the bush can happen faster than we know it, but by keeping calm and using the knowledge and skills we’ve been taught we will be fine and will make it back safely.

Elephant on foot

And then it was all about the Trails Theory exam

With the end of the semester in arms reach, Saturday morning the students awoke and gathered up by the classroom, waiting to be done with the last tests of the semester so they can enjoy a week off to recharge. The air was still and everyone was quiet, papers were handed out and we all started writing. Slowly, after what felt like ages of pen to paper, students began getting up and handing their papers back, leaving out the back and heading straight to their rooms to get back into bed or pack their things to leave camp for the week. The week is over and we are all ready to head our separate ways for a week break.

Thank you to all the trainers and staff at Bushwise for another successful and crazy semester, a lot was learnt and even more fun was had!

Author: Stefano Cerrai