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Tensions were running high on campus as every student prepared for their final FGASA exam, and practical drive. A lot of preparation took place, but was it all worth it?

We started off with a morning coffee to give us the caffeine boost we required for the exam. We were then split into separate groups and taken to different locations where we would write our final FGASA exam paper for Apprentice Field Guide, NQF2.

There was complete silence, everyone focused and on a mission to write down as much CORRECT information as possible. Only the turning of pages could be heard and a small sigh here and there as we discovered yet another 10 pages of questions to complete.  At last the final page, the final answer which would determine whether our 6 months of intense training has paid off.

It was a tortuous five hours waiting to hear our results finally the message arrived. Everyone made it!!!

 After some celebrations, laughter and relief, we disappeared into our rooms to prepare for our last portion of the qualification process, the practical drive assessment.

Assessment game drive

 A three-and-a-half-hour drive sounds like enough time to relax and have some fun in the bush. However, having to talk about 17 different modules during the drive seems almost impossible. I would say one would at least require a five-hour drive to fit in all the information. Nonetheless, we were well prepared and sure not to get lost on the reserve (which personally was my biggest fear).  Our ultimate goal was to provide an incredible safari experience to the best of our ability.

Game drive

 Once you start your drive, the nerves tend to calm down as you go along and you realise that there is so much to talk about. You only need to drive 100m before stopping and talking about animal tracks and signs, interesting facts about botany, the geology of the environment and much more. It just shows how much knowledge we obtained during these past few months. When I first arrived, all I was interested in was seeing animals, but looking back, I now realise that seeing animals is merely a bonus to the safari experience. There is so much more happening in the bush that we are unaware of, and should also be regarded as very important.

 I am so excited to share this new information with guests and have them experience the smaller yet important aspects of nature. I am proud to say, that we are field guides in the making, like the campus, saying goes: “The bush will provide”.

 Furthermore, we received our first rains for the season and are incredibly excited to see the bush getting replenished and come back to life again. However, the rain did put a stop to our ARH training and assessment, but we needed the rain more! In the coming last semester, we will catch up with our ARH assessment before heading off for the practical apprentice trails course and then our placements. 

ARH training, break time

First summer rains

Blog by Elandri du Plessis