Knowledge is the key………….To becoming a successful and competent Field Guide!!!
Notwithstanding this, all the book knowledge alone cannot prepare you to become a Field Guide, which is why here at Bushwise, we empower by means of the practical application of all the Fgasa theory taught in the lecture room, and hence the very busy week that has passed.
The week kicked off with a two day, in depth First aid course. Much role play and emergency scenarios are simulated in order for the students to apply what they had learnt together with a written test at the end. One of the first and very important steps that are required in order to be a Field guide, and we are glad to announce that all have passed and achieved their First Aid certificates! Well done!
Days 3 and 4 saw the students attending their first of many lectures, namely Mammals and Reptiles, with game drives in-between focussed on these two Fgasa modules and the practical application of them in a guiding environment! The highlight of these game drives of course were the sightings of Lions on a kill. Fascinating interaction played out between the lions and the jackals. More lions were seen later in the drive lazing around at a waterhole and doing what they do best! (Sleeping of course). Various other plains game species, from giraffes to wildebeest, impalas to zebras and many others. We even had a special bird sighting which has not been seen in this area often – Double Banded Sand Grouse
Day 5 saw the students getting stuck in with more practical application of lessons taught, in this case, it was on vehicle basics. Basic Mechanics were taught – How and where to check for fluid levels, how to operate a hi-lift jack….. SAFELY! How to change a flat tyre amongst other important details that need to be completed on a daily basis. Emphasis here is so that students are aware that these tasks are expected from them when they enter the Field Guiding community as there are no tow trucks or repair shops that will come to their aid if faced with a situation miles away from civilisation whilst conducting a game drive or safari.
Next order of the day were the individual driving assessments of the students. This involved each student being accompanied by a Bushwise Trainer, in a Landover ‘game drive’ Vehicle (the real deal), and afforded an opportunity to strut their driving abilities in order for us as Trainers to determine weak and strong points of the individual students. This then enables us as Trainers to assist and develop their skills in order to provide a safe and enjoyable guided experience to their future guests.
Amongst all this frenetic activity, students still managed to put in study time for the tests on mammals and reptiles on day 6, which may seem unfair as it may appear that the students have had very little “me” time, the reality is that in the guiding community, your days are pretty much as busy in the real world and we are merely simulating what can be expected of you once you become a full-time, professional Field Guide. Taking a quick glance through all the completed test papers however, I can safely say that this new intake of fantastic students have all excelled and may take a bow as they have done extremely well. Well done once again, test results will however take a few days, bear with us guys and girls and all will be revealed.
Next week will see the next instalment of excitement and adventure!
Trevor and the Bushwise team