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This week saw things heating up a bit more around camp as exam and assessment time comes closer, and what better way to relieve some of that stress than a trip to the very popular Kruger National Park(KNP)!!

Kruger is famous in just about every country around the world, and why wouldn’t it be?! Its 2 Million hectares of pure Bushveld, with amazing animal, bird and tree life around every corner. Although the main aim is stress relief, with amazing animal sightings, you never stop learning on a Bushwise activity. A few new trees were added to our students lists of trees they know, and the first group added almost 20 new bird species to their list! These included the very rare Secretary bird, and the heaviest flying bird in South Africa, the kori bustard, yellow billed and saddle billed stork, a wide variety of vultures, including the very rare and endangered white-headed vulture as well as a pied avocet, which is a rare one to see out here in the lowveld! One of the new trees which was aptly named the “boobie tree” by students, was identified as a Toad tree. If you want to know why it was named a boobie tree, have a look at the seed pods!

Whilst the groups were having a blast in Kruger, the students who remained at campus also went out on learning experiences in the form of walks, with the focus being on all the smaller things, looking out for spiders, grasses, rocks as well as those tricky to ID trees. A few students also tried their luck at tracking an elephant.

With all this excitement happening in the last two days, I’m almost forgetting about the first half of the week, in which we, as the instructors, took everyone out on game drives, and conducting assessment preparation game drives for our students. Sightings were amazing on these drives, as we saw a herd of elephant before we even got to the reserve as well as some hippos out of the water during their nightly feeding routine. Other smaller animals were also spotted in the form of small and large spotted genet, hyena and of course a lot of nice general game with some amazing sunsets to end the drives on.

After all that, we also had another day filled with lead! We assessed our students on their ability to handle a high powered rifle, with some of the guys doing great, and showing a lot of improvement since their last assessments. Afterwards a small group of students went off on an optional game drive, where they were fortunate enough to spend some time with one of the lion prides, again! It is unbelievable how many lion sightings we have had on this course!

As the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun. It’s crazy to think that, in less than a week, all the hard work over the last few months will have paid off as the final FGASA exam will be over and done with! Good luck to all our students, we know you will do well and give it all you’ve got this next week!

Until Next Time,

Charles and The Bushwise Team