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    On the agenda for the week was VPDA, SASSETA, game drives, amphibians and sleep out. Simple enough. Sure… Not.   Take a deep breath, this gonna be a Looong sentence:Potentially dangerous animals, rifles and the law, lesser galagoes and giant eagle owls, and ellies, african wild cats, cheetah, leopards and lions, blind snakes and black mambas, spiders everywhere, and frogs, lots of frogs, and jackals and hyenas, and … nightwatch, and nap, and study, and test, and..chill. It turned out to be, in actual fact, an exhilaratingly busy week!

    VPDA stands for Viewing Potentially Dangerous Animals. Essentially the introduction to becoming a fully fledged Trails Guide. The opitomy of guiding exposure; On foot in Africa. In order to successfully practice a skill, the theoretical base needs to be laid down, and this what we doing in VPDA. Ethical considerations are of obvious importance when walking animals on foot in Africa, with rifle in hand, which brings us to the next point- competency. SASSETA is the basic rifle competency you need in order the handle a rifle on a guided experience in South Africa, well, we’ve done it, this week, and all 21 learners have been found competent. Nice firing some rounds there hey guys, and girls! Some for the first time, some are used to it, all the same, well done!

    With half the group honing their skills on the shooting range the other half got up to hobos of equal good in the form of exploring a new part of the reserve, Pidwa, that welcomed us this week! Sightings were plentiful, and exceptional, as can be seen from the` brief` introduction sentence above. Not all sightings were from the new part of the reserve, some were simply on the way to the shooting range, none the less,  it was a good week!

    Our sleepout attempts thus far have been, well, kinda hijacked by the weather and its whimsical turns.  In fact, the standing joke `round camp is that we can predict rain to farmers in the area, simply by confirming a sleepout. Yes we’ve been rained out good and proper before, but not this time… Getting a fire started  took a while, understandably, cause everyone was rubbing sticks and stoned together… eventually, as the sun set, a tiny glow made the kindling smoke, and soon enough, a  flame licked at bejewelled skies… sleepout s are epic, always. Finally, mission accomplished! 

    Worn out from the previous evening’s nightwatch, souls drift into the afternoons question and answer session in preparation for today’s theoretical examination. Good luck!

    Ps:  Next week is Tracking…Awe…-Some…

    Until Next time,

    Cobus and The Bushwise Team

    Thanks to Nick Newman for the photo.