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Another intense week lies behind everyone in the camp, full of Level 1 assessment game drives and Advanced Rifle Handling (ARH) assessments. By now, it is safe to say that all of us successfully passed our assessment drives, to the explicit noteworthiness by our Head Trainer. Well, well done, class of January 2018! The unfortunate truth nonetheless is that practical assessments are only half of the entire effort. This is why everyone’s focus now is on getting past the theoretical part of the Level 1 assessment. Needless to say, but ideally as successful as past the practical one.

The official agenda of the entire course is close to over which leaves room for spending some quality time on our last mutual game drives. With the South African winter now chilling the morning (and evening) air, our trainers took us on some amazing game drives as a distraction from further studying. Without the time constraints (and pressure) from past assessments, these drives took us to some more remote locations on the reserves we never came to witness before. And all of a sudden everything feels way different than just a couple of weeks ago. One of the students picks up some fresh tracks, others make out the sound of branches cracking in the background and shortly after we easily run into the next exciting sighting.

Photo by Amy Villis

And then there is the abrupt realization of the fact that this very Saturday is the last one that everyone on this course will spend together, probably over the (already) routine Saturday evening braai. Some of us might regret this fact, some might just look forward to what lies ahead. But in fact we have come to the end of an extremely interesting and quite challenging 20 plus weeks course.

Most of the students are close to start the optional second half of the program, namely a six-month-placement either in the lodging industry or with a research placement. After going through their individual interview process, the majority of placement students will be staying in the Bushveld area, with some going to places as far as the Waterberg region. The rest of the class will either be taking on a job within the industry straight away or heading home towards Europe.

Photo by Ben Coley

I once heard that it is highly recommended to finish an essay (or whatever kind of text) with a quote, most notably since there is always someone else who is able to express the essence of it in a more fancy, more spot-on or maybe more humorous way. Well, that is probably even true. However, I simply hope you guys have found / will find what you have been looking for by coming here.

Blog by Philipp Reick

Philipp Reick