21 students start new adventure at Bushwise: their experiences of the first week
On the 8 January 2018, a group of 21 new students started their adventure at Bushwise. 21 students from all over the world (South Africa, United Kingdom, Unites States, the Netherlands, Namibia, Germany, Portugal, Jordan and Italy) with 21 different stories, but they all have one thing in common: their love for the African bush. In the coming six months, the students will study a variety of topics, such as guiding, botany, geology, animal behaviour, mammals, reptiles and birds.
The first lecture was an introduction into guiding and contained a lot of information about which skills you need to be a guide, how to prepare a guided experience, which things to bring on a game drive, etc. The students quickly learned that lectures in the bush can be quite different from lectures at college or university. The lecture needed to be put on hold for a couple of minutes to release a baby python that was found earlier. None of the students minded of course and were happy to see such a thing at close range.
Driving ability assessment
On the second day at Bushwise, the students had their driving ability assessment. They had to show the trainers that they are capable of driving a 4×4 with a manual transmission. All participating students passed their assessment and they will soon sit behind the wheel during their first game drives.
Visit to reptile centre
Another great activitiy during their first week, was a visit to the local reptile centre. During this visit, the students had the possibility to see many different reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. They were present at the feeding of three black mambas by one of the staff members of the reptile center. The highlight of the visit was an interactive session with live snakes (boomslang, puff adder and snouted cobra) and a baboon spider. For many students it was the first time that they saw these animals from this close and I’m sure they will not soon forget it.
First aid course
Lastly, the students did a 2-day first aid course. Amongst other things, the students learned to give CPR, to treat wounds, immobilse broken limbs and what to do in case of a snake bite. All students participated enthusiastically and this resulted in a 100% pass rate. Congratulations to all students.
Time to relax
In addition to all this learning, the students also found time to relax. They had their first bush braai, a scenic ‘sundowner’ on a bridge and they went to the local bar to play some pool and have a couple drinks. If the rest of the course is going to be the same as their first week, the students are in for the time of their lives.
Blog & pictures by Sebastiaan Kroon