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    Hello again from the Bushwise campus. The last week of the third semester the focus was on final preparations for the ARH assessments (Advance rifle handling). Almost all of the students made it past the basic stage but silly mistakes were a very common occurrence. Well done to Ben who made it all the way to the advanced stage and was able to pass it as well. Fortunately the students will have another opportunity at it during the fourth semester.

    The game drives during the week also gave them more practise to prepare routes and sharpen their skills in preparation for the level 1 assessments that are just around the corner.  The majority of our placement students have received information on where they might go, and many of them have been for interviews at prospective lodges. The game viewing during the week was outstanding, with all three groups having had sightings of cheetah, lions and rhino. The sighting of the week was definitely that of a female leopard and her two seven month old cubs that we were fortunate enough to spend about 30 minutes with. The week was ended on a high note with a practical bird slide and sound I.D. exam before the well-earned and deserved off week. Reality has kicked in and although some students travelled to the likes of Mozambique, Durban and Cape Town for their off week, their study material accompanied them as the FGASA Level 1 exam sitting is on the 30th of October.

    On the start of a very busy and most important semester four, we were welcomed back by some much needed rain, the first bit of the season and it brought some relief from the humidity and heat we’ve been experiencing. We kicked it off with a tree practical I.D., and the trainers conducted the afternoon game drives to reiterate vital points for the upcoming Level 1 assessments. The students were treated to daytrips into the Kruger National park and on their return to campus were spoiled to a simulation of a bush dinner by their peers. Bush dinners are just one of the very many other tasks we, as guides, assist with in the industry and are good practice for hosting skills.

    The two daytrips into Kruger delivered great sightings. Big herds of elephant and buffalo as well as lion, leopard, rhino, numerous bird species and a lot of the creepy crawlies out and about after the rain. A very special sighting of a pack of wild dogs, Africa’s most endangered carnivore and a first for most of the students was the highlight of the week. With four days left until they write level 1 I would like to wish them all the best, and remember boys and girls, hard work always pays off.

    On a sad note, trainer Trevor Myburgh has left the team to take advantage of an amazing oppourtunity with his partner, Sharin. Trev, thank you for your last 2 years with us and we wish you and Sharin all the best in your future endeavours. 

    Until next time…

    Conraad and the Bushwise team

     (Leopard photo credit to Ben Forster).