By: Chris Magee, Bushwise student 2020
The second semester was definitely something new for me. I had overcome so many challenges and with that came a lot of respect for those that had done it before me. This included the hard work when it came to studying (with the extra pressure of making sure I meet the minimum mark requirements set by Bushwise) as well as the hard work when it came to the clearing of the bush and maintaining the reserve. It was definitely a new experience and still a massive thrill as I learn more and more about the bush and the life it contains each and every day.
Some examples of the bush that I can say I have really enjoyed are the game drives where I had the opportunity to see the amazing wildlife and I could take some spectacular photos of my own. From the king of the bushveld to a beautiful “little” baby elephant, each and every one of these animals makes up only a fraction of what I have seen so far. I cannot wait to get out into the surroundings of nature as much as possible, just to see, admire, and capture (where possible) the beauty of nature in all its glory. I for one can say that this experience in my life right now will never be forgotten. It is one thing to experience nature from a game vehicle but sleeping out in the presence of wild animals around you is the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life.
Sleeping out in the middle of the bush was an experience that will never be forgotten. There are no manmade buildings or facilities that you find everywhere in the cities. What was so amazing about the experience was the silence of the bush and it took a little getting used to at first. When we first arrived, we had to set up camp and make sure we had a safe place to sleep – we are in the middle of the bush after all. Once we had set up, I helped get the fire going for our evening braai as the sun fell behind the horizon. Night-time was a thrill and scare on its own but hearing the lions roar and the hyenas laugh was another kind of sense of adventure. Part of sleeping in the bush is everyone having a turn to keep watch while the others slept, and I found this to be really exciting. When it was my turn, with a few others, our job was to watch the fire and look out for dangerous animals.
In the beginning, you are quite hyped up, but as the time went it was more about watching the fire doesn’t die and also making sure the scrub hares don’t come and nibble our toes because of how quiet it was. But an experience I can definitely tick off on my bucket list.
Ending off the semester was a new feeling compared to the first. I had learned so much more and I really didn’t want it to end. I have become so comfortable being at Bushwise that it is starting to feel like home and seeing everyone go their separate ways, even if it was just for a week, really made me realise how close we have all become. But I know that the sun must go down at some point or the day will never end, but I also know that the sun will always rise the next day, starting a new day, a new fresh start, and I cannot wait to experience new adventures and learn even more in semester three.