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    As we are now fast approaching the end of the course, this week saw the Mahlahla campus winding down a little bit after the busyness of the last few weeks (and by having a quiet week, it was still pretty busy!). Early on in the week, we finalised our FGASA level 1 assessments, and what great sightings! Leopard, cheetah and a breeding herd of ellies! One thing is for sure Daniël MUST have been wearing his lucky socks on that drive, or perhaps just karma being nice to him after his first drive rained out, and had to be cancelled due to the high amount of lightning present. Well needed rain, which we are grateful for, and hoping that it was the boost we need to get us through to the next rainy season’s start, which normally takes place in November.

    Grietjie campus students continued on with Level 1 assessment drives and had loads of elephant sightings including a couple of irritated juveniles in one of the breeding herds. A highlight was an African wild cat on Thursday evening. By the end of the week all the stress had turned to broad smiles all round as every student passed and they are now officially able to call themselves qualified level one guides. Well done to you all!

    In other news, now that everything level 1 related has been done and dusted, we are starting to focus more on trails again, with a few walks going out this week, and a few more dangerous game sightings logged under our belts, and perhaps a fall or two…. And who can forget two very memorable bush-dinner set-ups! Students practiced their hospitality skills by setting up and hosting bush-dinners for the rest of the group, and all we can say, is the creative juices were flowing!

    For the Mahlahla group, Thursday was spent winding down some more, by doing a trip and sleepout at Mariepskop, which is a glorious mountain which not only towers over the Lowveld, but is also recognised as a forest, so a great learning experience was had by all students. Bits of forest birding was done and new birds identified, and a few brave individuals found out just how cold the water in the river really was!

    As many of you know, yesterday was World Endangered Species day, and here at Bushwise, we are very passionate about saving Rhino’s, so we brought in one of the anti-poaching teams operating in our area to come and explain to our students more about what they do. We also fully support the world endangered species day, and Rally4Rhinos, a social media campaign to raise awareness and protection for our Rhino’s! A big thank you to Pete and the K9 conservation team for coming out, and of course, the amazing work you do to protect our wildlife.

    After a morning game drive, it’s time to start a well-deserved week off! For now you can all have a sigh of relieve and relax for a few days, before it’s back into action with the focus on the Trails Guide exams and placements. Enjoy all, travel safely and see you back at campus in a week!

    Until Next Time,

    The Bushwise Team