The second week of our 2013 intake started with some much appreciated relief from the heat. Overcast cloudy weather greeted us all on Monday morning and needless to say, has not left us yet. By Wednesday morning, I’m sure our students from the UK thought they were back home.
Monday morning’s lecture was on vehicles, just one of the extra things we as guides have to know a fair bit about. The rain gave us enough chance to do our practical in the afternoon and all the students were able to change a land rover tyre, using a high lift jack, for the first but surely not the last time.
Due to the welcomed, but terribly wet weather conditions, for doing game drives that is, the weekly planner was amended. After the amount of rain fall that we’ve had, roughly 120mm, the damage that vehicles cause to the roads are irreparable and sightings scarce, so we spent a lot more time in the lecture room. We covered vehicles, radio ethics, communication, reptiles, mammals and geology. Finally, the students had to deliver a presentation on mammals, an animal species which they drew out of a hat. Thrown into the deep end, they had to either sink or swim (excuse the pun), and with only four and a half hours to prepare themselves they came out on top. Well done everyone!
Yesterday, the sun finally showed itself for a few short hours, and that was our que! Off we went on the most rewarding game drive of the course so far. We found rhinos wallowing in the mud, and a breeding herd of elephants with young, a mere 100m away! We also stumbled upon lions on the way back to campus. Apparently, we looked inviting, as they quickly surrounded the vehicles and decided to take some time out. As an extra treat, we also saw a baby flap-necked chameleon. Definitely has the ‘awww’ factor! We were a little late for dinner, but what a drive!
Today, our students are preparing for the first tests of the course – Intro to guiding and Mammals – being written tomorrow morning. The weather has been a bit erratic, with on and off showers the whole day – however, the first trails group has gone out this afternoon, braving the few drops of rain – to find rhino and elephants on foot.
Not a bad week in the bush!
Until next time,
Conraad and the Bushwise team