The final week of the first semester has arrived. One can say we are in the full swing of things, with lectures on ecology, taxonomy and survival and navigation in and amongst daily game drives focussing on the lecture topics. Sightings included lion, elephant and many other interesting species. However, these drives’ focus quickly shifted to finding the right bits and pieces to make friction fires for the much anticipated first sleep out of the course.
The students were greeted with the first rays of sunshine in the last few days of this week, bringing hope for those nervous about the cold weather. Sleep out began with the fire making challenge. The Trainers were quick out the blocks, with a group of students not far behind. Many minutes of sweat and smoke later, both teams had managed fire! It’s official – the July 2014 students are the first group to make fire, on their very first attempt! Not an easy task, and there shall be blisters shared amongst them for the next few days.
Once dinner had been cooked, it was time to settle down into the night watch routine. Some had an easier time sleeping than others, especially once some lions and hyenas began calling close to camp. The hopes of warm weather were soon frozen over as the cold winter night set in, those not brave enough to fight the cold huddled around the ever-burning fire. Finally sunlight broke, signalling time for the all-important morning cup of coffee before the students headed back to camp to begin studying for their final tests of this first semester. A special thanks to Angela Poggenpoel from the Bushwise Hospitality team for joining us on sleepout!
Today marks the last group for the 4×4 course – with new skills and knowledge already being put to the test and practiced, off road driving skills should be top notch come the summer rains (and mud!).
Good luck students, study hard and enjoy the upcoming off week. You’ve earned it.
Thanks to field guide student Francois Malan for the pics – to see more of Francois photos, have a look at his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UfotoAfrica?fref=ts
Until Next Time,
Rogan and The Bushwise Team