Week number three, July intake 2013, Bushwise Mahlahla basecamp, and things are a happening!
The week started with an opportunity of a lifetime with well known and award winning wildlife photographer
Albie Venter coming to pay us a visit on his way to Tanzania, and even graced us with a presentation. Albie`s talk was certainly applicable. Thank you Shirell for this timely intervention. He addressed us on a very rewarding and certainly mushrooming component of the guiding and hospitality industry – Wildlife Photography, and the guiding of such. Everyone learnt a lot, and our game drives have adapted yet another fascinating component since then – the use of film as medium, the awareness of light, and aspiring to capture a glimpse of Africa`s raw emotion.
Well done so far, and good luck fellow enthusiastic photographers on the course. Thank you Albie.
Reptiles and Botany were the subjects for the week.
Reptiles have the strangest effect on people – they either love them, or, well, have never got close enough to get to love them. A practical at the Khamai reptile park gave some `never gotten close enough to` individuals a rare opportunity to shift their paradigms, and so they did – well done brave souls! Khamai promotes the conservation of reptiles through education and research. It was a fabulous experience with world renowned Black mamba specialist Donald Strydom welcoming the group and giving us an introduction session jam-packed with relevant information. Damien our guide was excellent, and much fun was had by all. (Please do do yourself the favour and see pics of live demonstrations of Africa’s most venomous snakes, and/or the crucially endemic Golden Brown Baboon Spider) Thank you sincerely to Khamai Reptile Park and staff, that went the extra mile for Bushwise, to make this an unforgettable experience.
Botany is everyone’s favourite topic, having a deep understanding, since being exposed to it on a regular basis during their short life as humans, making them unusually fond of the subject (NOT)… So, needless to say, lectures were interspersed with body breaks, with the emphasis on caffeine as an example of common yet effective botanical derivatives. That worked, and, the practical sessions that followed, (hopefully) cemented some sound botanical ammunition for entrepreneurial guides!
It`s a green for go for budding botanists.
Balance is naturally a good state of being, so we added some fun to week’s recipe. Many game drives later, and on three different reserves, it came to Friday: Optional Activities. This is where balance is crucial, for today being Saturday, is the weekly exam sitting on topics covered during the week. So, just for good measure we chucked in some more (optional as it may be) fun into the broth – exploring potentially dangerous animal territory on foot. Excuse the pun; Awe-Some!
What a week, what an opportunity, what a privilege…
Sincerely, Bushwise Africa, Over and Out. – Cobus Spies