It’s lovely to join the GMIH team and to share about my experiences so far on my field guiding training course in South Africa. I hope I can do it justice!
I arrived here a week ago and have already learnt so much about the reserve and guiding guests around. On our first day, we were given a game drive around the reserve to get to know some of the wildlife and already from the second day (after taking 4×4 driving theory and practical exams) have been driving our own game drives! Our instructors have been working in the field for over a decade and it has been really interesting to observe and learn from their differing styles of guiding. I’ve especially been watching the good drivers to pick up some tips on how to improve my skills! As the week has progressed, we’ve started to build up on our observation and identification skills in the field. Even though I knew nothing about ID-ing wildlife such as birds and antelope before I came here, I’m now able to pick up on certain characteristics and identify species, which has been an exciting development for me. In between all of our observational game drives, we’ve been having lectures on astronomy, geology and animal behaviours, and studying in any free time around that. My most memorable moment so far was when we pulled up to have a coffee break on one of our game drives and had to make a quick dash back to the car when we heard warning growls from the bushes…a quick investigation later we found a pride of lions just around the corner!
I know this all must sound like a lot of studying, but we’ve also had a lot of fun in the evenings having braais around the fire and getting to know one another which has made it all a really enjoyable experience so far.