I’m a qualified Field Guide!
All the training that I’d received over the past two months had been leading up to a final assessment drive with real guests to look after. On the morning of my assessment I got up at 4.30am to prepare the Toyota land cruiser with snacks, hotboxes and blankets for the freezing cold morning. It was a slow morning for sightings as a dominant male lion had been reported in the area, which meant that most of the game had cleared out. So I decided to spend my drive tracking the lion and we were fortunate enough that after we had found him, he stayed walking along the main roads for most of the drive! The male was exhibiting some great behaviours for me to talk to my guests about, such as urine marking and scent tracking every few meters, so I had a great opportunity to conduct unique drive. After my assessment drive was finished I was given a post drive evaluation and told that I had passed!
It’s such a relief to have finished (and passed!) the course and I’m feeling happy to have gained this new qualification. The last few weeks seem to have flown by in a flash; before I knew it I was sitting at my graduation, getting handed my certificates and munching away on some of the local delicacies.
It already feels odd to have left the reserve and to be back in a city, not surrounded by trees and wildlife on a daily basis. I’m also missing the lectures that we had on this course as I have really loved learning about the bush. Learning and seeing something new every day was an opportunity like no other and I’m missing being a student (crazy I know!).
Shamwari Game Reserve has been an amazing experience and I’m really grateful to GMIH for helping me get onto this course and gain this great qualification. Thank you so much!