Good News and Goodbyes

24 May 2015

Well, I’ll start with the news about my Nature Guide exam!

I passed my practical!

It was actually an incredible drive, down more to luck than anything else. As soon as I entered the reserve, I found a pack of six lions hunting. I followed them all the way to the watering hole of Kwantu’s only hippo, who we could see peeking out the water. “He’s fine” I thought “He can see the lions. He won’t put himself in any sort of danger.”

Then, to my amazement, the hippo got out the water, marched right up to the lions and chased them all away with their tails between their legs! I mean, I knew hippos were territorial but… Wow! It gave me plenty to talk about!

Next we saw some rhinos, but didn’t stick around for long as the examiner was keen to see me do some tracking…

We finally found some droppings which I stopped to take a look at and, just my luck, I’d never seen such a type before! I used my guiding and tracking tools (in other words, a book about poo) and although it took some time and very careful examination I finally (and correctly!) identified them as Eland!

It wrapped up with a beautiful view in the valleys and a few teas and coffees!

That afternoon was my practical exam which, if I’m honest, I felt less than prepared for… I’ll find out the results in a couple of weeks but to be honest, I feel more than satisfied following that practical!

After the exam, Densely took us students on one last unforgettable Game Drive


Before dropping us off at dinner, where they recognised me on the Kwantu register by my recent CORRECT title!


Thank god I did that “practise pack” on Sunday though, because after an early morning three hour drive and the adrenaline of a two hour written exam I was ready to drop, and frankly good for nothing. So the next morning, I got up a little earlier to pack my bags and say my goodbyes to the Kwantu staff that had really made my time there as enjoyable as could be!

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Judgement Day is upon us…

21 May 2015

I can’t believe it’s here, but here it is! The examiner for the FGASA has arrived, to conclude whether or not we Nature Guide students are up to scratch!

Today, Sofia and Nina had their practical exams. I got to ride along, and can frankly say it’s no surprise that the two of them passed- they both did a great job and gave very interesting Game Drives!



The two of them are covered in Plumbegos in the picture, a sticky bluey purple flower traditional thrown on people in congratulations. Paul and I took the liberty of picking and sticking.

Tomorrow, I have my practical exam, a Dawn Drive, followed at 14:00 by my theory. I feel ok about the practical, but certainly not for the theory! I’d of preferred to spend more time studying for that than I’ve been spending on Game Drive practise/observation but… There we are. I suppose all I can do now is try for a good night’s sleep, and wait and see what cards I’m dealt.


Finger’s crossed!

Kittens and Bookworms

15 May 2015

As threatened, I spent last weekend here at Kwantu in order to prepare for my approaching Nature Guide exam, and intend to do the same this weekend! Luckily, the other students have chosen to do the same so there is company, but what helps even more are our newest residents:



Despite their complete lack of a knowledge of boundaries, their cuteness is very welcome and works well as an excuse to have plenty of breaks from excessive studying.

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