Hi there everyone!
First of all, ANT would like to congratulate all of our students on passing this year’s Correspondence Course qualification… You are all incredible people and fANTastic field guides!
Week two has been even more thrilling than the first as our students put in everything they have in order to ace the FGASA level one exam and the practical assessment. All the hard work definitely paid off as each and every one of them passed beautifully!
The stories in-between all the studying are absolutely worth a mention…
One day whilst studying under the cooling shade of the camp’s Natal Mahogany we heard the rustling of leaves and as soon as we looked up we saw an object falling from the sky right in front of us. A striking Tawny Eagle was hovering above as he had dropped a half-eaten African Green Pigeon about ten meters from where we were sitting. What a sight! We waited for him to reclaim his meal but instead he sat in the tree before deciding to fly off.
I can’t say that anyone would mind their study time being interrupted by a spectacular scene like this!
The students had the opportunity of driving the game-viewer whilst preparing for the practical assessment, followed by an African “sundowner” to end off another busy yet beautiful day in the bushveld. The amount one can learn in such a short period of time is amazing and it is incredible to witness. Another highlight was when we decided to sit at a gorgeous bird hide and wait to see what comes for a drink. The first ones to come for a visit were kudu, followed by waterbuck and blue wilderbeest. Three impressive giraffe were next. This is always a special sight! Just as we thought it couldn’t get better… A Side-striped Jackal decided to trot down to the water to quench its thirst. This is yet again a rare and awesome experience.
The time had come for our students to be assessed and write the exam and afterwards go for a well-deserved game drive… we had no idea what was awaiting us! It all started with spending an hour and a half with a magnificent female leopard and her cub. This was a first for most of us and we could not believe our eyes as we saw the cute cub playing around in the riverbed below us. It is something we know we might not ever again have the privilege to witness… so we took it in and enjoyed every second!
Just as we thought it couldn’t get better, we saw a beautiful herd of elephant as well as giraffe feeding on the Knob thorn trees. We then happened to find a gigantic herd of buffalo around seven-hundred strong! The best thing about buffalo is the fact that each one appears to have a different expression on their faces 🙂 It was incredible! We then stopped to look at a Weeping Boer-bean which had just begun to flower when Kim (one of the students) calmly said “there’s a cheetah under the tree”… We all suddenly realised we had stopped for a tree and got a cheetah instead! We then went on to see more buffalo, elephant as well as Ground Hornbills after which we had sundowners on a “koppie” overlooking the reserve. This must have been the best drive of our lives!
Can you believe all of this in two weeks?? I can now say that everyone will look at the African bush with new eyes which will never stop learning and seeing all the unbelievable things that mother nature has to offer.
The ANT Blog