Tracking and Field Guide Level 1 Africa – Katrin
In our feedback questionnaire Katrin reveals more details about her time as a Field Guide Level 1 and Tracking student in Southern Africa. Learn more
Course: Field Guide Level 1 and Tracking
Location: Selati and Pafuri / South Africa and Mashatu / Botswana
Period: April to July 2018
Support by the Natucate team:
Partner on site:
Field Guide Level 1 und Tracking – Feedback
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your activities in the course?
The days started at 5:30 or 5:00 am if you were on duty shift. At 6:30 am we went out into the bush, either by vehicle or by foot. During these excursions our practical skills got tested: Guiding, driving, tracking, trees, animal behaviour – we literally dealt with anything that crossed our path.
At 10:00 am (mostly when everyone was back) breakfast was served. This was followed by a lecture and self-study time. Self-study time should be carefully planned as laundry, showering and training need to be considered as well (for those who are interested: in Selati, there is a great “bush gym”). Time actually goes by very quickly. At 03:00 pm we had High Tea (tea and snacks) and then went back to practical learning: walking or game drives until sunset.
At 07:00 pm we received dinner, sat down by the campfire, studied, read and went to sleep. The days are very busy. You often go to bed early and listen to those who are still sitting by the fire, dancing, singing. Over the course of the eight-week training, learning breaks are usually short. At the end the workload tightens a bit but can be handled well. For all those, who don’t take the final test at the end of the course it is also a very enriching time.
2) What was the biggest challenge(s) for you during the course?
It is important to fill in the workbook from the beginning, otherwise it will be some busy days for you at the end of the course. Right from the start, you should also start learning the English terms.
3) Was there something you liked most? Or something you remember particularly negatively?
- The extra trips that were planned, e.g. Central Mashatu or the Cicade trip to Selati – these were very nice. Another highlight was the traditional wedding we were able to attend thanks to one of the course instructors.
- To consciously start every single day with the sunrise and end it with the sunset: this makes a difference!
- The library in Selati: I wish I’ve had more time to deal with all the books.
- In the end, it sometimes would have been nice to have a little more learning time, as for most participants English was not the first language. But after we mentioned this problem to our instructor, they took care of it immediately. In Mashatu, study day was always on Sundays and this was well organized.
4) Have you done anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
We went on a week-long journey in the Kruger National Park.
I strongly recommend the accommodations in the Hides, especially in the Shipandani Hide.
5) What tips would you give to other students who want to do the course?
You should buy an MTN card directly at the airport right next to the arrival gate, an advice I received from Daniel. MTN worked well in the camps, other participants with Vodacom had some problems.
6) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on site?
I spent about 30,-€, incl. a t-shirt from NATUCATE's partner, but I only consumed little alcohol. When we changed camps we bought a few bottles of wine, that works perfectly fine. People who like to drink a sundowner in the camp regularly (beer, savanna from the camp fridge) need a bit more pocket money.
7) Here is still space for other suggestions or stories from you:
I'll be back!