Trails Guide South Africa – Tadjara
Tadjara took part in our Trails Guide course amidst South Africa's pristine wilderness. In her feedback you can learn more about her wilderness adventure.
Project: Trails Guide Course in South Africa
Location: Makuleke in South Africa
Duration: End of September until end of Oktober 2019 – 4 weeks
Support from the Natucate team:
Trails Guide Course in South Africa - Feedback: Eight questions for Tadjara
1) Could you give us a brief overview of your activities in the course?
The Trails Guide course is about learning how to approach potentially dangerous animals on foot without hurting anyone. So no animal, no human, no environment. This course is less about the animal biology and more about their behaviour.
You will also learn to move and orientate yourself in your surroundings using nature as a guide. You learn to pay attention to the sun, the wind and the sounds. All human senses are promoted and strengthened. These things are also important in the Field Guide Level 1 course – but when you're on foot, they're even more important.
In addition, there is the handling of a large caliber (.375 or .458). Several days will be spent on a shooting range to learn the professional handling. And also back in camp sufficient time is invested in order to do dry exercises.
The majority of the course is about running and gaining experience in the bush. Twice a day it goes out and is run and learned practical.
2) What were the biggest challenges for you during the course?
A challenge are long days that are associated with a lot of learning. You have to adjust a bit to the fact that the time for learning is rather scarce. A very big challenge might also be the reduced privacy during the course.
The other challenge was certainly the weight of the rifle. I'm not insanely tall, so I had some trouble getting used to the weight and length of the barrel.
3) Was there something you liked most? Or something you remember particularly negatively?
Makuleke is simply a special place. There's nothing you can't like about it. The concession is so diversely structured that there is something to see every day that you have never seen before. Makuleke lets you walk around like a child with wide eyes and open jaw.
4) Did you have certain expectations before you travelled to the course?
I did not have any particular expectations as I had already attended the course once.
5) Have you done anything in your free time that you can recommend to future participants?
I spent my time studying, studying, studying. The problem with me was definitely the English language. It is not a problem to have a conversation, but then to actually take up high English biology knowledge was more difficult than expected. Above all, I had to translate everything into German before in order to understand what I had learned and then translate it into English in my own words. A classmate and I therefore needed more time than others. We also wanted to learn more birds and finally remember the botanical names of the trees. But we stumbled around in the camp for hours and looked at the trees. Of course, you only need this knowledge for the Field Ops, but after all you are in the bush to learn about all the creatures.
6) What recommendations would you give to other participants?
In my opinion, if you have never shot before, you should do the shooting training at EcoTraining and not in advance. In order to really get exercise and to get used to the weight of the rifle, you should take the opportunity with EcoTraining. Especially for small people and/or those who are not into sports (I am under 1.60m and not into sports at all) it is worthwhile to do as many dry exercises in the camp as possible.
7) Can you estimate how many additional costs you had on site?
I spent about 500-700 ZAR a week. It all depends on how much you want to spend on additional drinks.
8) Here is still place for other suggestions or reports from you:
Thank you very much for organising my stay and helping me before, during and after the course.
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