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Introducing 3 of our new recruits

– Frank De Rijcke –

Yes, the next part of my adventure has started! After 5 months studying in the bush in different camps, I can finally share my knowledge with guests at Kololo Game Reserve, an amazing lodge next to Welgevonden Game Reserve. The area is completely different from where I’ve been, but that’s one of the reasons why I like the South African bush so much, every area is different and has his itsown unique sightings! On our first game drive we were lucky enough to spot lots of white rhino and 5 cheetahs on the road. A mother with 4 sub adults, one of the most wonderful things to see out here. We also spotted some new birds as well, a bonus for me as a birder. Hopefully I will see a lot of these rare amazing sightings and I can contribute to the lodge by guiding guests and sharing my enthusiasm for nature with them!

– Maree Blom –

Fresh from completing the FGASA Professional field guide course, I packed up my bags for a new adventure and headed into the gates of Kololo Game Reserve for my 6 month placement.

Life started off quickly and only a few hours later I was fortunate enough to be greeted with a game drive into this magnificent part of the Waterberg area with grasslands stretching out below the evening sun. Game on Kololo and Welgevonden is plentiful and encompasses the excitement of a Big Five area.

With the assistance of head guide, Ralph Kirsten, Sibu and the other 2 senior guides, Jan, Erik and Kelvin, we were introduced to our new guiding world. Radio procedures, sightings, guests and an in-depth view of how all the various departments of a lodge come together to ensure that we will be equipped with the tools to provide an overall amazing experience for our guests, as Kololo does so well.

Standards are high and I am grateful each day for the opportunities and adventures, learning so much and preparing us up for a world of possibilities and experiences to one day make our way in this industry. Once the bush bites, there’s no turning back! So far we’ve seen some amazing sightings of Cheetahs (1 Female and 4 sub-adult cubs), a pride of Southern Lions, Dinokeng and his lioness, Nala, massive elephant bulls and close sightings with the white rhinos on the reserve, not to mention the incredible diversity of plants, antelope, insects and other arthropods.

Looking forward to what lies ahead and sponging up all the new knowledge and info. It’s 04:30am in the morning and the stars look amazing, can’t wait for today’s sunrise and all the next sunrises to come…

– Luisa Auletta –

I already spent two weeks here at Kololo Game Reserve and it seems like the time is flowing very quickly. So many sightings and lots of new knowledge in such a short period.

On one of my first game drives with head guide Ralph I had the pleasure to meet Nala, the majestic lioness living in the southern part of Welgevonden Game Reserve. Few days later we met with her and Denoking, the male lion.

Every day is signed by a different emotion and for the first time I enjoyed the view of White Rhinoceros with their beautiful horns grazing peacefully all around.

In this picture we have the most famous family of the Reserve, a cheetah female with four cubs! I can never forget that day, when I was sitting alone in the vehicle enjoying their company. It’s insane to see them totally disappear silently in the long grass!

My experience here is not signed just by big game, but also by small things. As a reptile lover, finally I saw my first Puff Adder, a juvenile. So small, so dangerous!

After a few days, driving around Kololo with the other students, we saw one of my favourite reptile crossing the road pretending to look like a leaf: a flap-necked chameleon! I was so happy.

The smell of the fresh grass in the early morning combined with the smell of the wild mint, the wonderful sunrises and sunsets, the fresh and pure air that brush my hair and last but not least the landscapes. Such an amazing place to gain experience and improve my skills as a field guide!

As a student I’m learning also learning about the different departments inside the lodge, starting from the restaurant to housekeeping.

Lot of stuff to learn, lots of work to do and more to see! But, as all things that I do, I will give my best!

Photo credits:  @jan__wilke

 

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