Finally we have started our blog. Apologies for those who’ve waited for some time to hear our news, but the 4G/3G reception is a little tough out here in the African bush in the lowlands by the mountains! Thank you for your patience.
For those of you who don’t know us, Quin and I (Mags) have begun our wild life change from global city slickers to living amongst the wildlife here in the South African bush learning to be nature field guides (safari guides). We are trying it out for a year and towards the end will decide what our longer term future holds. Together we have lived in London in the UK, the Netherlands, Singapore and Sydney, Australia. About a year ago we decided whilst we were doing very well in our IT network engineer & Electrical engineering careers, the road ahead just wasn’t so appealing anymore. Quin has had a strong long-held passion for the African bush safari and all the associated nature and wonder with it. If we weren’t travelling here for it, he was watching about it on Nat Geo TV or reading about it online. For me, I went straight from school to university to working, so a gap year has been long overdue and it’s great to have some time to reflect and regain my passion and interests. After raising money and volunteering with an NGO, RAW Impact in Cambodia earlier this year building a school for a village, I was really happy to be able to contribute something tangible to people in need and inspired by the team at RAW, so perhaps working with local organisations here and contributing to conservation efforts here might work too!
After much research, we chose to study our FGASA Level 1 certification (Field Guiding Association of South Africa) through NJ More Field Guide College, a fairly new enterprise from ex-Eco Training students/teachers associated with MORE Group which own several 5-star luxury hotels and safari lodges around South Africa. The reason we chose this group was because of the extra short courses included (such as tracking, trails guiding, wildlife photography and advanced rifle handling) the exclusivity of the college (only a small number of students enrolled compared to others around), and the opportunity to have a practical work placement at one of their prestigious lodges.
On day one we met most of our fellow students in Johannesburg and went to register at FGASA headquarters where we equipped ourselves with some recommended reading materials. We are luckily amongst a group of people between the ages of 18 to 54, with a good mix of foreigners and locals compared to the most recently graduated cohort who were mostly quite young.
When we got to camp, located in the Waterberg province of South Africa in a private game reserve, we were shown our accommodation. We are glamping for the next 6 months at least!
|Our accommodation – platform safari tents||Inside the tent and doorway to ensuite|
On our blog main title photo, you see our lecture room called a lapa in the centre of the photo, which also serves as our dining room and common study area. The glass enclosed building is our library and rec room.
When we gathered for our first day on camp, we were given the FGASA level 1 learning materials – wowsers there’s a lot to learn!
|FGASA Level 1 Learning Material||Reference books|