NATURE AWARENESS / BUSHLORE (EXPERT) LEARNING EVENTS

Dramatically increase your nature knowledge and practical awareness and interpretation with 5 weekend breakaways.

BUSHVELD/SAVANNA SERIES

(Note that similar weekend programmes are available, on location, for all other BIOMES in Southern Africa)

Note to participants:

These unique weekend learning events are aimed at groups of friends or associates keen on improving their knowledge, understanding and practical skills of wildlife and the natural environment. It is not intended as a vocational course, and there are no tests or examinations.

The programme outlined below is based on weekends in March, May, July, September and November.  However, a group can decide to start at any convenient time, and spread the 5 weekends over any period, but not longer than 2 years, and with a frequency not less than 2 months between weekends. The events have been chosen to coincide with optimal periods for the relevant activities, e.g. birding in summer months, game species in dry winter months, flowering plants in spring, etc.

The onus is on the group to decide on a suitable location and make all bookings. (Accommodation costs to them could be avoided or reduced by using a friend who owns a wildlife ranch, game farm, or even a large stock farm with reasonable amount of game). It is important, however, that the venue is suitable to present the course, and should at least offer reasonable game viewing opportunities, and it is essential that both driving and walking is possible.  in The same group separately contract the services of Tour Guiding Leadership.

Groups book at a suitable venue, and at their own expense. The naturalist-instructor-facilitator-nature guide is hosted at the venue at the expense of the group which covers his accommodation, meals and travelling expenses. The group books his expert services at a fixed rate per person; with rates based on minimum and maximum numbers of participants (see below). Communication will be Afrikaans, English or combination thereof, according to the preferences of participants.

The level of presentation and instruction will be tailored according to requirements and preference of the participating group, but note that any level between absolute novice and expert/scientific/academic could be offered. The individuals who offer and present these weekends are triple qualified – 1) qualified nature guides, 2) qualified trainers/assessors of tourism and nature guiding courses, and 3), having tertiary experience in natural sciences.

Emphasis will be on integration of various fields of natural sciences in such a way as to have an enjoyable, practical application in the outdoors environment. Specific subject matter will be integrated WITHOUT turning any one of them into boring classroom session, despite introducing subjects via presentations and discussions, at suitably technical or non-technical level.

Minimum number of participants per group: 4 (smaller groups welcome, but  paying as if a group of 4)

Maximum group size: 8-10, depending on the number of passengers that could be carried in a single game viewing vehicle or bakkie (arranged by landowner, or the group making the booking, NOT the instructors).

 

Fee structure:

4 individuals:                R3000 per person, per weekend nett

5-6 individuals:             R2500 per person, per weekend nett

7-8 individuals              R2000 per person, per weekend nett

9-10 individuals            R1750 per person, per weekend nett

 

Note to landowners and/or their managers, of wildlife ranches, game farms, nature reserves and biospheres.

These weekend-series, perhaps offer an opportunity to increase and improve your own knowledge and experience, or those of your staff and family members. It also creates an opportunity to invite personal friends or acquaintances and offer them a unique experience (with you sponsoring them, at least with accommodation, and with you our your friends paying for the weekend programme)

It may even offer you a commercial incentive to lure paying guests to your property, and to offer this unique experience as part of your value offering.

If any of above is applicable to you, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit the website www.tourguidingleadership.co.za or phone:

            Kjeld Stefan:    082 539 2222

Jehan:              079 499 4695

 

NATURE AWARENESS PRORAMME OVERVIEW

Typical weekend programme:

Arrive Friday mid-afternoons, settle in, relax

Saturday:

§  pre-dawn coffee & rusks or other light meal

§  3 – 3.5 hours reconnaisance of farm/ranch/natural area; and general awareness

§  mid-morning brunch

§  2 – 2.5 hours Presentation and discussions (theoretical coverage of subjects)

§  Midday break (relax, swim, etc.)

§  starting 15h30 until early evening drive and walk (practical, interpretation) returning after dark

§  relax at campfire, dinner

 

Sunday:

§  pre-dawn coffee & rusks or light breakfast (no time wasted to get on with field visit)

§  2.5 – 3 hours practical observations, demonstrations and interpretation of natural entities and phenomena

§  mid-morning snacks

§  2 hours Presentation and discussions (theoretical coverage of subjects); final wrap-up

§  lunch

§  departure

 

Weekend 1: March

General Introduction; context, field skills and general wildlife observation; landscape catena sequence (habitat types and causal factors); grass, and grazing ecology; introductory emphasis on birds, grazing mammals, and animal tracks and signs; nocturnal animals; and celestial bodies (moon, planets, stars, constellations and mythology).

 

Weekend 2: May

Brief review of Weekend 1 to provide context for Weekend 2. Continue with general observations and interpretations about wildlife and other natural phenomena. Focus on trees and shrubs, their identification, and interrelationships with browsing game species. Bushveld climate and weather patterns explained, and based on elementary explanation of metereology. Part 2 of using your senses, with emphasis on hearing. Further study of the night sky, enhanced by an astromer and using a telescope (at extra cost).

 

Weekend 3: July

Brief review of previous weekends to provide context for Weekend 3.  Continue with general observations and interpretations about wildlife and other natural phenomena. Focus on wildlife ecology, animal behaviour, social organization, mainly of mammals, and enhanced with species overviews of a selection of antelopes, predators and Big Five animals. Animal spoor and tracking mainly of mammals, including a unique spoor chart for all mammal species. Dedicated work on leopard spoor (if present) – with ability to uniquely identify individual leopard and their home ranges! Part 3 of using your senses, with emphasis on smell.

 

Weekend 4: September

Brief review of previous weekends to provide context for Weekend 4.  Continue with general observations and interpretations about wildlife and other natural phenomena. Overview of invertebrates (insects, spiders, scorpions, etc.) with emphasis on main Bushveld species. Introduction to the edibility, medicinal and other uses by humans of plants. Navigation and  survival skills, and first aid in the wilderness. Continue with animal signs, spoor and tracking, and dedicated work on leopard spoor (if present). Part 4 of using your senses, with emphasis on touch and feel.

 

Weekend 5: November

Brief review of previous weekends to provide context for Weekend 5.  Continue with general observations and interpretations about wildlife and other natural phenomena. Focus on  bird identification and bird families, especially of the Bushveld, highlighting their ecology, behaviour, and social organization. Overview of reptiles and amphibians with emphasis on main Bushveld species.  Part 5 of using your senses, with emphasis on taste. Brief overview of other weekend programmes offered in other biomes in Southern Africa. Expanding your horizons to overland safaris, including equipment needed, planning and other aspects. Final wrap-up of the 5-weekends’ programme.