Guiding involves much more than just driving our wonderful guests around. Much of what we do is behind the scenes. Many of us have gone through a Ranger Course, usually a year long process with six months theory and six months practical. Others have gone and gotten a Nature Conservation Degree. But no matter how you started Guiding, your learning continues as long as you are working in the bush.
Today, four guides and five trackers started a week long Track and Sign Course. Everyday for a few hours we go out with an assessor and are evaluated on tracks. The assessor will circle tracks and signs throughout the day. One by one we go up and have a look, then we whisper to the assessor what we thought it was. He then goes over each track and sign in minute detail, explaining why and how we were right or wrong.
Today, Day One, our tracks included: Monitor Lizard in the mud, Rhino territorial marking, Guinea Fowl, Lion lying on it’s haunches, Chameleon, Hippo, Hornbill, Warthog, what the sand looks like after ant’s are done, Porcupine diggings, Dwarf Mongoose droppings, and many more. The difficulty of the track is rated by the type of substrate, the freshness of it, etc.
All though we ended the day with our brains maxed out and our knees raw, all nine of us had learned at least one new aspect of the bush that we can now share with our guests and fellow rangers. Who knows what will happen tomorrow.
By: Noelle DiLorenzo – River Lodge Ranger