This is one of the principles that best seems to describe the journey of becoming a professional safari guide in Africa. As a student at LFGA, not only do you study a subject in the study hall and take the FGASA exam, you also directly experience these aspects in the field as well. This means that, in comparison to the university career that many of us have followed, studying to become a nature guide includes a lot more practical work – from participating in countless bushwalks and game drives in order to spot the bird family you just studied, to just paying attention to which clouds you can see from your camp, just after the lecture on weather.
The start of our Phase 2 has brought new Phase 1 students into camp and they have been showing incredibly fast progress despite having been on course for just a few days, producing great results for the exams and showing impressive curiosity and passion for learning. Phase 2 has also brought insights on astronomy, weather, ecology and more for us, as well as the opportunity to take part in a night drive with a spectacular genet sighting. The amount of study of the last 10 weeks – for me 4 on course and 6 of volunteering – has hopefully been enough to ace the Special Sitting of the FGASA National exam, which is offered at LFGA nine times per year. All of what has been learnt in the study hall has been “verified” in the field – no other way of really learning anything except by experience!