Botany, Birds and ………….Baboon spider?

Botany, Birds and ………….Baboon spider?

Third week done and dusted for the students of Bushwise and what a week it has been! iIt started bright and early, with a Botany lecture followed by a Bird theory lecture.

These were super interesting and we learned the inner workings of trees, the anatomy, how to identify trees and grasses, all the background knowledge of grasses and how they fit into the environment and that they are the most important family on earth. We learned how birds live and eat and what special adaptions they possess to do the things they need to in order to survive.

Tuesday we were all very exited, as that evening it would be our first ever sleep out on a big 5 game reserve! Before we could head off, we had a morning botany walk and used our books to identify trees and we all soon figured out it was way more tricky than it looked! But alas; the trainers promptly showed us exactly how its done and we all started to identify trees successfully on our own.

We set off on our vehicles laden with food, sleeping bags and as much warm clothing as we could fit into our bags. But best of all, we had a make shift “bushtoilet” for the ladies. Our groups saw a number of game on our drive to our destination, including Elephants, Honey Badgers, Hippos and the elusive Leopard which was absolutely spectacular.

We arrived at our spot for the night, started the fire and decided who would be on the look out shifts, as while we are all sleeping someone has to keep watch so that no Lions or Hyenas come sniffing around our sleeping bags! We all then chose our sleeping spots and set up for the night and had an awesome braai under the African sky.

The night turned out rather chilly and we all felt the chill as most of us landed up huddled around the fire until 5am, listening to leopards and lions roaring and grunting in the distance. It was undoubted the most awesome and wonderful experience and we all enjoyed it immensely.

We visited the Kinyonga Reptile park where we did a Reptile Orientation Course.   We saw a Black Mamba being fed and we got to see Puff Adders, Cobras and all sorts of reptilian treats. Most of the students got to hold a Baboon spider and  some even let it crawl on their face! Eek!

As the week drew to a close it was sole focus to study and prep for our upcoming Bird theory and Botany test on Saturday. All in all its been a pressure filled but absolutely amazing week that we will never forget.

Pictures by Dirk Haselmeyer @

Blog by Melanie Groenewald