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  • Writer's pictureBushwise Student

Do whatever makes you feel alive

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

BY: Emily Elliott

Camp manager blogs are written by our students who each get a chance to lead and manage a group (of their fellow students) for a period of one week.

Waking up in the morning has been no small feat. Friday topped the charts, with temperatures plummeting across South Africa. It felt like the coldest day of the year. We all had to bundle up against the bone-chilling cold for our early morning drives. But with spirits high, coffee in hand and our rusks in tow, we carried on!

Our designated guides drove us all over the reserve as we started to explore more of what will be our home for the next six months. Later on, the highly anticipated sleep-out would give us an opportunity to explore the northeastern part of the reserve.

Field guides getting ready to load up

We piled into the back of the vehicle with our sleeping bags, backpacks and pork chops. Our classmate and brilliant camp chef, Sibo, was ready to put the chops to use. We raced to claim our sleeping spots, some close to the fire, others daring to venture beyond our little semi circle. With the sun setting and fire built, we gathered around drinking coffee and taking photos, documenting what would become a night we would never forget. 

For dinner, the braai masters took charge and dished up some of the tastiest pork chops and garlic bread this side of the Mohlabetsi River. After a few rounds of roasting marshmallows and sharing stories around the fire, we hopped into our sleeping bags. We rotated night watch shifts, with groups of two to three students taking on an hour and a half each time.

Field guides keeping warm by the fire

I was tasked with the 1:00 to 2:30 block, along with Christian and Ross. We made a solid team. Not even the bravest hyaena dared to approach us too close, even with the tantalising aroma of leftover pork chop in the air. When our watch ended we gently nudged the next two students awake for their turn.

But the real magic happened just before sunrise. Peeking out from my cosy sleeping bag, I was greeted with millions of stars speckled across the night sky. We talked about the moment. That’s when the reality of living and studying in the bush hit us. It is worth making time and pursuing things that make you feel alive. And then do it with all your heart. 

The star lit sky of the bush

Learn how you can get your hands on some of those mouth watering pork chops by visiting the Bushwise website.




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