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  • Writer's pictureBushwise Student

Passion, wildlife and my favourite creature on Earth – the porcupine

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

This blog is by Edward Chauke, Professional Field Guide candidate studying under the exciting new partnership between Bushwise and Tourvest Group.

3 min read

Mixed feelings, great memories and passion. I’m looking back at how the beautiful journey started – just to learn the information that I have been selected for or I have been offered a lifetime opportunity to become a field guide, it is something that I still remember very well like it happened yesterday. 

A trip down memory lane

Edward and two other field guide trainees, back in 2019 when they were doing intake exams.

My dream of becoming a field guide started in 2019. Then Covid-19 came and we had to wait almost three years! Considering the fact that we had to wait almost three years shows how passionate I am with my dream of becoming a field guide one day. 

The waiting game wasn’t pleasant at all, it was just a matter of keeping my enthusiasm. But the support that I get back home, I regard as a pillar of my strength and it helps me keep going even though it looks impossible. 

My dream has come true

Here I am today, my dream has come true. I can’t wait to see myself taking guest to a game reserve to share my knowledge with them. One of my personal attributes is as a storyteller and an entertainer, which I feel like is great aspect in the guiding industry.

The Bushwise Mahlahla campus near Hoedspruit is where  the training is currently taking place. A wonderful experience of wildlife, since the beginning of the year to now. So far so good and not much to worry about in terms of acclimatising to the weather, because it’s almost the same as my hometown Hazyview where I was born and bred.  

Bushwise students getting ready to head out on a game drive in the African bushveld.

Since day one it’s been such a wonderful experience and exciting moment of my life! All the lessons that I have been learned so far have been fantastic and very helpful to me. Especially on changing my mind set to view the nature in different perspective.  I’ve started to have huge respect for the natural environment and wildlife. I imagine walking down the street and starting to hear birds call, and pause a bit to try to identify which birds is that one… woah that’s an awesome moment, which was not a case before my  journey started here at Bushwise Mahlahla Campus. 

Camp manager for the week

Recently I have been assigned with the task of Camp Manager. At first it looks easy, until you realise that with this duty comes responsibilities. Especially if you take fact that I have to make sure that everything works properly and all the students and staff are happy. To achieve that I have to wake up early and sleep late. Day by day, my duration as Camp Manager came to an end. I handed over all the camp manager’s equipment to my successor with pride and dignity – mission accomplished!

As I conclude, I’ll share a nice story about my neighbour who keeps on visiting me every evening…

A porcupine for a neighbour

After the sun has set in the night, an African porcupine comes out of its den and begins its search for food.

Every late evening, I have a visitor – a porcupine – come next to my house to look for food around the dust bins. They hunt their food most at night which makes them to be nocturnal animals. Her physical appearance is really unique, especially with her quills. Being in a neighbourhood with this porcupine has pushed me to start to need to know more about them, which will be great knowledge to share with guests in future!

Keen to live out your dreams becoming a field guide – perhaps with a sneaky porcupine as a neighbour – just like Edward? Find inspiration in all that surrounds you on a Bushwise course or a career in wildlife.




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