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What I enjoy most about being a field guide trainer

What is it like to be a Bushwise trainer? In this blog Wayne Lubbe shares his experience with teaching and learning from aspiring field guides.

3 min read

We’re always learning

There are many challenges that come with being in charge of future field guides’ training. One thing I find challenging, but also extremely satisfying, is that even we trainers will never know everything. The opportunity to constantly learn and experience new things in the bush is always a plus. It’s also important to teach young students to always be open and take in as much as they can within the time that they spend with Bushwise. 

Wayne, the author of this blog, participates in a track and sign evaluation at the Mahlahla campus. Bushwise trainers are also students in their own right.

For me, the most important thing is to teach upcoming field guides to be entertaining, informative and to create memorable nature experiences to their respective future guests that they will have the privilege of guiding around this beautiful country of ours.

Interpreting the natural world

The aims of nature guiding are to reveal and expose people to the natural heritage, history, folklore and the beauty of the country. Field guides need to create awareness of the complexities of the natural environment by sharing factual knowledge and meaningful interpretation of the events taking place around them. 

For us as trainers, we are trying to be the best examples of what a good nature guide is and to share our passion, knowledge and above all respect for the environment and wildlife. As students become field guides they will have a responsibility towards their clients, but an equal if not greater responsibility towards the natural environment. 

A woman walks across a vast open scene, with mountains in the background. It’s a hot and sunny day in the Lowveld.

With the methods and skills thatI have developed over the years in the industry I try to develop not only an understanding of each subject we cover, but to demonstrate the interdependence of all aspects within the ecosystem and how everything is essentially linked together. It is important that you as a guide supply an overall understanding of the “bigger picture”.  And if we can successfully help the students to create that experience, then I am utterly grateful.

Teaching is a privilege

When I see the growth of each student not only within this exciting field, but also within themselves then I am happy. I enjoy helping someone’s dream become a reality.

Trainers have the privilege of being part of people’s journeys and sending out future custodians of nature into such a wonderful occupation. Being a teacher and trainer does not stop after a lecture or when the time is up in the classroom, the reality is that you are the older brother to some, the shoulder to cry on when things aren’t going great and the person to give advice when needed. 

A group of Bushwise trainers and visitors to the Mahlahla campus.

The bonds you form with students become lifelong bonds of kinship. This is not just a job for me, but rather an investment in the future of an individual. I am proud to be a part of such a journey and I am proud to be a part of Bushwise that sets some of the highest standards in the field guiding industry.

Learn from our world-class field guide trainers like Wayne when you join a Bushwise course. Apply today.

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