Worldwide Experience’s intern, Liam was able to join the students at one of Worldwide Experience’s Accredited Courses in early November. Liam wrote a brief summary of the action-packed week he had at our Wildlife Management Course.
“One week at Worldwide Experience’s Wildlife Management Course left me craving to go back and learn more! The Wildlife Management Course is situated on a game farm in the Nama-Karoo, one of South Africa’s least visited ecosystems. The Karoo is a semi-desert ecosystem that covers most of the central part of South Africa. Living and studying on a game farm in this unique ecosystem allows students to experience first-hand the challenges faced in conservation.
While at the farm I was able to interact with the students about what they have been learning during the course. The range of topics was fascinating. From resource management, human-wildlife conflict resolutions, practical tracking techniques and government conservation policies, the classes covered ground-level conservation practices as well as big picture issues. Jacques, the head lecturer, made sure that both sides of controversial issues are presented and then debated by the students. The hot topic while I was there was the reintroduction of hunting in Botswana. Students on both sides of the issue really went deep on their research for the issue. A big issue was focused on the stakeholders who live near the game reserves and about their past experiences with wildlife interfering with their way of life.
There was obviously a lot that goes on outside the classroom as well. We went on game drives every day while I was there, with the occasional night drive. Yet these drives were not just for sight-seeing, Jacques and the students were conducting game counts and keeping track of the animal’s behaviour patterns. We would drive by the watering holes and make sure that the solar-powered pump was functioning properly – a serious issue in the desert. We hiked along the fence line, checking for breaks that warthogs and porcupines would dig under. We went over gun safety practices while out on the farm (important to understand while on a game farm). One of the highlights was when a Boomslang was sliding around on the classroom tent. Jacques, a certified snake handler, caught and relocated the snake to avoid any unfortunate run-ins from the students. This was also a great learning opportunity, Jacques explained how the Boomslang is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. It is back fanged and usually only uses its venom for its small prey, so it is very “passive” as far as deadly snakes go. Nonetheless, the snake was an important reminder that you always should stay vigilant while out in the bush.
After a week on the farm with the Wildlife Management students, it was time to say goodbye and leave the Karoo. Yet, it was a bittersweet moment because I wish I could have stayed and finished the course! All I can say is that Worldwide Experiences Wildlife Management Course was a special place to go and learn about the world of conservation (even if just for a week).”
To join us on our Wildlife Management Course:
Call: +44 (0) 2038 073 454