….and that’s a wrap! Our October NQF2 Field Guide Course has come to an end and Pathfinders Africa are so proud of our eight newly qualified Apprentice Field Guides!
Over 60 days, our participants from all over the world travelled through Zimbabwe, visiting four incredible destinations, each with their own unique wildlife and terrains.
Being a mobile field guide training program, our Pathfinders graduates have developed a wide range of practical field guiding skills in a range of ecosystems whilst getting to explore some of Zimbabwe’s most iconic locations!
“I really enjoyed the different locations and travelling around. I had only been to Africa once before and only saw one private game reserve so that was my view of Africa. By travelling around I got to see so much more of what this place has to offer! I’ll definitely be back.”
“Pathfinders Africa is the only travelling experience that allows you to spend enough time in four epic locations in Zimbabwe that you can’t otherwise see in that way and at that level!”
Georgina Thorne, South Africa
Destination 1: Antelope Park
The first two weeks of the course were based at an award-winning safari lodge, nestled in a 3000-acre prime piece of open savannah. This provided the ideal introduction for our participants, opening their eyes to the art of tracking, birding and the huge variety of wildlife in the area.
Each day offered them a different yet rewarding experience, uncovering their passion for the environment and the animals within it. Extra activities such as a horse safari through the bush or an ethical interaction with the four orphaned elephants residing at the park kept them very busy, ending each day with an iconic African sunset followed by a relaxed evening around the bonfire.
Destination 2: Bubiana Conservancy & Matopos National Park
A spectacular location with huge granite outcrops overlooking the campsite. Daily walks and hikes were the highlights, heading out at first sunlight to explore the geology and diverse wildlife in the area. Bubiana is rich in history, with its many hidden caves and ancient rock art. This geology also provides the perfect habitat for the elusive leopard. Our participants were able to hone their tracking skills, even coming across a fresh Steenbok kill on one of the walks, with signs that a Leopard had only just left!
To top it all off, participants were lucky to track the White Rhino in Matopos National Park before continuing their journey to Hwange National Park.
“A huge highlight of Bubiana was just being out in the bush – fishing, climbing mountains, seeing the animals, the birds and connecting and getting to know each other a lot more.”
George Goodwin, UK
Destination 3: Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park offered an incredible wildlife experience, however it also taught our Pathfinders participants about the harsh realities of drought and the resulting impacts it can have on an ecosystem.
With sightings of Wild Dog, Cheetah, Lions, Honey Badgers, Buffalo, hundreds of Elephants….this location was not short of excitement!
“This course has pushed me even more to come back here and to extend my further education about the bush.”
George Goodwin, UK
Destination 4: Victoria Falls
A trip to Zimbabwe wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!
Being based there for two weeks provided a great opportunity for the students to visit this incredible site but also to discover the history behind it!
Game drives along the Zambezi River presented a huge new variety of birdlife and mammals, with the iconic cry of the African Fish Eagle being heard alongside the serenading resident Hippos.
All of the hard work the students put in throughout the 60 days paid off, with them all successfully passing their final NQF2 assessments. They celebrated this success by going on an end of course boat cruise down the Zambezi River!