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Field Guide Training

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85km from Port Elizabeth

-33.4908, 26.1766

 

+27 83 295 3206 www.ulovane.co.za

About

‘Ulovane’ is the Xhosa word for chameleon and if you give their field guides half a chance, they will teach you to adapt to the bush just like one. Their training facility near Port Elizabeth focuses on imparting guiding skills without disturbing the surrounding wilderness.

Ulovane strive to provide exceptional nature and marine guide training throughout South Africa. At Ulovane they offer dedicated, professional and career orientated training with the development of the learner as the priority. By providing top of the range field guides to the guiding industry, Ulovane hope to increase the ethics of professionalism, excellence and conservation minded guides who ensure guests receive a life changing guided experience.

With almost 20 years’ experience in the hospitality and Field Guiding and training industry, Schalk, Candice and the Ulovane Team are striving to become the leader in developing the guides of the future. They take a personal interest in each and every student and enjoy sharing their passion and dedication with them.

Attendees have described this as a ‘unique learning experience’ or a ‘holiday in the bush, with the added benefit of gaining valuable knowledge of nature and wildlife'. Spend 24 hours with an elephant herd, watching, listening and learning, or explore the marine life in nearby Kenton-on-Sea; the activities are diverse and interesting. Ulovane Environmental Training is an accredited training and assessment provider under the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA). Career Focus courses offered range from two years, to a year, or six months, to just four and a half months, and these courses are recommended for those starting a career in the Eco Tourism industry. Ulovane also offers specialised courses for existing guides, which include Birding and Marine.

If your passion is to become an exceptional guide in the Eco Tourism industry then this course is for you! To apply you must be 18 years or older, have a valid driver's license and most importantly, a passion for nature, wildlife, people and learning.

The training centre is situated more or less 85km from Port Elizabeth on the N2 towards Grahamstown. After the Woodbury Gate sign, continue for approximately another 3km. At the sign for Sidbury and Kwantu Game Reserve on your left, turn right at a small farm gate right next a big N2 sign.

Sunshine Coast

Eastern Cape

About

With the most recorded sunshine hours in South Africa, the name Sunshine Coast is no idle boast or empty promise. Situated between Port Elizabeth and East London, the quaintness of the Sunshine Coast is a welcome escape from big-city bustle. 

The area includes the inland towns of Alexandria, Salem and Bathhurst, with kilometres of beaches accessed via Cannon Rocks, Boknes, Bushmans River Mouth, Kenton-on-sea, Kasouga, Port Alfred and the Great Fish River area. The mixed derivations of these names suggest the rich cultural heritage of the area – the primary meeting point of San, Xhosa, Boer and British. The British influence is clear in the architecture of Bathhurst, Salem and Grahamstown.

Driving on the N2 or its tributaries the R67 or R72, the rolling green hills Lord Charles Somerset likened to English parklands were not exactly what the settlers expected. The unique dark golden-green shade of the Albany Thicket biome is due to the dense growth of hardy drought-resistant plants such as aloe, euphorbia and spekboom. Rain falls in winter and summer, and while not frequent, it is at times unpredictable, so the vegetation is built to withstand fickle skies.

Although unattractively scrubby to some, the Thicket contains 20% of the 316 threatened plant species found in the Eastern Cape, making it an important centre of endemism.

One is tempted to describe this beautiful and unusual landscape as “untouched”, but the area has long been farmed, with cattle, sheep, ostriches, pineapples and chicory among its historically successful concerns. Many farms have since been converted back into game reserves, such as the world-class, malaria-free Kariega and Shamwari Reserves. Game fences line the long, quiet, tarred roads and drivers are often startled at the sight of elephants, giraffes or other game grazing along the fences.

Drivers should also look out for smaller wildlife - porcupines, small antelope, hares, snakes, owls and tortoises - crossing the roads at dawn, dusk and at night.

The beaches and dunes of this coastline are magnificent. The Alexandria dunefield - famously the largest active dunefield in the world - and the exquisite Alexandria State Forest have been absorbed by the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. 

While Kenton-on-sea and Port Alfred are the main seaside attractions, the family-oriented Cannon Rocks, Boknes and Kasouga are popular places to buy holiday homes and have a few lovely self-catering and guest cottages.

The Dias Cross at Kwaaihoek is a replica of the padrão erected there by Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias on his 1488 cruise past the South African coast. At the Cross there is a deck for dolphin sightings and whale-spotting in late spring and early summer. In season, southern right whales are sighted all along the Sunshine Coast.

Despite its fairly good roads and obvious attractions, this area is still, miraculously, relatively unspoilt and undeveloped. With the exception of the graceful Port Alfred Marina, attempts to beat its bush and rivers into commercial shape have been abandoned and it remains gentle, peaceful, simple, pristine and soul-enriching.

Situated on the Indian Ocean, one needn’t expect the “bath water” temperatures of KwaZulu-Natal  - Sunshine Coast swims are invigoratingly cool and sometimes chilly, but seldom as achingly cold as the Western Cape.

The area doesn’t have the same flashy allure as other popular seaside destinations, but if you think of the coast as a place to relax and unwind, rather than paint the town red, there is no better place to visit.

Look out for

Addo Elephant National Park, 30 minutes from PE, features the “Big Seven” (the Big Five, plus southern right whales and great white sharks).

Explore Alexandria’s dunefields on the two-day Alexandria Hiking Trail or the seven-kilometre Dassie Day Trail, named for a rare tree dassie in the area.

Bathurst - founded in 1820, this “English country village in Africa”, 10 minutes from Port Alfred, is home to the Pig & Whistle, the oldest pub in South Africa, and the 16,7-metre-high Big Pineapple.

With unspoiled beaches, the tiny villages of Cannon Rocks, Boknes, Kleinemonde are a fisherman’s and bird-watcher’s paradise. Cannon Rocks is named for its two cannons and anchor. The Dias Cross at Kwaaihoek is an uplifting thee-kilometre walk from Boknes across incredible sandy beaches, or a six-kilometre walk at low tide from Bushmans River.

Bushmans River – the second-longest navigable river in South Africa, with 22 kilometres of navigable water, is a favourite with canoeists, sailors, water-skiers and fishermen.

Kasouga – maintains its rustic beginnings with dirt roads and no streetlights, hotels and shops, wonderful birdlife and an exquisite lagoon.

Port Alfred – enjoy the elegance of the Royal Alfred Marina. Famous for its annual powerboat race, Port Alfred offers provides great shopping, dining, and beauty retreats.

The Sunshine Coast, and nearby holiday meccas such as Great Fish River, St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis, Jeffreys Bay, Tsitsikamma and the Wild Coast, offers excellent surfing, adventure and water sports, fishing, nature reserves and world-class hikes, mountain biking, canoeing, beach horse-rides, bird watching, 4x4 trails, game-viewing, golf, and as well as rich local arts and culture.

When to go

To Do

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