NJ MORE experience

My NJ MORE Experience – “You Never Know What You Have Until It’s Gone”

“You never know what you have until it’s gone” – My NJ MORE Experience

A cliché saying that applies marvellously to the situation I find myself in now, reflecting on the last six months as the course comes to an end. I sit and think of all the new things I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. As a girl who was raised with a love for the bush (and thought she knew all there was to know about it) being able to expand my knowledge has been an unforgettable experience.

I arrived at the college, fresh out of high school, with only a vague idea of what to expect. This was my first real taste of independence and I have loved every second of it. The valuable life skills that I have gained during the duration of my time at NJ More is unbelievable, The course is jam-packed with various modules and short-courses relating to Africa and it’s wildlife. From the excitement of Wilderness First aid to the fast-paced Specialist Birding, I found myself falling in love with the smaller aspects of the veld.

NJ MORE Experience

One activity that stands out was our snake-handling course where we were shown various snake species and how to handle them in a lodge/camp environment. There was an opportunity to hold one of the snakes and the facial expressions around the room were nothing short of hilarious. A few of the students had the rest of us in stitches. Each short course that we participated in brought us closer as a group and each one comes with a mountain of memories. The external and internal trainers do their best to impart their knowledge of the FGASA syllabus in combination with their practical experience and provide in-depth interpretations of what we study and train to do as Field Guides. The hours spent on game drives and in the lecture room have been equally informing and beneficial.

However, it’s definitely not all work and no play. The warm days spent swimming in the river and the breath-taking sunsets at Fish Eagle Dam are some of my personal favourites. The downtime spent watching David Attenborough documentaries in the Rec Room as an excuse to nap was some of the best sleep I’ve ever had, and there’s nothing like some friendly competition of an intense Pool match on Braai night with Taylor Swift pumping in the background. The scene of Phil holding court, whisky in hand, conducting “Beat The Intro” will long stand in my memory and provide hours of enjoyment.

NJ MORE Experience

Being able to step out of your comfort zone and spend half a year with completely new people of all ages, beliefs and walks of life to share a common passion is something that very few individuals dare to do but it is something that I can highly recommend. I have made a lifetime worth of memories with a group of friends I will never forget.

Thank you NJ More, I will cherish the time I have spent here forever and always.

NJ MORE Experience

– Kaylyn Mackenzie

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NJ MORE Field Guide College student Jasmin Stäheli managed to capture this beautiful picture of two hippos surfacing at Fish Eagle Dam at just the right moment.

The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa
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You'll often see Kudu out on the reserve, but it's always a special treat when a Gemsbok makes an appearance, as it is one of the rarer antelope species we see at Marataba

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Enjoy the freedom of the bush and gain invaluable knowledge of the natural world with our 60-Day Apprentice Field Guide Course. We're offering 20% off our July intake to the first 4 people who apply, so book your spot now! T&Cs apply. The course starts on the 10th of July.
Email francois@more.co.za to make a booking.

The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa
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Nothing quite compares to an orange-hued African sunset...

📸 : Field Guide Student Jasmin Stäheli

The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa
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A letter to the editor of the Sunday Times ZA, by Robert More.

"There is a limit. A limit to how long businesses that have had no revenue and people who have had no income for 80 days of lockdown can survive.

That statement, made by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announcing adjustments to the Level 3 lockdown, brought a small, but short-lived sigh of relief from the Tourism Sector; hope that sense would prevail and amended regulations would pave the way for a meaningful reopening so that businesses and jobs could be saved.

This pandemic, which has seen a global health and economic crisis of ever-increasing proportion, has hit Tourism especially hard. One of the first economic sectors, and certainly the one earmarked for reopening last, the Tourism Sector was affected long before the 27 March lockdown date was announced.

Feeling that pain with us have been the communities, associated sectors and informal businesses who rely on an active Tourism Sector for their livelihoods.

At present, the Level 3 regulations allow hotels, lodges, B&Bs, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses to host business travellers and remaining tourists, as well as provide accommodation for quarantine and isolation purposes. Travel for leisure purposes has not been allowed explicitly, whether that is across provincial borders or not.

On paper, the accommodation sector seems open, albeit for certain categories of guests only. In reality, many accommodation establishments only serve leisure markets, or a mix of leisure and business. Their survival depends on leisure tourism reopening, and while the gradual reopening of domestic business travel, including inter-provincial business travel, is welcome, it alone will not sustain the thousands of small and large accommodation providers whose businesses are inextricably linked to leisure tourism.

Statistics South Africa indicates that as much as 90% of the domestic accommodation market is leisure, and that 60% of all domestic overnight trips are across provincial borders – in the case of Gauteng, that percentage is higher, 70%. Many accommodation businesses in surrounding provinces rely entirely on Gauteng’s outbound domestic leisure business.

We have seen extraordinary inconsistencies in the gradual reopening of South Africa’s economy. The welcome further relaxing of restrictions on accommodation establishments, as announced by President Ramaphosa, will be well and truly meaningless – yet another inconsistency – if domestic leisure tourists are still barred from travelling, inter-provincial travel remains in lockdown and businesses are unable to trade due to lack of demand.

Travel is happening. Whether it is across provincial borders for business, for study, for funerals or to care for vulnerable family members. These travellers can travel safely because of the stringent health and safety protocols that have been put in place by the tourism and hospitality sector to curb the spread of the pandemic, for all travel. And if these can travel safely, why can’t leisure travellers?

We remain hopeful that, as our regulations are being drafted, our pledge to safeguard our guests and staff through these robust health and safety protocols and the nature of how our Tourism Sector operates will ensure the President’s encouraging announcement will result in the meaningful easing our industry needs right now to survive.

Yours in Tourism,
Robert More
MORE Family Collection."
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