For any business, the first year is definitely the most daunting and nerve-wracking. For us, here at Nightjar, we can safely say, we have not only survived, but thrived!
FGASA Assessments, a variety of training services & specialised freelance guiding trips have kept us super busy during 2016, and it’s all thanks to you!
We completed around 60 FGASA Assessments over a wide variety of levels, including Field Guide, Advanced Field Guide, ARH as well as Back-up and Lead Trails. Again, a huge congratulations to all the candidates who passed and for showing the utmost professional conduct which we have come to expect from FGASA guides!
Apart from conducting Assessments, we also conducted training courses in a wide variety of areas across the Lowveld, including the training of long term FGASA endorsed courses for a variety of training providers. Mid-way through the year, I travelled all the way up to Tanzania to spend a memorable three weeks assisting a group of amazing guides at a top level lodge, to take their guest experience & guiding abilities to the next level. I also assisted a couple of local lodges with similar training goals and hosted many Trails guide mentorships on a number of reserves around the Lowveld, with some great encounters and quality hours (roughly 350 hours) spent on foot.
Last, but not least – privately guided trips as well as specialized freelance guiding kept us busy and on our toes! I will never get tired of the beautiful sunsets & sunrises I have the privilege of seeing in this line of work.
2016 saw us visiting over 20 different lodges who made use of our services – thank you to all these establishments & individuals for your amazing hospitality!
Apart from the talented people we have met during 2016, we also had some pretty top notch sightings in 2016.
Some of the top sightings highlights (this was tough to narrow down), included spending extended periods of time with Wild dog pups at a den, a large herd of buffalo taking a swim in a dam (on foot) and who can forget the stunning leopard sightings this past year (both from vehicle and on foot), possibly some of the best I’ve ever had. Culturally, a walk through the Southern Serengeti Ecosystem with the Hadzabe tribe was by far the best experience, to witness first hand how they live off the land, is just surreal.
On foot, I think the top sighting of the year definitely has to be one of the many elephant encounters, herds queuing up for water in the Klaserie during the worst part of the drought and bulls coming in to investigate us.
So, to end off, 2016 has been a great year and we have all of you to thank for that. Here’s to an even better 2017 as our company diversifies & grows with the demand. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates as we go along!
Until Next Time,
Charles & The Nightjar Team