Over the next few of weeks, you can expect some awesome Ulovane Updates from the team! Advice, information, a story or two…..we look forward to connecting with you!
This week Candice kicks us off with a look at the past and present!
Connecting with Candice
How did it all begin is a question, we are often asked! Well, it started on a wing and prayer really! 16 years ago, we had a dream and a vision to train exceptional guides at our own campus, with our own staff, we wanted to start a family business and by that, I mean a family for all to be a part of living and learning in nature.
In 2005 the Gush and Fowlds family welcomed us to Amakhala Game Reserve, with open arms! It was not an easy first couple of years, no funds coming in, our 3rd child was born, we had no idea of sales and marketing strategies, we were finding our feet in a new province on a new reserve – it was madness really. But we knew guide training, we knew operations, we had the passion, the drive and the want to do this thing!
Our first student, Ben Bremer arrived in 2005, little did we all know that he was to become our landlord, at our very own campus. Without Ben’s vision and courage to start afresh in South Africa, we would never have had the opportunity to open the Ulovane Campus doors in 2009. In 2006 our first full group of students arrived at Woodbury tented camp and from there, it was group after group of bush loving individuals from South Africa and the world. Many of these students have definitely come to be more family than friends or even past students. We have been blessed beyond measure.
15 years later, we have the campus we always wanted and dreamed of. A view to die for, 350 hectares of pure bliss, with springbok, kudu, Cape mountain zebra, warthogs, incredible birdlife (even an elusive leopard and more) and our own entry onto the beautiful Amakhala Game reserve. Our veggie garden is flourishing, our lecture room, has a fabulous, if not distracting view of Amakhala. Our rooms are large and comfortable, some of them even with indoor/outdoor showers and loos. We strive to be as green as possible, with solar panels operating the whole campus, gas geysers providing hot water to all the rooms and we recycle and reuse what we can. We have a massive dining area and kitchen where we all come together after a wonderful day in the bush. It truly has become a place that many call home!
Amazing chefs, exceptional trainers, happy students – we could not ask for more. We would not do anything differently. Yes, there were hiccups along the way, but you make mistakes to learn from them. Blood, sweat, and tears is what it took to get us here and we celebrate every day that we have the opportunity to live our dream.
This pandemic has given us a major wakeup call and we are getting used to the new normal, slowly but surely. We are not giving up and we will not give in. If all the hard work of the last 15 years has taught us anything, it has taught us that together, anything is possible.
We have an incredible team, who since lockdown, have been making improvements to the way we train and how we train, to ensure that once we are given the go-ahead, we can spring back into action with fresh ideas and concepts. The campus grounds and garden and all maintenance are also been looked after and the lecture room is getting a little makeover. We have been very busy bees!
By accepting change and moving forward, is how we are going to be able to make it through this madness. We are using our experience, our passion, and love for what we do, to make Ulovane stronger than ever. Like our logo, the chameleon we will adapt and change to this new way of life. We have some ideas up our sleeve and will let you in on the changes as they develop!
Huge thank you must go to all of you, family, staff, students past and present who have supported us along the way, we appreciate you all!
Lots of Ulovane Love,
“Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”―