I Was Almost Killed By A Buffalo

If we have ever met either in person or virtually you have probably heard that in March I went on a Safari in the Kruger Park in South Africa.  I was lucky enough to stay in a Lion Sands lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.  The lodge has no electric fences so animals roam outside of your rooms. It’s not every day you can be sat in the bath and watch as elephants walk past!

If you have never done a safari – do not hesitate, do it.  Guides walk you back to your rooms at night with a gun as wild animals are all around.  In the morning however you are advised just to look around and be alert as you walk to the main lodge for breakfast.  The first day we were having lunch and chatting with the lodge manager while watching hippos fight in the river.  He was explaining that although hippos are super dangerous, the most aggressive animal is a lone older male cape buffalo.  They start to lose their sight and become paranoid and aggressive.  The buffalo has huge horns and uses its horn and skull cap to act like a battering ram when attacking.

Our final morning we got ready for our last safari drive.  I headed out first, and my partner forgot something so headed back into the room to grab it.  In the meantime I had made it up the walkway to start to head to main lodge.  It was at that point that I locked eyes with a male buffalo, no more than about 80 yards from where I stood.  I cannot put into words the fear I felt in that moment.  This thing is massive and looking right at me.

With a high pitch screech, I shouted to my partner that the buffalo was here.  I then turned my back and ran for my life, the buffalo started to run but thankfully seemed freaked and ran past our room.  I don’t think I have ever moved as fast in my life and my heart was beating and I couldn’t catch my breath. Adrenaline was coursing through my veins and I started to feel giddy and laugh.  I had a close call, and once I spoke to our ranger I learnt that I had done everything wrong in that moment

The advice he gave me was interesting and it made me think actually this could be applied to any situation in which fear and anxiety is present, especially sitting your exams

  1. Keep still and calm – movement can be seen as aggression and cause them to charge.  In an exam setting the more you start to fidget the more your nerves can get to you.  Keeping still like a rock before you start to answer the questions can help ground you.
  1. Breathe – when we get stressed our cortisol rises and we take lots of little shallow breathes.  Deep breathing can help lower our stress hormone which helps us think more rationally and logically.  (Cortisol causes brain fog)
  1. Make yourself big – in the safari sense, this is to make myself look more threatening and take up more space.  For the exam setting this is all about projecting confidence with your body language, sit up straight, chin up, shoulders back – there are studies that show this makes us feel and act more confident.  This could help you pass rather than fail.  If you are slumped this is the non verbal of defeat – you see it when athletes lose, subconsciously you are telling yourself that you are not confident.

See how I look after you, now you know tips for the exam and if you are every attacked by a wild animal! 🙂

Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 20th June, 27th June, 4th July, 11th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 11th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 3rd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July