EcoTraining is creating world-class safari guides and passionate guardians of nature

Ecotraining

We are very blessed to be living in Africa.  This continent is home to so much incredible fauna and flora and magnificent scenery that it should not be taken for granted.  Not just that, as Africans, we should be encouraging visitors to support our conservation efforts. EcoTraining allows for those who have a passion for the natural environment, to turn that passion into a career.

There is no better way to preserve our natural heritage than by having tourism make that very heritage financially viable.  It is thanks to tourism dollars that we have a proliferation of private game reserves and the many lodges within national parks.

On the frontline of tourist education and entertainment are the field guides that ensure that their guests have lasting memories of Africa and continue to give our wildlife their support.

EcoTraining – a Pioneer in Safari Guide Training

EcoTraining safari guide training

EcoTraining was started in 1993 and has since become a leader in safari guide and wildlife training in Africa.  They are widely recognized by the safari industry for their high standards and quality results in nature guide training.

Their courses are accredited by the educational authorities in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya as well as by the highly respected Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).

These courses include those with an interest in the bush such as bird watchers to those wanting to take an exciting gap year to those wanting to attain the highest levels in professional field guiding.

All their courses are run directly from their unfenced bush camps in wilderness areas in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.

To date, EcoTraining has trained over 13 000 people from 33 different countries around the world.

EcoTraining Career Courses

EcoTraining career courses

There are a number of professional courses on offer.  The most comprehensive is the year-long EcoTraining Professional Field Guide course.  Once completed, trainees will be qualified to take safari lodge guests on walking and game drive safaris into Africa’s wild places, finding wildlife for them, and teaching them fascinating facts about the animals and ecosystems.

This first half of this course involves the theoretical and practical training with the second half of the course seeing the student placed at a lodge where they will receive exponential training.

Right from the start students are immersed in the bush and live and train in remote wilderness camps that may include the Makuleke Concession (northern Kruger), Karongwe Reserve, Selati Reserve, Mashatu Reserve (Botswana) and Pridelands Reserve.

These camps are unfenced and so students learn to live amongst the fauna about which they are being educated.

This course is very stimulating and exciting and made more so by the highly qualified and experienced instructors.

EcoTraining claims that there is no other course that offers this breadth of wildlife immersion and knowledge.

At the end of the course the student will not only have potentially gained qualification and certificates, but will have also have gained substantial practical working experience.

The other professional courses vary in length.  These courses consist mostly of part elements of the EcoTraining Professional Field Guide course.  They include the 55 day EcoTraining Field Guide course, the 35-day Practical course, the 28 day EcoTraining Trails Guide course as well as an online introductory course.

Wildlife Courses

These are non-professional courses that are part holiday part training experience.  If you have found a visit to a safari lodge or game reserve a wonderful experience but without the intense immersion in the bush that you desire, then you will thoroughly enjoy these courses.

The Safari Guide course is 28-days long and aimed at those wishing to experience a bush holiday while also learning about the environment they are in. A month of living and learning in nature at a wilderness camp in South Africa or  Botswana will satisfy that longing you have to be part of the bush and not just be a spectator.

The EcoQuest course can be seven or 14 days long and is a shortened version of the Safari Guide course.

EcoTracker Course is, as the name suggests, all about tracking with a seven or 14 day optionBirding in the Bush is a seven day course for twitchers.

The seven day Wilderness Photography Course  teaches participants about the equipment needed to become a versatile wilderness photographer and about the various elements that combine to make good wilderness photographic compositions.

The Wilderness Trails Skills six day course provides a perfect platform for aspirant or qualified guides or nature lovers to discover and reconnect with meaningful wilderness encounters.  The Matric EcoQuest is an adventure for a group of friends wanting a fresh, safe, exhilarating alternative to celebrating the end of your school life together.

Customised Programmes

EcoTraining offers tailormade courses for agents and tour operators to assist them with the planning of educational safari itineraries catered for small group departures, alumni travel, private celebrity travel, summer schools, and university study abroad programmes.

EcoTraining’s offices are located at The Outpost Centre, Shop No 4, Corner of Van der Merwe and Ehmke streets, Nelspruit. For bookings, call +27 (0)13 752 2532 / +27 (0) 71 895 8658; email enquiries@ecotraining.co.za or visit them online at www.ecotraining.co.za Follow them on Facebook HERE or via YouTube HERE.

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About us

Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.

Adventure!

You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!

 

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