...more reasons to choose us…
Established in 1993 with a mission to raise the standard of guiding in Africa, EcoTraining is the pioneer and leader of professional Field Guide and other nature training programmes.
Professional Field Guide Course - All Camps - Lodge Placement - Gap Year
Field Guide Level 1 - 55 Days - Mashatu (Botswana) & Kruger (SA) - FGASA
Safari Guide Course - 28 Days - Mashatu (Botswana) & Kruger (SA)
Kenya Safari Guide Course - 28 Days – Lewa - KPSGA Kenya Bronze
Trails Guide Course - 28 Days - Mashatu (Botswana) & Kruger (SA) - FGASA
EcoQuest Course - 7 & 14 Days - Mashatu (Botswana) & Kruger (SA)
Aminal Tracks and Tracking - 7 Days - with specialist Alex van den Heever
Wildlife Photography - 5 Days - Wildlife Photographer & expert Lex Hes
Wildlife Photography – 7 Days - Mashatu (Botswana) & Kruger (SA)
Birding in the Bush - 7 Days - Mashatu (Botswana) & Kruger SA
Biomimicry - with expert Claire Janisch
Wilderness Trails Skills Course - 6 Days - Makuleke (Kruger, SA)
Bush Survival Skills Course - 7 Days - Kruger (SA)
Conservation and Research Course - 14 Days - Mashatu, Botswana
We aim to put the bush back into Africa for all those that are searching for the most authentic wildlife training and safari experiences.
EcoTraining believes that we are running out of time on our planet in terms of man's practices and ways of living. So the mission is broader than local field guide training. Wanting to instil an education and appreciation for the environment through training local and international learners; using community-based concession wilderness areas and ensuring the learning experience is sustainable through an international community network.
EcoTraining ensures that our training is of the right standard and training, and as important as wildlife knowledge is the right philosophy and approach - that learners take the countless opportunities given to them each day to spread the conservation ethic ensuring a strong word-of-mouth network. EcoTraining realises the potential influence that learners may have on other persons after completing a course. It's not only about wildlife and nature... it's also a cultural interchange for learners.
EcoTraining's formal field guide and nature training programmes, endorsed by the Field Guides Association Southern Africa (FGASA) who have THETA accreditation, this means we meet THETA standards. THETA is the Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority of the South African government. Our courses take place at bush camps which collectively open the door to 91 000 hectares of stunning wilderness landscapes teeming with game, including buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion and leopard as well as antelope and a huge diversity of birds.
All camps are not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the parks, so the focus is on wilderness areas and involve private conservation efforts and community-based employment.
Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park.
Karongwe Camp is situated on the banks of the Karongwe River in the 9 000 hectare Karongwe Game Reserve, to the south-west of the Kruger National Park.
Our Kruger Park Makuleke Camp is situated in the 24 000 hectare Makuleke concession in the far northern part of the Kruger National Park and the Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 on settlement of a land claims court case.
Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa and spans over 25 000 hectares of wilderness. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage.
Learners will gain in-depth knowledge about nature, ecology and wildlife but that is only one aspect of the courses. It's about absorbing nature, learning how to interact with the environment, and tuning oneself into the ecosystems. It's about becoming intertwined with the natural environment that sustains us and gives us ait to breathe, water to drink and beauty to obtain peace and inspiration from. The bush is powerful and on the courses, you start to realise that the clutter of modern society's trappings becomes less relevant. There is a mental, emotional and spiritual shift towards respect, consideration and sensitivity towards nature and your peers.
Why are you important to us?
Whether you are a local or an international learner, you have a lot to gain by joining one of EcoTraining’s courses. If you are a school leaver, an adult learner or an older retired learner you have an array of choice in EcoTraining’s courses.
Either a local or international learner what can be gained? Anton has the answer.
"I've been thinking for a long time about what EcoTraining is about. My, personal conviction, and I think that of most of EcoTraining's small team, is that we can make a difference towards conserving this planet by educating people and exposing them to wonderful and sometimes life altering experiences in the wild.
Nature is powerful, our venues are good, our instructors are professional and the learners attending our courses fortunately always seem to be eager to lap up the information imparted to them and to really get in touch with nature.
I take nothing away from the practical need for EcoTraining, FGASA and THETA qualifications and to me these qualifications are part of the bigger picture and part of our mission. What I want to draw attention to is the opportunity we have to actually reach people on a very real level and to make a difference in their lives and in the world around them in future. We've all seen how the many people we've trained that are working in the industry as well as the environmentally-conscious international people working in other industries have benefited from learning about nature at EcoTraining over the years. I've always wondered what will become of some of these bright sparks and how the seeds that were planted on course may bear unimaginable fruit one day. Perhaps future Ministers of Environmental Affairs, future Guides, Wardens, Eco Lawyers, Eco-minded bankers, Eco-minded moms and dads and Eco teachers.
Issues such as global climate change, the impact of man’s ever increasing population, the depletion of fossil fuels, the role of tourism in conservation, rain forest and woodland destruction in South America, Africa and Asia, the extinction of endangered species, the pointless use of indigenous hardwoods in the local wood curio trade... these are all extremely important and we hope that these issues will be discussed and debated on course amongst the students.
Our instructors may motivate our students to "make a difference in their own back yards and we would be surprised how many ''wildlife warrior” seeds may germinate from an inspirational course and an inspirational instructor.
If we consider the accumulated sensory wild exposure our students have over 28 days, there is a great opportunity to allow nature to embrace them and for them to embrace nature. We want to use this powerful experience towards bigger goals whenever possible. Our program of lectures and assessments becomes more inspiring when we can remind ourselves and our students of the bigger picture and the important role that we all have in it." Anton Lategan
As a school leaver your circumstances may be different to that of your school peers. You have not yet experienced life in the "real" world, not know which direction you should head or which career may be the best for you. You may want to take a Gap year or combine an adventure with a life experience.
As an adult learner you may only now have the opportunity; time; desire or financial means to further your knowledge. It is most likely that you have combined working full-time and parenting and wish to fulfil your dreams, increase your knowledge and explore something new.
As an older learner who has retired, you are studying for the best reason ever: you have the time and the wish to do nothing else. Studying wildlife and having this experience is a climax to your life.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a private reserve in north-east Kenya near Mount Kenya National Park, Samburu and the Aberdares. The number of visitors to Lewa has been greatly restricted, giving you the opportunity to experience Africa at its wildest. Lewa is malaria-free and is situated at 4,500 to 6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 metres) above sea level.
The Lewa Downs within the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a 16,000 hectare ranch that has been the home of the Craig family since 1924. They manage the Lewa Safari Camp and Wilderness Trails lodge. In addition, Ngwesi Lodge, as part of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, is a community run tourism project that has won world acclaim.
To read more about EcoTraining Kenya, click here!
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