Why a gap year in the wild?

Meaningful, educational, inspirational. Re-defining oneself!   Make your gap year count and grow you as a person in so many ways. Make it a gap year you will remember for the rest of your life.

Gap years are about growing as a person and experiencing as much as possible in order to help you decide how you are going to spend the next few years of your young life. They are less about chilling out on beaches and enjoying a year-long party, and more about having a life-changing experience before you embark on your career studies.

Read more and enquire about our two most popular gap year programs here:

What are the advantages of taking a gap year?

A gap year offers an opportunity and alternative to ‘figure things out’ for school leavers not 100% convinced of their career or study plans or direction for their life ahead. With so many career choices available these days, it can indeed be a tough decision to choose one’s career.

During a gap year, whatever they choose to do during this time, school leavers may come across a career opportunity they didn’t consider before and that opens up a whole new world. Or it can purely be seen as a time to take a year off, a breather of sorts, a time of personal growth and development that is valuable to any individual.


Why choose your gap year with EcoTraining?

EcoTraining offers a unique gap year experience in the form of a one year Professional Safari Guide course for people either serious about pursuing a career in field guiding or those looking for an educational and meaningful gap year. For one year you will be exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains, landscapes, wildlife species and so much more at our wilderness camps in remote places such as the Kruger Park, Karongwe Reserve, Selati Reserve and Mashatu Game Reserve (Botswana).

Even better is that for this year of adventure, environmental education and conservation, you walk away with national accreditation by CATHSSETA, endorsement by the Field Guide Association of southern Africa, and 5 months of work experience at a safari lodge that EcoTraining partners with. You get an internship where you will meet international guests; fellow lodge and guide staff and gain a heap of essential life and work skills.


The second shorter option for a multi-destination gap year is to join a 55 day Field Guide Level 1 course which provides the fundamentals on safari guiding, conservation and adventure in nature. Certified and endorsed, it enables one to fully experience and learn what it takes to be a Safari Guide in about two months and offers stimulating variety to your gap year itinerary.

Our unfenced bush camps provide a consistently stimulating environment in which to learn, supported by our highly qualified and experienced instructors, each with their own unique way of training and guiding that will enhance your overall training experience.

Our advice to a school leaver wanting to take a gap year?

Give yourself the chance to do something rewarding, try out new things and discover what this world has to offer. It will help you become more mature and confident in having to deal with the demands of the ‘adult’ world. If you apply yourself correctly, you can make a gap year experience work for you for a long time as it shows future employers that you are willing to open yourself up to new experiences.

What skills can you gain from taking a gap year?


Whatever one chooses to do during a gap year, the skills gained can be applied to everyday life. Volunteering, for example, gives you the opportunity to help people. The knowledge gained during this time can be used to make a difference in leading your day-to-day life, dealing with people, certain situations and handling yourself under pressure. Having a greater appreciation for life in general is definitely an advantage that will stand you in good stead.