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About EcoTraining

EcoTraining courses: Leading safari, wildlife and field guide training in Africa

EcoTraining, which has been in operation since 1993, is the innovator and top provider of training for safari guides and wildlife experts in Africa.

In the safari industry, EcoTraining courses and nature guide training are well-known for having high standards and credibility. In addition to accredited career courses, nature programmes, study abroad opportunities for high school and university students, specialised courses, and on-site professional guide training at safari lodges, we also provide gap year and sabbatical programmes.

EcoTraining operates its unfenced bush camps in the most pristine wilderness areas of South Africa, Botswana and Kenya where all courses, including field guide training and other FGASA and CATHSSETA-accredited courses, are delivered.

We have trained thousands of people from 33 different countries worldwide.

Vision

To be the global leader in environmental education by reconnecting people with nature.

Mission

To provide inspirational and immersive learning experiences for professional safari guides and guardians of nature.

The EcoTraining team

Nature and wildlife conservation combined with teaching others about the wonders of Africa is what fascinates the entire team at EcoTraining. Start your wildlife career with a dedicated team by your side as you embark on your EcoTraining courses (in-person or online). Get to know the EcoTraining team of nature and wildlife guides.

Our community projects

EcoTraining has worked with many communities, upskilling guides and sharing environmental education with the next generations across Africa and even globally. See how we encourage community learning.

10 Reasons to choose EcoTraining courses

1

Founded in 1993, EcoTraining is the original field guide training organisation in South Africa, with the most significant and bio-diverse footprint in Africa.

2

EcoTraining’s accredited courses are the most widely recognised in Africa.

3

EcoTraining has over 22 courses, ranging from 6-day nature programmes to 1-year professional accredited courses and online courses.

4

Our Field Guide instructors are among the most experienced in the industry, with 150 years of collective experience.

5

Our six bush camps are located across three African countries, comprising 110 000 hectares (270 000 acres) of wilderness land.

6

EcoTraining is the only private safari guide and wildlife training facility inside the Kruger National Park.

7

All courses are conducted in remote wilderness areas from our unfenced bush camps.

8

Our courses lend themselves to participants getting real-world experience in nature.

9

Due to EcoTraining’s longstanding relationships with many of Africa’s top game reserves, our students have access to the ‘Placement Programme’ as part of the Professional Field Guide Course syllabus.

10

EcoTraining is the first guide training school ‌to receive formal accreditation from the Council for Higher Education (CHE).

The EcoTraining story

Follow the grassy paths to EcoTraining’s history

EcoTraining’s goal is to create guides and guardians of the natural world.

EcoTraining was started in 1993 when a few forward-thinking young guides from several safari lodges realised the need for formal field guide training and nature conservation courses.

We offer hands-on training in the bush at unsurpassed locations in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya

Today, EcoTraining has six camp locations – four in South Africa, one in Botswana and one in Kenya.

EcoTraining has provided training to people of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities from around the globe.

The vast majority of our graduates have been employed immediately after qualifying with us, through the approximately 150 safari lodges and operators we partner with.

Our courses are run in simple, unfenced bush camps in the middle of great wilderness areas, where participants get to truly experience what it is like to live in wild places.

We work hard to educate people on the importance of wilderness, especially the processes that drive the natural ecosystems of the world. Our hope is that participants, armed with this knowledge, will leave our courses and go out and make a difference in the way we look after our planet in their day-to-day lives.

Our history

1993
EcoTraining was established.
Some guides from Londolozi and a few lodges in the Sabi Sands came up with the visionary concept of EcoTraining.
1993
1997
Under new directorship
Anton Lategan, our now managing director, takes over as trainer from great predecessors, including Graham Cook, Paddy Hagelthorn, Malcolm Douglas and Grant Parker.
1997
1998
Partners in wildlife appreciation
Anton and Lex Hes form a partnership, based on a common philosophy of man’s responsibility to nature and purchase EcoTraining.
1998
2003
EcoTraining grows
We expand and move to our current bases in Kruger National Park (Makuleke Concession), Selati Game Reserve and Karongwe Game Reserve. We are soon recognised as the hotbed of well-trained guides for the local top lodges, and before long we are training guides for a wider community.
2003
2008
Leading careers in nature conservation courses
EcoTraining introduces its one-year Professional Field Guide course, as well as shorter one- to two-week wildlife programmes, to significantly expand our safari guide and nature training offerings.
2008
2009
Going global
EcoTraining expands operations to Australia. After great success in training over 600 guides and rangers over three years, the camp is folded back to the landowners.
2009
2013
Divide and conquer
EcoTracker, a division of EcoTraining, was born and is headed up by Alex van den Heever.
2013
2014
EcoTraining turns 21
EcoTraining starts running courses in Zimbabwe, at Livingstone Game Reserve, and at the world-famous Victoria Falls.
2014
2016
At the forefront
New part-owner and director Alex van den Heever joins Anton Lategan at the helm of EcoTraining.
2016
2023
EcoTraining makes history
EcoTraining becomes the first guide training company to receive accreditation from the Council for Higher Education (CHE).
2023
Today
EcoTraining is now established as one of the top providers of safari guide and trails guide training in Africa. We are passionate about creating guides and guardians of our natural world. We continue to grow and offer more and more students learning opportunities in and about the African wilderness, or, as it is known in Africa, “the African bush."

Start your career

Discover our immersive learning experiences and courses for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, including field guide training, nature conservation courses, enthusiast courses and so much more.

Find the adventure

Read our brochure about EcoTraining and our top-tier courses.

Testimonials