Emma was born in South Africa growing up in Johannesburg, her favourite holidays were the ones that took her to the Kruger National Park and into the African Bush. After moving to the UK as a teenager and travelling around America, Europe and Southern Africa, the call of her home county, grew to loud to ignore and drew her back to South Africa.
Gabatshwane Mmolawa, better known as Keina to her EcoTraining Family was born and raised in Botswana in a village called Motlhabaneng. She grew up with her family after finishing her junior certificate, then after a year Keina decided to go to college to do an Administration Course in Maun in 2015. After that she worked as a shopkeeper for a short time, Keina tried her hand at other career choices but she found she had an yearning from something more thrilling and challenging.
In 2010 Kenia found her calling and EcoTraining as a permanent cleaner and relief cook, after some years she got an opportunity to be a chef, she has always felt herself a jack of all trades and keen to learn new skills. In 2018 Kenia got the opportunity to take on an even bigger role as Camp Coordinator, which is a role she excels at each and every day. She really loves being in bush and has a dream of one day becoming a guide.
Nyikiwe Victoria, or Vicky for short was born and raised in the Makuleke Village where she grew up with her family, after finishing high school Vicky unfortunately never got a chance to go to university or collage due to the financial strain it would put on her family. But this didn’t stop her from wanting to learn and better her skill and abilities.
She joined the EcoTraining family in 2010 as a relief cook and this gave her the opportunity to move from camp to camp and experience all the different regions, this was Vicky’s first time in the bush! Vicky will often say that in those early days she had no idea what to expect from the bush, now if you meet her, she is nothing but confident and comfortable in the environment she now lives in.
Vicky then got a permanent position at EcoTraining Selati Camp in 2014 as a cook, and this was where she realised that she wanted to further her education, she then registered with UNISA to do a Nature Conservation course, where she studied from 2014 to 2016. She then got the opportunity to become a camp coordinator in 2018. Vicky feels very encourage that she can constantly grow herself and her skills, she sees herself as possibly becoming a Safari Guide one day, she enjoys the bush and feels that it helps her understand nature on daily basis.
After passing Matric, Ezra went to the university and graduated for Communications in Business English, as well as studying Cost and Management Accounting at the University of Venda. After finishing her studies, she worked as a teacher for 6 months, contract in Giyani which is situated not far from Makuleke.
Ezra started to work in the bush in 2012 at the Outpost Lodge in the Pafuri Region in the Northern part of Kruger National Park as front of house administrator for 3 and half years. She then moved to the Waterberg for 2 years as the front of house and housekeeping supervisor, from the Waterberg, Ezra found herself moving to Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge which is located Makhado, Louis Trichardt, she worked as a Manager for 6 months. After gaining all this amazing experience, Ezra joined the EcoTraining family as a roaming camp coordinator in February 2019.
Faith Shivamba was born in a small town called Tzaneen in the Limpopo province. She is the camp coordinator at EcoTraining Karongwe camp. Faith has acquired a Diploma in Nature conservation, Field Guide Level 1 and 4x4 advance driving certificate over the years in the field. She enjoys working in the bush and loves everything about nature especially conserving and educating the communities about wildlife conservation.
Faith used to travel to the Kruger National Park with her family when growing up and I had always wondered who took care of the animals that she saw and how they do this without them being harmed. In 2011 she took a gap year while studying a part time Human Resource Course at the University of South Africa, she then realised that she would not want to be stuck in an office every day for the rest of her life. Faith then researched various wildlife conservation courses and started applying at different universities. She got accepted at the Nelson Mandela university in 2012 and start her conservation journey, wildlife conservation has changed her life for the better. Faith now realises how important our ecosystem is and how important it is for us to conserve and protect it. Faith is a strong and ambitious woman in nature.
He role at EcoTraining is to make sure that the camp runs smoothly and all the students and guests’ needs are taken care off.