Entries by Lej Ramala

The Unlikely Birdman

Samuel Japane, former student of EcoTraining was too determined to be defeated by life’s obstacles and today is the well-known bird man of the Outpost Centre. We interviewed Samuel on his new book ‘The Unlikely Birdman’ and this is what he has to say.

Gap Year or a Sabbatical? That is the question

There are so many different reasons for people to take a year off. Some people might have just finished high school, others have come to a crossroad in their career paths or perhaps want to learn something new. With unlimited options to choose from – the choice is yours.

What to expect on Field Observation Day

As the end of the first month of the 55-day Field Guide Course (NQF2) draws nearer, the anxiousness and excitement grows for our field guide students as they prepare for their assessment on their competence and knowledge of the various aspects and fauna and flora.

What is a Back-up Trails Guide?

With every one-year Course group, our Instructors choose a few candidates to become Back-up Guides as part of their lodge placement program. This is a great opportunity for students who want to gain walking hours towards their Lead Trails Guide qualification.

Life as a back-up with Mike Kirby

“It’s a feeling that I think everyone needs to experience on foot in this remote corner of the Kruger” says Mike Kirby who became a back-up Trails guide as part of his Lodge Placement program with us.

Trails Guide course at Mashatu

Cara Pring gave the Trails Guide experience a second chance. This time at our Mashatu camp in Botswana. With amazing memories of breaks atop great koppies overlooking springs and marshes with vereaux eagles soaring above and ellies crossing rivers in the distance, it left a great impression on Cara.

Lodge Life with Sean Harris

As part of his lodge placement, Sean Harris has been working at Singita Lebombo, Kruger National Park. It has been an unforgettable experience so far and Sean has come to realise the true meaning of this statement: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life…”

Through the eyes of a Trails Guide student

Isabella Barreca recently completed her Trails Guide course at Mashatu as part of her one year Professional Field Guide qualification. She describes her morning from the first waking call to experiencing the wonders of Mother Nature on foot.

The Wonders of Mashatu

From the moment you step foot into Mashatu game reserve, you will be in awe. With its beautiful landscapes, world famous rock formations, baobabs and a vast variety of game, you will not be disappointed.

Life at Makuleke camp

The Makuleke camp is located in the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers a variety of wildlife, vegetation and landscapes, not to mention the welcoming staff and good standard of accommodation in this camp.

The Magic of Makuleke

I will admit that there is definitely something special about Makuleke. The combination of baobabs, nyala trees and fever trees makes for a magical forest.

Wild dogs arrive at Mashatu

It was an exciting week at our camp as a pack of eight wild dogs were released on the Mashatu Game Reserve. With a little luck on our side the students got to be the very first people to see them after being released.

Love lessons from the bush

Love takes its shape and form in a countless number of ways, be it between humans or animals. In the past 23 years, our trainers and students learning amidst wildlife, have been lucky enough to witness and capture all sorts of love lessons from the bush. What better way to learn than from nature itself.

Seeing your first elephant in the wild

Abbie got to see her very first elephant in the African bush, all the while driving a game drive vehicle for the first time. What would seem like a daunting experience turned out to be an unforgettable moment that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Camp news: Floods at Mashatu

At EcoTraining, our trainers and learners acknowledge and respect that Mother Nature is more powerful than man. It is a humbling concept that they experience on a daily basis in our wilderness areas. Be it a towering elephant crossing one’s path or a torrential downpour that floods our camp nestled on the river banks.

The curse of the ‘were-buff’

Upon arriving back at Karongwe on New Year’s Day, there were some very fresh buffalo tracks around our tent. We figured perhaps our friendly neighbourhood buffalo had come to check where we had gone while we were visiting the Selati camp. What a nice chap!

Life at Karongwe camp

It has been a few weeks since Cara and Van first arrived at camp. They have been introduced to the daily running of camp, regular visits from resident animals in and around Karongwe and joined on some exciting course activities. It has been an unforgettable first week and Cara shares her experience.

Christmas at Karongwe

I was equal parts excited about and dreading Christmas in the South African bush. I have never had a Christmas away from my family before and it’s pretty much the only holiday in the year I really care about.