Lawrence Steyn delves into a couple of myths about being a guide, what it means, what you can expect, and how to be great at guiding.
Of all the antelope that hang around EcoTraining Selati Camp, the Nyala are the friendliest. Whilst the Kudu and the Impala will stare at you for a split second, alarm call and run away, the Nyala will just stand there, staring at you with those expressive, big black eyes and massive eyelashes. Sometimes; if you’re lucky they will calmly walk close to you.
As the oldest guide training school in South Africa, with the largest and most bio-diverse footprint in Africa, EcoTraining believes education is the key to sustainable development and to safeguarding the planet.
The great news for wildlife fans is that there are plenty of podcasts available for them to choose from. However, with so many options, it can be difficult to distinguish the well-researched and entertaining nature podcasts from the rest. To narrow down your search, here are eight of the best podcasts you should follow if you’re interested in learning more about wildlife and nature.
When I think about summer the text line “Summertime and the living is easy” from Ella Fitzgeralds immediately pops up in my head. We all know the feeling a beautiful summer can give us. Long sunny days, a relaxing vacation, good vibes, food, and music. You might get it already, a summer in the African bush looks a little bit different. Nevertheless, it is very special but also challenging in many ways.
Have you ever wondered what activities become the stories you share for years to come? We cannot speak to all of them but we can share some insights into an epic EcoTraining right of passage, the sleepout event.
The sun has just started to rise, peeping its head above the horizon, and with it, the dawn chorus starts to sing. This sound gently stirs me from my sleep.
At the age of 71, Clare Wilson enrolled in an EcoTraining Career Course, packed her bags, and headed north for the bush.
I asked my fellow online EcoTraining students around the world what they were reading these days. What books inspired them, challenged them, or made them long for the bush?
If I thought my list of must-read titles was already long, it got longer when I saw their recommendations.
If you’re looking for inspiration for Christmas Gifts, we have gathered more gift ideas we think will add a bit of the African bush to any holiday.
The holidays are almost here, and you still don’t know what to get the safari lover in your life? Not to worry. We have gathered gift ideas we think will add a bit of the bush to any holiday celebration.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. A hot and humid early summer day in November 2020, the day my Field Guide Level 1 course started. Little did I know that from this day on, I would embark on a journey that would teach me so many things and make me leave my comfort zone. A journey that yet continues to last.
How close is too close? In this blog, Victoria shares an up-close and personal experience with the gentle giant of Pridelands.
One moment you’re talking about the leaf structure of a sickle bush, the next you’re staring a male leopard dead in the eye from about 50 yards. The first few weeks at Ecotraining’s Karongwe camp has been nothing short of spectacular, surpassing all expectation with a bit more on top.
With a love and passion for the bushveld, Lawrence Steyn heard the call and answered. After reaching a pivotal point in his life he came to the bushveld to study Field Guiding. In the African bush, he found his true calling, friendship, adventure, and love.
Growing up, I would imagine going on safaris as a live-action version of The Lion King, with wild animals interacting and living their lives, paying no attention to me. The two trips I’ve taken in the bush as an adult weren’t actually that far off from that image: I saw a ridiculous number and variety of animals from the safety of a game vehicle. My most recent experience – an EcoTracker course in Mashatu – was somehow entirely different, and even more magical.
The short bushveld winter has now officially ended in the South African bush. Days are getting warmer and the nights aren’t as cold as they once were. This is the time of year when we eagerly await the first storm. Will it come on time or will it be late? Only Mother Nature has the answer.
Have you ever wondered just how many balls your safari guide must juggle on a safari? Victoria shares her experience of what it’s like to be a new guide.
Unicorns, mythical beasts that are confined to fairy tales and children’s storybooks, right? Wrong. If you come to South Africa and look deep into the African bush you might just see one. No, I’m not talking about the fabled horses/goat type animal with flowing manes and a single horn, but rather something that is more prehistoric, a critically endangered herbivore, a mammal with stunning grey skin, and two beautiful but deadly horns.
Society tells us our lives will be mapped out by our youth and our ambition: what schools we attend, who we marry, or what high-paying career we take on. But those are not the only factors that determine our paths. Sometimes tectonic forces are working deep below our feet, waiting to show us paths we had not prepared for when we least expect them—after our careers, our schooling, and our lives are pretty much sorted out. Or so we thought…
In the middle of the Mashatu bush, in the early hours of the morning, I was woken by the loud roar of a male lion. I was hesitant to get out of bed and shine my touch to see if the lion was anywhere near my tent. I decided to climb back into bed. By the sound of the roar, the lion was not that close to the camp.
As the sun slowly rises over the horizon the dawn chorus of a new day starts. Crested Francolins call in duet and the birds of prey start to warm up, desperately waiting to catch a morning commute with the rising thermals. It is here on the Southern side of Ndlovu dam where JP Le Roux and myself are doing some filming for our Youtube channel while enjoying a morning French pressed coffee.
Technology has become so ingrained into our everyday lives that most of us question how it is possible to live without it. It has helped us keep in contact with the people we love during the recent worldwide lockdowns. Whilst you are traveling it allows you to capture memories, share your experiences and reflect on your adventures when you get home.
Swimming when the river flows is the Selati equivalent of making hay while the sun shines. EcoTraining blogger, Victoria, recalls a sunset swim, shared with students and tilapia fish.
“Where they made furrows with their tusks the rivers ran” – Rudyard Kipling. Bear witness to the ancient giants of Africa. Titans are long-enduring but faced with a perilous future. Reverent creatures that we have the privilege of walking amongst a dwindling population.
I like to end the day relaxing in front of my tent doing a few yoga stretches, enjoying the silence of the camp, the evening song of the birds, and marveling in the feeling of the last of the rays of the winter sun before it disappears for the day.
On hearing the alarm calls of the Nyala that hang around the camp, I stopped for a minute, listening, holding my breath, to see if I could hear what had disturbed them. And then…
The 31st of July is World Ranger Day, let’s explore what it means to be a ‘ranger’ in celebration of this day!
I’ve always told my guest when walking out in the bush to read it like a book. Start on the horizon and scan from left to right and don’t forget to scan the trees close to you, there might be a Black Mamba looking back at you from its den. It’s definitely a question of who is looking at who out in nature.
One thing we all know is true: once you have been to the African bush, you are never quite the same again. It is an impossible experience to convey to anyone who hasn’t been, and if you are reading this, you are among those of us that never tire of going on safari.
I found myself speed walking to gate number C6 at Cape Town International airport. With way too many bags strapped over my shoulders, I shuffled towards the stairs going to the desired gate. From nowhere a friendly face stopped me and drew my attention to my shoes, this literally stopped me in my tracks.