Makuleke is a stunning area of North Kruger with ample photographic opportunities and paired with an instructor that knows where to look for these opportunities and how to go about taking the photo you get a great photographic course.
Gabriele and I have a keen interest in wildlife and nature photography, therefore the Wilderness Photography course with EcoTraining was the right thing to do at the best time in wonderful Makuleke!
For years I have loved the northern part of the Kruger National Park. I wanted to do a birding course in Makuleke with EcoTraining. As this was not possible on the date offered, I decided to do the photography course instead. It turned out to be a very good choice.
From the very first time I set foot in South Africa, I knew I had come home. Perhaps not in the literal meaning of the word, but it was something I felt in my very being. My soul, never quite at peace, felt awash with relief that it had at last found a place to belong.
Insects… always a dilemma whether to hate them or love them. On one side where caterpillars are ugly, adults mesmerize us. It’s hard to tell how many species we have and how many we are still trying to discover. Just like their not-so-clear love we still lack a clear vision for them. And one the most important out of them are none other than sweet Honeybees.
After almost six months of training across four different reserves in South Africa and Botswana, it was finally time for our group to disperse on their highly-anticipated internships. For my part, turning up at a beautiful 4* lodge in the northern Kruger, I was a heady mix of anxious and excited.
After completing the first phase of the Professional Field Guide course, our group spent the next few weeks building on some of the wider skills surrounding the guiding industry; navigation, birding, and tracking to name a few. During this time, I was incredibly fortunate to spend time with many passionate and knowledgeable instructors although one moment, in particular, stands out as a favorite.
September 1st is known as the official start of Spring in South Africa. However, in 2017, it heralded a different kind of beginning for me. Having spent years wishing, dreaming, and saving, I was finally seated at a large wooden table with 11 other wide-eyed students as we began our EcoTraining induction.
Even if you have never been to Africa, you probably have an opinion about hyenas. They are ugly, vicious, greedy, dull scavengers. Or you are more like me and love hyenas for their fascinating social structure and impressive features. To me, they are the most interesting mammals on the African plains.
It was mid-October 2020, and the email in front of me was from HR. Cost-saving measures began, like so many others before it this year. I felt that familiar ache shoot up into my shoulders as I imagined more furloughs or even redundancies in an already stretched department. But the request form below was new…
In this second blog in our series, we are following David Ullmann, from Germany, who is embarking on his dream of becoming a field guide. We will be giving you a real insight into what the preparation looks like, and how it feels to be counting down the months and days to a new career and life.
In this new blog series, we are going behind the scenes and taking you on a real-time journey. From deciding to become a Field Guide to touching down in South Africa to start with EcoTraining.
The story of today’s famous wildlife conservationist did not start in university. But in the rainforests of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. With passion, patience, and a field journal Jane Goodall set out to become the world’s expert on chimpanzees. She has been a lover and protector of nature all her life. We show you how you can be too.
I’ve lived in several countries in Europe and in each of them I was far enough away from Southern Africa to have developed a considerable misconception about that place over the years. Europe holds many gems but unfortunately, the wildlife is not as enthralling as in Africa, and our ecosystems are incredibly different. The role of the field guide is not such a well-known job in our European cities and therefore many things about this job have been unknown to me all these years.
What comes to your mind when you think of rain, I asked a herpetologist. He kept silent for a few seconds and then his face brighten up with a huge smile and he asked me have u seen a frog? That shocked me for a while and I said who hasn’t seen a frog? Yes, I have seen many. He laughed and asked me what do they look like? I replied, “Sticky”, “slimy”, “weird”…
I have always had a love for the bush and photography, nothing beats that combination.
I had the opportunity to work as a media intern with EcoTraining for 2 weeks in February 2022.
One week I spent immersed in the Mara conservancies. Its nature, its community, its wildlife. I walked along the shores of the mighty Mara River, gazed up at the starlit sky of Kenya and experienced first-hand that being in the bush is life-altering. Time and again no matter how many safaris you have been on.
Born in the Okavango Delta, Kgomotso spent many of his childhood years roaming the bush in Northern Botswana. It was in the Delta’s grassy plains where his passion for the environment and animal behaviors first developed.
A deep purring sound makes me stop abruptly and immediately brings me back to the here and now. Did I really hear this? It sounded like a house cat purring, only much deeper and louder. I try to shine some light into the bushes in front of me…
Every year, the month of February is used to highlight the plight of the Pangolin. Now more than ever, it has become vital for protected areas and game reserves to provide a safe haven for these vulnerable creatures who play a critical role in their ecosystems, living as an all-natural pest control in the wild.
Huberta had a nose for adventure. For some reason, she grew bored of her water world in the St Lucia Estuary. She figured there must be more to life than bobbing in water by day and grazing by night. In November 1928, Huberta left her pod behind and hit the road – headed south.
As guides, we are quick to jump into our textbooks and start learning about all the wonders of the bush. From bird calls to tracks, gestation periods of a Zerula, and anything else in between. But does knowing all of this mean we are a truly great guide?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.