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.
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…
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.
It’s a cool morning and I grab my coffee flask, flees jacket and camera. As the sun peaks over the dam wall, we lace up our boots and off we go into the veld in search of fresh signs of what happened the previous night…
We all feel stress at times. It is our bodies natural response when we experience something new, something unexpected, when we feel threatened or when we feel that we have no control over a situation. For some of us, stress can be a motivational tool and for others, it can make you feel anxious and even make you doubt yourself.
#BurpeesForConservation is all the rage at the moment. EcoTraining students have jumped on the trend and are raising their heart-rates in an effort to raise awareness and funds for conservation.
With your training complete where will you go next? If you are not going to be working in the bush, is the training even worth it? We think it is, and here is why.
Online learning is seemingly the next step in our Safari journey. But how do you choose which route to go?
Have you ever seen elephants disappear? No, it’s not a magic trick but it is something we have seen with our own eyes.
The EcoTraining Camp at Pridelands can best be described as a camp of rustic luxury. There are not many places left on earth where one can revel in solitude, connect deeply to nature and intentionally immerse oneself in a primitive way of living. The rare opportunity, then, to do these things in a turbo-technological world, can and should be considered a luxury.
Situated on the Pridelands Conservancy just north of Hoedspruit, this camp is privileged to be one of only two EcoTraining camps positioned within the world-renowned Greater Kruger National Park.
During Summer’s lush Eden, the campgrounds are barely visible until one is right on its doorstep. Each canvas dome tent rests below a dappled canopy, mostly hidden from view. And if it wasn’t for the mouth-watering aroma of sizzling bacon coming from the communal dining tent, the kitchen might go unnoticed as well. The camp chameleons itself into its overgrown surroundings. Any student enrolled here has the extraordinary opportunity to embrace a raw wilderness experience that leaves almost no human footprint on the land. Ablutions are communal but wait until you take a shower after dark below a bejewelled African sky, lullabied by the songs of nocturnal mammals awakening from slumber. Or brushing one’s teeth watching an elephant bull wallowing in the nearby waterhole. This is a rustic luxury.
The camp runs off the grid with power limited to solar energy. On a balmy afternoon between safari activities with no access to a fan, why not string up a hammock between two Marula trees, catching a zephyr that twirls off the dam nearby? Replace scrolling social media with watching a hornbill dedicating hours to finding food for his chicks. Take a long deep breath and know that the inhaled air is pure. Pristine. Perfect. This is rustic luxury.
Camp facilities are basic yet leave no student wanting after anything. With a well-fed tummy, access to running water and a dry, safe place to sleep, the environment provokes the need for only one thing. Gratitude.
Simple luxuries are hiding in plain sight at Pridelands and nature just requests that they are noticed and appreciated. Gratitude for the feeling of coarse sand between one’s toes after a long bushwalk. Feeling grateful for the tree frog that finds a temporary home in the soap dish and expressing gratitude for the asymmetrical reflections mirrored in puddles after the rain.
Be grateful; because on returning to the concrete jungle, one will yearn for these magical moments that left one in awe at EcoTraining Pridelands.
Take a virtual walkthrough of Pridelands camp and the wild natural landscape of the reserve and all the wildlife that call it home. With regular visits from elephants, hyena, and warthog, the camp offers a completely immersive experience. Have a look at the courses on offer for 2020.