Posts

EcoTraining Quiz: Migratory Birds

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Primates

EcoTraining Quiz: Primates

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Loal is lekker

EcoTraining Quiz: South Africa is ‘Lekker’

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining ‘Lekker’ Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

EcoTraining Quiz: Cuckoo’s

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

EcoTraining Quiz: Become a Field Guide |||

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Why do birds eggs have different colours or patterns?

EcoTraining Instructor Ross Hawkins spends most of his time instructing on Trails Guide or Wilderness Trails Courses, so being on foot most of his day he does tend to see things on the ground level a bit more than those who are in the game drive vehicle. Small things such as birds nests and eggs sometimes get lost do to their camouflage, and there is a reason behind that.

EcoTraining Bird Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Waterbirds

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Reptiles Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Reptiles

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

EcoTraining Quiz: Amphibians

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Become a Guide

EcoTraining Quiz: Become a Field Guide ||

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Hippo Facts

EcoTraining Quiz: Hippopotamus ||

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


<Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Birding Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Endangered Birds

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

East African Animals

EcoTraining Quiz: East African Animals

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

EcoTraining Owl Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Owls

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Hyena Facts

EcoTraining Quiz: Hyena

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Giraffe Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Giraffe

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Vulture Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Vultures

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

The Ugly Five

EcoTraining Quiz: The Ugly Five

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Buffalo Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Buffalo

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Kenya Safari

EcoTraining Quiz: Become a Field Guide |

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

White lion

EcoTraining Crossword: Fun Facts

Is Coronavirus getting you down? Do you need to pass the time during your self-isolation? Don’t fear, EcoTraining is here and we have loads of fun interactive quizzes, word searches and crosswords to keep you busy.

Why not start with this EcoTraining Crossword and test your knowledge:

EcoTraining Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Survey

A letter from the MD & Coronavirus | COVID-19 Survey

A letter from our Managing Director, Anton Lategan

“Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. We as humans are part of a naturally resilient world. Micro and macro organisms in nature have countless interrelationships that keep our natural world healthy and our modern world functional. Through our eyes, we only see the macro-organisms around us but there is so much more going on that actually sustains us beyond our modern perceptions.

We are not voyeurs of nature, we are citizens of the natural world!

Our own bodies rely on and are made up of many microorganisms as part of a healthy system. Humanity is being reminded now more than ever that we are not the owners of this planet. We have the choice to live as respectful inhabitants and behave as responsible guardians of the natural world.

The lessons and solutions rest in nature, our scientific community is valuable but ultimately it is the understanding of our natural world that offers us the solutions we seek. As we seek solutions from nature in times of crisis, let us hope that we remember to protect nature when we continually place nature in crisis.

It is profound to witness humanity acting collectively against a common threat, perhaps for the first time in history at this scale? It is natural because we feel threatened but it gives me hope that we humans are potentially a caring being. I am hopeful that we can extend this care to the natural world as it has cared for us since the beginning of our existence.

EcoTraining is committed to teaching people how resilient nature is and in turn how resilient we are as people”.

With the world in crisis mode and humankind battening down the hatches

COVID-19 Survey

We have all been caught off guard by this current crisis. Certain drastic measures were put in place to keep the Coronavirus (COVID19) from spreading. These measures do have a major effect on everyone globally. Please take a few minutes to answer this 10 question survey about the Coronavirus and the effect it has on YOU personally and your travel plans.


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Makuleke Zeabra

Remember to appreciate the beauty that is around us during this time. (c) Etienne Ooshuizen

Lilac-breasted roller

EcoTraining Quiz: Birds of the Lowveld

Test your knowledge with this week’s EcoTraining Quiz!


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

Broad-billed roller

EcoTraining Word Search: Makuleke Birds

Test your knowledge with this EcoTraining Word Search!


Want to find out more about the EcoTraining Trails Guide Course?
Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire | Quizzes

White-backed Night Heron (c) Nevil Lazarus

The elusive White-backed Night Heron

The white-backed night heron is an elusive and rather poorly known species of crepuscular piscivore. A relative of the much more common black-crowned night heron, this secretive and shy inhabitant of slow-flowing rivers and dams are generally regarded as rare throughout a rather wide distribution. They can be seen from the east cape of South Africa along the Indian coastal belt through to the Lowveld and into parts of Southern and central Africa.

But they can only be spotted in their suitable habitat which makes finding them for your life list that much trickier.

Night herons

Difference between the White-backed and Black-crowned Night Herons

The species stronghold is undoubtedly the Okavango Delta where local mokoro based excursions from many lodges in the area offer a good chance of connecting with this sought after skulker. Birds are most often seen when flushed from bank waterside vegetation where they roost in the deepest shade during the daylight hours. They are generally active from early evening into the night before flying back to their roost sites as dawn approaches.

White-backed Night Heron Distribution

Distribution Map (c) Roberts Birds

Their hunting methods

White-backed Night Herons (Gorsachius leuconotus) as with most herons are opportunistic feeders with fish, arthropods, frogs and freshwater crabs comprising most of its diet. Some of their prey will simply be seized because it is available. A strong spear-shaped bill is used to spear passing prey at such speeds that the prey passing won’t know what hit them.

Underwater prey is waited for patiently, usually from vegetation overhanging the surface of the water or from a waded position just out from the bank. These birds can sit motionless for long periods of time until the opportunity arises. Like all herons, they possess specialised neck vertebrae. The neck is able to kink in an S-shape, due to the modified shape of the cervical vertebrae. This acts as a coil spring which gives their hefty bill incredible speed when the head is shot forward towards unsuspecting prey.

Another incredible feature of this hunting method is that these birds automatically take into account the refraction that takes place when looking into the water. The head of a heron corrects for light refraction at the water’s surface by adjusting the position and keeping a constant relationship between real and apparent prey depth.

Where do they occur in South Africa?

In South Africa, there are very few reliable places to find this endearing species with several sites along the garden route and Eastern Cape, Lake Phobane in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Lake Albasini in Limpopo offering some of the better chances. Something that is quite exciting is that this special species has been recorded quite regularly at EcoTraining Karongwe Camp. Most records are from the weir along the Karongwe River within the reserve, but birds have been seen at nearby Spectre and GVI Dams as well as from within camp itself.

This is wonderful news for birders who have been eluded by this beautiful bird as here at Karongwe there is the potential, for those who are fortunate, to access one of Africa’s most desired birds while taking in the beauty of the African wilderness and the stunning Lowveld.

If you are a keen birder or want to learn more about birds, why don’t you try your hand at our EcoTraining Bird Challenge?

Tree climbing lion

Kenya in February

February is an unbelievable time to travel to East Africa, and this time of year Kenya experiences the lowest levels of precipitation in the Masai Mara but the birdlife is in abundance and it also happens to be lion season!

When travelling through East Africa it is never a guarantee that it will not rain, as the famous tropical storms of Kenya could hit at any moment, however in the earlier months of the year the rainfall is substantially less than the later months, this means that the game viewing is fantastic and you won’t be bumbling around in a waterproof poncho for half of the day.

Giraffe in kenya

Giraffe at sunset (c) Tayla McCurdy

Good weather also means beach weather and the coastline of Kenya sure does boast some incredible spots. Kenya is renowned for its national parks and wildlife, but also the 1,420 kilometres of Kenyan coastline, it is home to some of the most beautiful destinations, beaches and Marine National Parks in Africa. Most of Kenya’s finest beaches are found just north and south of Mombasa in the southeast of the country. Here are some of the amazing spots you wouldn’t want to miss out on, especially in the summer weather:

  1. Diani Beach
  2. Lamu Island
  3. Watamu
  4. Malindi Bay
  5. Kilifi
Watamu Kenya

Watamu Coastline (c) Tara Turkington via Wonders of Watamu

It’s not only the coastline that is bustling with life in the warmer months, the bush in February is rich with birdlife and their sounds and songs bring the wilderness to life, there is a variety of intra-African and Palearctic migrants in the beginning of the year so, if you’re a keen birder this will be paradise. with over 1,100 recorded species it is definitely one of the top birding destinations. Here are some of the star birds that should be on any birders list:

  1. White-bellied Go-away Bird
  2. Amani Sunbird
  3. Rüppell’s Vulture
  4. Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater
  5. Grey Crowned Crane
  6. Ross’s Turaco
  7. D’Arnaud’s Barbet
  8. Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill
  9. Superb Starling
  10. White-headed Buffalo-Weaver
Birds in Kenya

Some birds you could see in Kenya (c) Tayla McCurdy

From January to March the lions are out in full force, hence this time of year is called lion season. As the plains game such as wildebeest and zebra drop their young the Masai Mara becomes dotted with new-born calves, which means only one thing – predators.

Lions in Kenya

Predator season in Kenya (c) Tayla McCurdy

Lions are not the only predators that will be out in full force, there have been some amazing sightings of leopard, hyena and cheetah in the Masai Mara, as well as around EcoTraining’s camp at Mara Training Centre.

The predator game viewing is particularly fantastic in the Masai Mara year-round, another great time to travel to see some of these big cats in action is during the Great Migration, which falls in the dryer winter months in East Africa from around June to October.

Kenya Predators

Predators of the Mara (c) Tayla McCurdy

The adventures in Kenya are endless, you could be ticking some amazing birds off your life list, relaxing on the beach or have some mind-blowing sightings in the Masai Mara – what are you waiting for?

Here are some of the courses coming up this year:

Kenya Safari Guide: 01 February – 28 February 2020 (Mara Training Centre)

Masai Mara EcoQuest: 07 February – 13 February 2020 (7 days) or 07 February – 20 February (14 days)

EcoTraining Kenya Field Guide: 06 October – 29 November 2020 (Mara Training Centre)

If you want to learn more about Kenya maybe try your hand at our EcoTraining East Africa Inspired Quiz.

EcoTraining Quiz: Climate change

Learn More About EcoTraining: Home | Courses | AboutEnquire |


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire |

EcoTraining Quiz: Birds & Birding

Learn More About EcoTraining: Home | Courses | AboutEnquireQuizzes


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquireQuizzes

Animal Behaviour Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Animal Behaviour

Learn More About EcoTraining: Home | Courses | AboutEnquire |


Loading…

Go To:  Home | Courses | AboutEnquire |