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My Student Journey – Part 1

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.

Elinor’s Incredible Journey to Becoming a Professional Field Guide

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…

Becoming a Field Guide – Part 2

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.

Becoming a Field Guide – Part 1

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.

Expect the Unexpected

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.

A Bed Time Story by Marie Schmidt

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…

A Year in the Bush and a Lesson for Life - Walking Safaris - Camera

A Year in the Bush and a Lesson for Life

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.

Sharing Air with Ezulwini - Safari - Elephant

Sharing Air with Ezulwini

How close is too close? In this blog, Victoria shares an up-close and personal experience with the gentle giant of Pridelands.

Another Day in Paradise - Paradise Cover

Another Day in Paradise

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.

The Juggle of a Safari Guide - Safari

The Juggle of a Safari Guide

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.

Selati swimming cover - River Swim ~ An African Baptism

River Swim ~ An African Baptism

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.

Africa's Big Tuskers - Elephant - cover

Africa’s Big Tuskers

“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.

Game Ranger vs Safari/Field Guide - Ecotraining E Learning

How to become a Game Ranger

People often confuse the terms “game ranger” and “field guide”. There is a difference, and here is why…

Elephant Close to tent - Ecotraining - Chamomile Tea with Elephants

Chamomile Tea with Elephants

The shortest day in Selati, could have started like many others. We all start to stir just before the sun starts to come up, drinking our morning tea and coffee around a fire, except today was different. We were awoken by the sounds of Elephants and Lions, who were on the opposite side of the riverbank somewhere close to the camp. These two magnificent animals were not very happy with each other, one had obviously disturbed the other and they were busy telling each other off, each trying to stake a claim to that particular area.

Elephant Tracking - Ecotraining

Walks of Life – Art from the Wild

I stood inside the enormous circular depression in the ground. Even with both of my size 11-US boots, there was plenty of room to spare. It was unbelievable: the sheer size, the amount of power it must have taken to cave in the earth like that. I will never forget it – the first time I saw an elephant track.

migration map and calendar - Diane McLeish - Wildebeest Migration

Wildebeest Migration – Part 3

Most people think that the Wildebeest Migration only takes place between June and October, but it is a year-round occurrence. There are various but equally exciting events that occur at different times of the year. The river crossings usually coincide with safari high season so consequently, there is a perception that it is the only time of the year that the wildebeest migrate or can be seen.

Wildebeest Migration - Chaos at river edge - Diane McLeish

Wildebeest Migration – Part 2

Every year, around 1.5 million wildebeest are joined by thousands of Thompsons gazelle, zebra, eland, and other ungulates (hoofed animals) in what has been called the “greatest show on earth”, The Great Wildebeest Migration.

Great Migration - Ecotraining

Wildebeest Migration

The Great Wildebeest Migration in the plains of East Africa is one of the most spectacular displays of wildlife behavior and nowhere is there a terrestrial movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration. As one of UNESCO’s Wonders of the World, it is one of the most sought-after experiences for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

The Black Mambas of Pridelands - Walking Safari - Ecotraining

The Black Mambas of Pridelands

Pridelands has two Black Mambas in camp at the moment and after a colorful interview, I can confirm that these ladies are way more lovely, and infinitely more hardcore than the snake.

Elephant Safari - Ecotraining - The Botanical Giants of Africa

Lake Ndlovu ~ The Pridelands Experience

Pridelands camp is many things. In this blog, Victoria shares what makes Pridelands the unique and wild camp that it is.

Learning About Butterflys Butterfly - Ecotraining

Learn About Butterflies Day

It would be impossible to learn everything about butterflies in one day but let’s start by exploring some of the practical reasons for being so pretty. Victoria dive into the ornate nature of butterfly colouration and we discover that a butterfly is so much more than beauty and grace.

Walking Safari - Ecotraining - Apprentice Field Guide Course

A Students View on the Apprentice Field Guide Course

“I made the decision to travel to South Africa. Upon arrival, I knew that I was about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime! No surprise that is exactly how it is playing out…” Student, Graham Ramon, gives us a glimpse into the first few weeks of his time on the Apprentice Field Guide course.

EcoTraining Quiz: Migratory Birds

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Primates

EcoTraining Quiz: Primates

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Loal is lekker - Ecotraining

EcoTraining Quiz: South Africa is ‘Lekker’

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


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EcoTraining Quiz: Cuckoo’s

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EcoTraining Quiz: Become a Field Guide |||

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EcoTraining Bird Quiz - Brood Parasite - EcoTraining ELearning - Bird Eggs

EcoTraining Quiz: Waterbirds

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