Posts

Wilderness Photography course – Hailey Pope

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.

Conservation vs Preservation by Aayat Irfan

The utilization of words such as ”preservation” and ”conservation” is widely done across eco-tourism industries as well as eco-tourists and environmentalists. However, both of these words can be doubtlessly confused. Both of their definitions highly differ. Although both of the processes focus on protecting the natural environment, the method of conducting each one of them does contrast.

Women Protecting our Wildlife

On World Female Ranger Day, we would like to introduce you to some of the strong and inspiring women who risk their lives daily to protect our wildlife.

Do you know your African giraffe?

Towering above the open plains, grass, and woodlands of Africa, giraffes, with their extremely long necks and legs are the world’s tallest mammals. They are social animals that roam the savannah peacefully in large herds as they forage for food at the tops of trees. Handsome and impressive yet awkward, no safari would be complete without these gentle giants.

Dwarf Planets

In our Solar System, there are currently five recognized Dwarf Planets with many more waiting to be discovered or confirmed. These are in order from Earth – Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris. Like the other Planets these are all named after Gods and Goddess, although interestingly not just after Roman or Greek Gods.

Painted Wolves of Africa

The Painted Wolves are also known as the African Wild Dog or Cape Hunting Dog are beautiful, elegant, slim line, cross-county athletes. Built for hunting, speed, distance, and endurance.

Wilderness Photography with Rolf Bussmann

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!

Part of the Troop – Baboons of Makuleke

In my year and a half at EcoTraining, I have had the privilege to move around our different camps and experience the unique relationship between humans and the animals that frequently visit the camps. The experience that captivated me, is the troop of baboons in Makuleke. They spend their days interacting with one another in and around camp and then roosting in the big Nyala Berry trees at night.

Wilderness Photography with Gabriele Muller-Sonder

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.

My Student Journey, Part 4 – After graduation

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.

The importance of bees on the environment

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.

My Student Journey, Part 3 – Internship

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.

My Student Journey, Part 2 – Tracking & Trailing

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.

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.

In Love with Hyenas

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.

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.

How to get started in conservation?

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.

Eco-Engineers by Aayat Irfan

Although engineering may be a common career, the significance of engineers keeps increasing. Engineers are creative and diligent, they design, innovate and maintain structures. Similar to engineers, the environment consists of its own set of engineers called ecosystem engineers. They are essential in creating, modulating, and maintaining the environment. These fascinating creatures include the mini, mighty mechanics – ants, termites, bees, and dung beetles.

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.

Celebrate World Frog Day 2022

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”…

My Experience as a Media Intern

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.

Wildlife Course in Kenya l What to Expect

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.

Kgomotso’s Inspiring Journey from Volunteer to Professional Field Guide

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 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…

Protecting our Precious Pangolin

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.

The Incredible Journey of a Hippo with Wanderlust

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.

The Most Underrated Skill A Guide Can Have

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?

Top Myths about being a 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.