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.
Of all the antelope that hang around EcoTraining Selati Camp, the Nyala are the friendliest. Whilst the Kudu and the Impala will stare at you for a split second, alarm call and run away, the Nyala will just stand there, staring at you with those expressive, big black eyes and massive eyelashes. Sometimes; if you’re lucky they will calmly walk close to you.
As the oldest guide training school in South Africa, with the largest and most bio-diverse footprint in Africa, EcoTraining believes education is the key to sustainable development and to safeguarding the planet.
The great news for wildlife fans is that there are plenty of podcasts available for them to choose from. However, with so many options, it can be difficult to distinguish the well-researched and entertaining nature podcasts from the rest. To narrow down your search, here are eight of the best podcasts you should follow if you’re interested in learning more about wildlife and nature.
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.
Have you ever wondered what activities become the stories you share for years to come? We cannot speak to all of them but we can share some insights into an epic EcoTraining right of passage, the sleepout event.
The sun has just started to rise, peeping its head above the horizon, and with it, the dawn chorus starts to sing. This sound gently stirs me from my sleep.
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.
As the chilly, early morning mist cleared, we sat in silence, patiently waiting and watching. The drone of insects heralded dawn’s awakening as we kept an eye on the paths and tunnels made through the reeds and rushes by the Sitatunga. A rustle in the reeds and a faint calling sneeze alerted us that they were on the move. Excited that our patience had eventually paid off, all binoculars were trained on the very shy antelope that are so difficult to observe.
Growing up, I would imagine going on safaris as a live-action version of The Lion King, with wild animals interacting and living their lives, paying no attention to me. The two trips I’ve taken in the bush as an adult weren’t actually that far off from that image: I saw a ridiculous number and variety of animals from the safety of a game vehicle. My most recent experience – an EcoTracker course in Mashatu – was somehow entirely different, and even more magical.
The short bushveld winter has now officially ended in the South African bush. Days are getting warmer and the nights aren’t as cold as they once were. This is the time of year when we eagerly await the first storm. Will it come on time or will it be late? Only Mother Nature has the answer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Daily we hear about animals whose population numbers are in decline, but did you know that the humble Bees numbers are also in decline and they too are at risk of extinction?
Professional Field Guide students, Sarina and Joya, take us on a walkabout through the newly built EcoTraining Karongwe camp.
Not only does EcoTraining offer a variety of Field Guide career and short nature courses, but we also offer onsite training at lodges all over the world. This time around, we had the opportunity to do training in South Luangwa, Zambia. Instructor, Michael Anderson, made the trip to Zambia and in the blog shares his experience with us.
April is a magical time of year in the bush. The last of the summer rains have normally passed so the bush starts to turn a beautiful golden brown. The short bush Autumn starts to take place so the days are still warm but the nights are starting to cool, perfect for sitting around the fire or snuggling down into your sleeping bag. The days start to get a bit shorter and the nights longer, giving us more time to admire the beauty of the cosmos.
Even more reverent and iconic than Africa’s Big Five, Baobabs are the true titans of Africa. As the title would suggest, Baobabs are impressive in size, with some reaching up to 30 m in height.
Pridelands camp is many things. In this blog, Victoria shares what makes Pridelands the unique and wild camp that it is.
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.