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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.


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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

EcoTraining Quiz: Birds of the Lowveld

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Broad-billed roller

EcoTraining Word Search: Makuleke Birds

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Lions playing - EcoTraining Quiz - The Big Five

EcoTraining Quiz: The Big Five

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FGASA Trails Guide EcoTraining

EcoTraining Word Search: Trails Guide

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little five - quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: The Little Five

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Cheetah Quiz - EcoTraining Quiz - Cheetah

EcoTraining Quiz: Cheetah

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Jeremy Bishop turtle - EcoTraining Quiz - Marine Life

EcoTraining Quiz: Marine Life

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Tree climbing lion - Kenya in February

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.

Leopard cubs

EcoTraining Quiz: Leopards

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Pangoli

EcoTraining Quiz: Endangered species

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Wild dog Quiz

EcoTraining Quiz: Wild Dogs

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Jackal

EcoTraining Quiz: Small Predators

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A morning drive to awaken your senses

The camp kitchen is a hive of activity as the sun slowly starts to filter through the trees. A warm beverage (or two) before setting off on an early morning game drive is always a must.

After the quick morning coffee and a chat about the game drive plan, you are then off on a new adventure. You never know what the day has in store for you. It’s very exciting.

Julia Wheeler (c)

Selati camp being situated on the banks of the Selati River makes the mornings even more beautiful, with breathtaking sunrises and interesting animals coming to investigate around the water’s edge the possibilities are endless.

Kirsten Scholtz (c)

Kirsten Scholtz (c)

It is always a pleasure to be out on a drive, even if the vehicle seems to be at an impossible angle. In this instance an instructor was driving, but the students each get a turn behind the wheel. They get to know the capabilities of the vehicle and they get to understand how to interact with guests in situations that might arise while on a drive.

David Batzofin (c)

Vultures perched on trees can give away the presence of a carcass, which in turn often signifies the fact that there are predators in the area. These two White backed vultures looked like they had a disagreement.

David Batzofin (c)

A look can say it all. Often when you get close to a lion, even if you are in a vehicle, a low growl will warn you of their mood.

David Batzofin (c)

Could this be a Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticose)?

Every drive is a learning opportunity for the students. Be it an animal, bird, insect or plant species. Questions are asked by the instructors to make certain that every safari drive it utilized to the fullest.

David Batzofin (c)

This is one of the Kingfisher species that does not eat fish. Instead it preys on insects like grasshoppers and locusts. They have been known to catch and eat lizards.

There is also a recorded case of one seen eating a bat! Of the 10 Kingfisher species found in South Africa, only 4 have a fish based diet.

David Batzofin (c)

The students make time for a sundowner break on the viewing deck perched high above the vast bushveld that stretched out towards the horizon.

David Batzofin (c)

There is no better way to end a day in Africa. Our sunsets are spectacular and will creep into the hearts and souls of students, both local and International.

Birds of a feather flock together, especially Red-billed Quelea’s

Red-billed Quelea’s are a relatively common sight in a number of South Africa’s nature reserves and farmlands. These small seed eating birds can be predominantly seen flying from food source to food source and always in big numbers. These numbers will ebb and flow depending on the amount of food available and to make it quite difficult for predators to take any individual within the flock.

Hyenas are not the ‘Underdogs’ of Wild

If you look closely at them you will see their scars – proof of battles won and lost, proof that they are born survivors.