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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the middle of the Mashatu bush, in the early hours of the morning, I was woken by the loud roar of a male lion. I was hesitant to get out of bed and shine my touch to see if the lion was anywhere near my tent. I decided to climb back into bed. By the sound of the roar, the lion was not that close to the camp.
As the sun slowly rises over the horizon the dawn chorus of a new day starts. Crested Francolins call in duet and the birds of prey start to warm up, desperately waiting to catch a morning commute with the rising thermals. It is here on the Southern side of Ndlovu dam where JP Le Roux and myself are doing some filming for our Youtube channel while enjoying a morning French pressed coffee.
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.
EcoTraining Professional Field Guide Student Jack Vicary shares his EcoTracker – Tracking & Trailing experience with us.
“Christmas 2019, which is now over two years ago, I was sitting with my family in Germany around the Christmas tree. Now in The Year of Covid, I have a completely different Christmas story to tell.” A year in the bush during a Pandemic by Anna Elisabeth Franz.
The Racket-tailed Roller has a rather limited distribution in South Africa, primarily being found in the far northeastern tip of Kruger National Park which is dominated by Mopane (Colophospermum mopane) which occurs in dense stands with limited ground cover as its understory. Let instructor Ross Hawkins explain more about this elusive bird.
The lift in restrictions could not have come at a better time. South Africa is known for its lovely weather and what better time to step foot on South African soil than during the spring months leading to summer. You can look forward to lovely weather as you enjoy the stunning beaches, wildlife and landscape the country has to offer.