A Beautiful Experience

Isabella (Bella) Villanueva – study abroad student from the University of Nebraska Lincoln

We all take wildlife seriously, but we also have so much fun. Every day when I wake up here, I think to myself: this is going to be a great day. And it is.”- Bell

Giraffe feeding – Photograph © Marie Schmidt
Isabella Villanueva – Photograph © Vinicio Herrera

Bella says the online Field Guide course was her favourite class last year. “I loved meeting people from all over the world. Zoom can be boring, but not this time. The class was super informational too. The online instructors were excellent and very accessible and understanding. It feels like we did the class long ago, as it took six months to get here to do the practical component.”

The beautiful fever tree forest in Makuleke – Photograph © Christoff Els

Now that she’s on the ground in South Africa, Bella says she has learnt invaluable skills for daily life. I love learning from our instructors, David, Ian and Ross; they are all experts. While everyone benefited from the online course, the experience here on the ground is valuable. Everything is different for me, and I love it.”

So much so that Bella is already considering guiding in Africa as a career option.

“I love education, wildlife and learning. It’s a fun job, and every day is different. Since coming here, guiding has become an option for me or working as a conservation biologist. Just nothing in a laboratory or anything repetitive for me, please.” 

GoPro Media Intern Perspective | Makuleke Highlights

EcoTraining’s Media Intern, Marie Schmidt, gives us an exciting and adventurous perspective through the lens of a GoPro camera. We look at some daily adventures in the bush, surprising wild dog encounters, loads of fun, and lots of learning. Let us join in on her experience in magical Makuleke.

About the Author: 

Keri Harvey is a Travel Writer and Photographer.

For Keri, travel is life, like breathing. She is a modern-day nomad from her home in the Cape to Cairo, Abidjan to Zanzibar, into the Middle East, Europe and Asia. With about 50 countries visited date, her stories are told on blogs and websites and in over 3 000 magazine feature articles spanning over 20 years.

Previously an award-winning editor on various South African lifestyle, travel and wildlife publications, Keri has worked freelance since 2001 and published articles in over 100 magazine titles. Every day, Keri wakes up to write or to travel, and her greatest wish is to inspire people through her stories to pack their bags and allow the travel bug to bite.

About the Author:
Keri Harvey

Keri Harvey

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