How do I become a Backup Trainee for EcoTraining? 

A Backup Trainee for EcoTraining

The traditional concept of a ‘backup guide’ is someone who works as an apprentice under the mentorship of experienced senior field guides to gain valuable practical working experience in the bush environment. EcoTraining instructors will select the chosen few students from the one-year Professional Field Guide programme as part of the ‘placement programme’ offered exclusively on this course. The placement programme occurs in the second half of the one-year Professional Field Guide course. EcoTraining students are placed at various lodges, conservation projects, and even EcoTraining camps across Southern Africa to gain practical work experience as professional field guides. 

The selection process

To be selected to become a ‘backup’ trails guide, you must have excelled in the trails guide module and FGASA Nature Site Guide component in the first half of the Professional Field Guide course. If selected as a backup trainee for EcoTraining, you can walk in beautiful wilderness areas and experience incredible moments on foot with wild animals. Most importantly, you support the lead trails guide while conducting guided nature walks where encounters with potentially dangerous animals occur and help with the day-to-day running of the camp.

Log your walking hours

Selected backup trainee guides can log walking hours and encounters towards obtaining their Lead Trails Guide qualification. The Trails Guide is responsible for conducting safe guided walks with guests to view potentially dangerous animals in the wilderness. 

What a former Backup Trainee says

“To be selected as a backup trail guide is a privilege and carries great responsibility. You are responsible for the life of the Lead Trails Guide and the lives of guests who are with you and require a great deal of reciprocal trust. You need to be level-headed and not panic in dangerous situations. You need to be assertive and able to communicate instructions to ensure the safety of those around you. It would be best to have courage and, more importantly, integrity, which are all the makings of a great Trails Guide. Being selected as a backup for EcoTraining allowed me to learn many additional skills in the practical working environment that have served me well in my current job, including underestimated skills such as building, plumbing, carpentry, welding and even vehicle maintenance. These extra skills are all useful if you are considering working at a bush lodge or similar.” – Gino Cinquina, former EcoTraining backup.

A FGASA and CATHSSETA-qualified professional field guide course.

Immerse yourself in the African wilderness, expand your knowledge, and embark on a transformative learning experience with EcoTraining.

Sign up for the 1-year Professional Field Guide Course today! 

For more information on the 1-year Professional Field Guide Course, contact [email protected] or call +27 (0)13 7522532

GoPro Student Highlights - Behind the Scenes

We share with you some of our favourite moments seen through the eyes of an EcoTraining Back-Up. We start the morning with a fabulous game drive, elephants in camp, a night next to the Limpopo, fun at camp and everything else. Hang on tight!! We are going on an adventure!!

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EcoTraining Pty Ltd

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