You are never too old to live life to the fullest!

[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]

You are never too old to learn something new

EcoTraining often receives enquiries from people who are concerned about their age and how it will impact their ability to do well on the FGASA Field Guide Course. It is a fallacy that age impedes on one’s ability to achieve in life or prevents one from being able to chase their dreams and passions. EcoTraining’s mission to educate people on the importance of the wilderness and the processes that drive the natural ecosystems of the world. By reconnecting humanity with nature, we are creating an ever-growing movement of environmental leaders set out to preserve the natural world. This mission applies to anyone irrespective of age and encourages anyone with the desire to learn about African biodiversity to take the leap of faith and attend a course because they want to!

Read the testimonials from two former students who attended the FGASA Field Guide Course and hear what they have to say.

Testimonial 1: Neil Urry age 46

“Where do I start to express just what an amazing experience the EcoTraining Level 1 course is? From the get go I have felt really well looked after on all levels from admin staff to bus drivers to guides and staff at the camps. 

 The course itself is an incredible experience on so many levels… camp life with 20 like-minded adventurers was fun and a great opportunity to create some lifelong friendships. The facilities were basic which just lent themselves to the experience – an unfenced camp in the middle of a game reserve, what more could you ask for?! 

 As a more mature student (46) who hadn’t done much studying for a while, I was pretty apprehensive about the learning part and I had good reason to be as there was a lot to learn but, once I’d reminded myself that the experience was far more important than the qualification I relaxed in to the class and the way of the student. The Guides have a wealth of knowledge and stories and are incredibly happy to assist when assistance was required.

 For me the key was to utilise the break times to the study, keeping me ahead of the game with my workbook, regularly listening to my bird and frog calls (Robert’s Bird app is a must) and making sure that I was slowly but surely ticking off the requirements to show competency. The team don’t want you to fail and will help you to get through the course, you can rest assured of that!

 I would recommend this course to anyone irrespective of age as it is a life changing experience. My passion for Africa and safaris has grown as a result of the awesome amount knowledge I’ve gained from this experience.” 

Neil Urry


[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Testimonial 2: Jan Verbeeck age 49

“Last year I decided to take a sabbatical and pursue one of my lifelong dreams. My passion lies in observing wildlife – especially in the sub-Saharan Africa region. I have done many safaris in the past but wanted to get a more in-depth understanding of the bush. So, I embarked on a 2-month FGASA Field Guide Course conducted by Ecotraining at the Selati and Karongwe camps.

 What an experience it was! I was surrounded 24/7 by nature, constantly hearing sounds of all the animals around me, getting to know the world of large and small creatures alike, learning about the earth, plant life, climate and stars as well as how all these elements interact with each other. It was an amazing adventure.

 All the instructors I met were simply fantastic, each of them contributing a piece of a giant puzzle. Fellow students became like family as time passed and I have made many new friends.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s not always a walk in the park – acquiring bush knowledge and skills sometimes prove to be quite a challenge.

But looking back at my experience I can, without a doubt, say it was one of the best decisions I made in my life. I know now how nature defines us and the biggest treasure I brought back to Belgium was the ability to get in touch with myself again! I would recommend this course to everyone, no matter your age. As long as you love nature, it will give back to you in ten-fold the things you are looking for!”

Jan Verbeeck


[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
There you have it. The fear of uncertainty has a way of making us feel stuck and before we know it, we don’t regret the things we have done but rather the things we should have done when we had the chance. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” Be fearless and remember, you have an entire EcoTraining family rooting for your success.


About the Author:
Annemi Zaaiman

Annemi Zaaiman

Explore more

student sitting in the game viewer

The first 24 hours on an EcoTraining Practical Course

There’s one for aspiring professional Field Guides, taking an entire year. There’s one specifically for birding enthusiasts, taking just seven days. And there’s an extensive range of other ones in between. EcoTraining’s practical courses and experiences can cater to many different needs, but they all guarantee one thing: intense quality time immersed in nature! EcoTraining graduate Wim tells the story of his 35-day Practical Field Guide course, which took him first to Karongwe and then to Pridelands.

Read more
group of students on a birding course

Popular Birding Book Takes Flight

The newly revised Second Edition of Robert’s Birds of Greater Kruger book was released! It is a fresh and new edition, from the introduction to new chapters, habitat descriptions, checklists, distribution maps, illustrations, and photographs—and it only took three hard years to revise.

Read more
group photo of field guide students

Globalization in the Wild

My dad’s experience at EcoTraining was genuinely remarkable. It was an incredible example of how people from different backgrounds and cultures can come together to learn and appreciate nature. The diverse group of companions he met at the camp, including those from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, UAE, and Reunion, made the experience even more enriching. He learned from instructors from various countries, explored the African wilderness, and encountered awe-inspiring birds. It was a unique opportunity to witness globalization in the wild.

Read more

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

Join our nature-loving community.