Nashville, Tennessee Native, Kiefer, born to effect positive change in the world

Sometimes in life you don’t exactly know where you want to go or what you want to do, but you know the general direction. Other times, you know where you want to end up, but do not know how you want to bumble around until then.

For Kiefer Hummeldorf, a Nashville, Tennessee native, he always knew that he wanted to end up back in Nashville surrounded by his close-knit family, but before then…the wide expanse and nature await.

Kiefer’s family owns and runs a Tennessee-based recycling business, so conservation and care for the planet are in his roots. In college, Kiefer secured a B.Sc. degree in Biology and Ecology. After that, he worked for his family’s recycling company. He enjoyed the work but craved hands-on fieldwork. In his own words, Kiefer says, “I wanted to be in nature but didn’t know how. To be in it, live in it, and not just writing down papers and lab reports in the office.”

It wasn’t until a blessed fishing trip when a long-time friend suggested that Kiefer do conservation work. That very evening, Kiefer googled “Conservation in Africa,” and EcoTraining popped up! He didn’t even know that guiding was an option until that moment. After discussing with his loved ones, Kiefer decided to jump all in and commit to the year programme and see where life would take him. One of his philosophies is, “you never really know what you wanna do until you do it.” Before joining EcoTraining, Kiefer had never even been to Africa before! A faithful Christian man, Kiefer knew that he would always be supported by a higher power. He’s currently a Back-Up at EcoTraining and his time has been simply magical. Upon reflection of his year thus far, Kiefer says, “I’ve come more in tune with myself, what I really want in life, and my goals and wants.”

When discussing the future, Kiefer still wants to end up in the United States, but until then, he wants to travel and work in Kenya and Tanzania as a photographic Trails Guide. After that, he wants to travel the world to photograph the polar bears, tigers and gorillas. The money brought he will bring in from photographic safaris will contribute towards animals in conservation and towards the protection of the parks. According to Kiefer, photographic safaris are one of the best ways to connect with wildlife, learn and to help save our natural world.

The famous and incomparable former warden of Tsavo, and founder of the elephant orphanage bearing his name, David Sheldrick, says “Mammals require three essentials in life: identity, stimulation and security, and by far the most important of these three psychological cornerstones is identity.” Solo-travel allows one to find him or herself, to find his or her identity. Like so many others who attend EcoTraining, Kiefer has made lifelong best friends, lives-out his passion and has reconnected with himself. He’s on his personal trail to learning his identity.

If you would like to find out more about the course Kiefer did, then contact enquiries@ecotraining.co.za about the year-long Professional Field Guide Course or if you are not ready yet, browse our courses by clicking here.