Onsite Training in Zambia

Not only does EcoTraining offer a variety of Field Guide career and short nature courses, but we also offer onsite training at lodges all over the world. This time around, we had the opportunity to do training in South Luangwa, Zambia. Instructor, Michael Anderson, made the trip to Zambia and in the blog shares his experience with us.

“This year I was given a wonderful opportunity, the kind of opportunity I dreamt about when I started training with EcoTraining; to travel to Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and train guides for a new lodge opening in the area! I was so excited!

Photographs © Michael Anderson

With all the regulations and travel restrictions, I did not believe that it was going to happen until I was on the flight.  However, as soon as I touched down in Lusaka I felt welcomed. From there I was whisked onto another flight bound for Mfuwe, a town that is the gateway into the Park.

Arriving at the Lodge

Soon after I arrived at the lodge, I met the team; Isaac, a quiet person but always with a helping hand and a ready smile. Jeremiah, a natural entertainer, and family man, and of course Kelvin, the head guide with 10 years of experience. Kelvin is a great mentor and leader.

Photographs © Michael Anderson

Isaac and Jeremiah had no guiding experience, but they had some experience working in various roles at lodges, so they both had an understanding of the basics. We spent our days in the park, practicing driving techniques to give the guys confidence behind the wheel.  We also focused on the knowledge of guiding ‘soft’ skills in order to help them be able to build an experience for their future guests.

Photographs © Michael Anderson

It was a great pleasure to watch them grow and develop. From the first elephant sighting that had Isaac almost wanting to abandon ship, to see him realize that he had the confidence to guide people through an encounter with any animal safely. Jeremiah, having children, was a natural storyteller, and just struggled with knowing how to start. By the end, we struggled to get him to stop!

Before I knew it, my two weeks in Zambia were up.  Although bittersweet, leaving a place and people I had grown so fond of, I hope the lessons will stay through them. One day when I go back, I look forward to seeing Isaac, Jeremiah, and Kelvin teaching the next generation of guides and guardians of nature”.