What is a Back-up Trails Guide?

With every one-year Course group, our Instructors choose a few candidates to become Back-up Guides as part of their lodge placement program. This is a great opportunity for students who want to gain walking hours towards their Lead Trails Guide qualification.


Our Professional Field Guide lodge placement programs can vary from working at animal rehabilitation centres, gaining knowledge as a Field guide at a Game Lodge or even working as a Back-up Guide at one of our camps, to name a few.

We interviewed some of the students chosen to work as Back-up Guide and this is what they had to say about the opportunity.


Saskia Goeckeritz

I simply love living in a bush camp and learning new skills around camp. It also gives me the chance to learn more from the Instructors at EcoTraining. Being a Back-up helps me to gain more experience and build up hours towards my Lead Trails Guide.

Luke Macdonald

I want to be a Back-up because I want as much walking experience as possible and to hopefully get my Lead Trails qualification. I personally think it will be more beneficial as I will learn more practical skills.

Anna Katharina, Raaben

After staying in the bush for five months with EcoTraining I can already say that I really have learnt so much, but there is still so much I want to learn. Staying another 6 months as a Back-up with EcoTraining gives me the opportunity to spend more time with greatly qualified instructors and all the other great people who work and learn here. Staying here allows me to improve my skills, my knowledge and also gives me the opportunity to become involved with camp work. For me, there is no other way to achieve the same amount of knowledge and personal growth than being a Back-up with EcoTraining

Kewan Bagley

Being a Back-up makes feel excited and nervous all at the same time. I am thrilled to be able to spend more time in beautiful wilderness areas and learn more about these places.



Saskia Goeckeritz

It means to support the Lead Guide on trails. You are also meant to do all kinds of camp duties such as maintenance on the vehicles and ensuring the camp is kept clean and ready for students.

Luke Macdonald

It is someone who will back-up the Lead guide on his/her walks. It also means doing the behind the scenes jobs such as cleaning pathways or doing rubbish runs. None the less, starting from the bottom is the best way to learn!

Anna Katharina Raaben

I am greatly thankful to be a Back-up and I enjoy the role of a Back-up, especially when we are out walking in the bush. I love the responsibility and I love challenging myself.

I can’t wait for the next six months because I know what a positive effect it will have on me and my life.

Kewan Bagley

Being a Back-up means I have an opportunity to expand my knowledge and be mentored by very experienced and capable instructors.