Where will YOUR off the beaten path take you?

You don’t need to be born in Africa to have Africa in your blood. The longing to be connected with the African wilderness is a way of life for a lot of people from all around the world and an unexplained marvel.

(c) Samantha Davies

Sophia, who is currently studying medicine in Hungary, decided to travel to Africa to learn about becoming a Field Guide during her two-month study break. After reading the book written by Geza Neitzel, Frühstück mit Elefanten, Sophia was inspired and persuaded herself that this was the way to spend her break. The author Geza Neitzel joined EcoTraining in 2015 on the one-year Professional Field Guide course and her book is based on her adventures during her time here in Africa.

We caught up with Sophia at the beginning of her 55-day FGASA Field Guide Level 1 course. Watch her interview here.

Sophia has since qualified as a Field Guide and returned back to Hungary to continue with her studies, but her adventures in Africa will stay inscribed in her memories forever.

“Every day in the bush is special and unforgettable, but there is one moment I will always remember. We had a free day in Selati and I tried to use that time to wash a few things, including my really dirty shoes! Two friends of mine were with me in the bathroom when we suddenly heard the voice of our instructor, calling us. We went outside and he told us that there were elephants just behind his tent and we should quietly follow him. He nearly ran in the bush and I followed him without shoes, but I didn’t feel any pain because I was so focused and full of adrenalin! We came to a rock and climbed on it and there was the whole herd on the other side, including one bull just a few steps away from us. When he realized that we were watching him, he slowly came closer and closer. My heart was beating so fast because there was just our instructor between the bull and us. The bull came so close that the instructor raised his stick up in the air and talked with a loud voice to the elephant. The elephant in response to our instructor’s voice walked away. This moment was so intense! I could see every eyelash, every wrinkle and every movement of this beautiful, big and majestic animal and I realized even more how beautiful the bush is.”