February 6, 2012


“… I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility…” (Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild)

We are already into the second month of 2012 and the possibilities with EcoTraining for the rest of the year are endless.  Have a look what is coming up, courses on offer, what we’ve been up to so far and other interesting snippets!


If you have the urge to have a quarterly break after the first slog of 2012, get yourself a place on one of the following EcoTraining short courses on offer in the next two months. Come on, you won’t regret it:
6 – 12 March: Birding in the Bush – Makuleke: For all the birding enthusiasts, this is a very practical course, designed to broaden and enrich your knowledge and skills by educating you about the fascinating world of birds and the interdependent relationships between them and other life forms.
14 – 20 April: Tracking – Selati:  To unravel the mysteries of nature even further, book a place on a unique seven day tracking course with EcoTraining and Adriaan Louw, one of the most highly qualified trackers and trainers in South Africa. It is fun. It is hands on. It is life changing!
18 – 22 April: Wildlife Photography – Galago: Under the guidance of Lex Hes, co-owner of EcoTraining, you will be given the time and opportunity to put into action the thought processes behind the making of good wildlife photographs.

And here’s what is happening on the environmental calendar in the next month:
19-25 March                       National Water Week
23 March                             World Meteorological Day


Camps: It’s been three weeks since the devastating floods that caused extensive damage in the greater Hoedspruit area in Limpopo where our wilderness camps in Karongwe and Selati are situated. We are glad to report that apart from the odd bits and pieces that got carried away with the water, all is well and both camps are fully operational and at the ready to welcome students!
Selati: What this camp had on offer since the beginning of January – homemade  Dutch apple pie by Dan (one year student), a sleep out with a very vocal assistant instructor Chris sawing the night away, showcasing some talents with handmade bows and getting stuck in the mud with a couple of curious lionesses a stone’s throw away.
Karongwe: After rescuing gas bottles, fuel cans and the all-important drinks fridge, the students on the 28 day safari guide course had themselves some fun with a day in the Kruger National Park. The highlight of their excursion included wild dogs and cheetahs, two of the most endangered carnivorous predators, very fortunate indeed!

Makuleke: Although the group of students (trails guide and FGASA Level 1) at our wilderness camp in the northern part of the Kruger National Park got spared the massive amounts of water, they still had fun in the mud. Together with great sightings, including huge herds of buffalo on the flood plains, rhinos dust bathing at a drink spot and lions at a safe distance, the last month up here has been one great adventure.

Mashatu: Communication with our camp in Botswana is not the easiest thing, being at the mercy of modern technology and Mother Nature, on top of being way out there in the wilderness. But the bush telegraph has it that exciting sightings, including lions and leopard on foot, were all part and parcel of life up there. Watch this space for more details soon!

Office: EcoTraining has been making the headlines internationally.

From Lugano, Switzerland comes the news that The Work Style Company has awarded EcoTraining one of the ten best work style companies worldwide for 2012. The best work style award is a unique initiative that puts to the foreground a new conception of excellence based on five carefully balanced criteria: identity, emotion, architecture, environment and organisation. It is the only company in Africa that was in the finals (top ten) after the international evaluation of 230 companies. 

Also, read the following article that appeared on a very popular German online magazine: http://www.spiegel.de/reise/fernweh/0%2c1518%2c811351%2c00.html

Environment/conservation: According to the Environmental News Network (ENN), the world is currently losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, further, it is currently seeing the sixth mass extinction. The previous mass extinction occurred 65 million years ago, and was caused by ecosystem changes, changes in atmospheric chemistry, impacts of asteroids and volcanoes. For the first time in history, the current extinction is caused by the competition for resources between a single species Homo sapiens and all others. 
We simply can’t afford the loss of biodiversity in the natural world at this alarming rate. Get behind the science, and join EcoTraining on one of our conservation and research courses. Visit our website for more information or email enquiries@ecotraining.co.za for details. 


EcoTraining is the oldest field guide training company in Africa, being in operation since 1993. Many students from South Africa and all over the world, whether seeking a professional career in the bush or just being a very keen nature enthusiast wanting to know more, have passed through our wilderness camps. For sure there are many stories to be told from the last 19 years! We want to know where you are now and what has happened since you took part in one of EcoTraining’s courses. Inbox us on Facebook (EcoTraining – Africa’s wilderness calls you) or send an email to liryndej@hotmail.com and we’ll get back to you to gather all those bush tales and photos you have accumulated. Looking forward to it!


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Also visit us on www.ecotraining.co.za and if you have any questions or queries, send an email to enquiries@ecotraining.co.za.

(Thank you Mark Gunn and Brian Rhode for the photos!)

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