August 27, 2013

ECOTRAINING: PASSIONATE ABOUT CONSERVATION

From humble beginnings way back in 1993, when a handful of passionate individuals saw the opportunity to provide the tourism industry with qualified nature-guides, to the leader in this field today.

This is the story of EcoTraining.

For the past 20 years, thousands of people with a deep love for nature, an appreciation of all things wild and wonderful and a passion for conservation, have attended our courses in wilderness camps across Africa.  And armed with this knowledge, they have gone on to make a difference and spread the message of reconnecting with nature in a meaningful way.

Michael Clark, who trained with EcoTraining more than 10 years ago, is currently in Nepal, training up young Nepali naturalists. 

Says Michael:

“The variety of subjects is incredibly diverse and comprehensive, and the practical element provides you with experiences that are hard to put into words. Anyone who is serious about a career in eco-tourism or simply wants a sabbatical from work, the experiences you can have on a course can lead to a whole new way of life, and provide you with memories to truly cherish.”

Like Marc Lindsay Rea, who says he’s now living the dream, thanks in part to EcoTraining who has put him in a very privilege position indeed, as a fully qualified field guide leading people into the wilderness and onto memory-making adventures.


“I have such a thirst for acquiring knowledge about wildlife and nature from around the world and I am lucky to have the privilege to guide guests through these exciting places. I thank and appreciate everybody and every company that has put in many long hours to help get me to the position I am at now. Thank you!”

Yes, we are essentially a field guide training company, training guides for the industry. But with shorter courses and excursions on birding, tracking, photography and bush survival, and from anything between four and 28 days, we are also catering to the tourist with a conscience.

Today’s tourist is a thinking traveler who wants to have fun while gaining a better understanding of the natural world. And this is where a company like EcoTraining is stepping in and creating an experience with a difference.


Like Richard Schmid from Switzerland who was born in Mombasa and spent the first seven years of his life in Kenya. He went back to the country of his birth to take part in a 28 Day Field Guide course in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

For Richard there’s no other way to travel.

“I travel like this all the time, to go out and actually do something, on a course like this to be directly and actively involved in something. I now know so much more, my base of knowledge has broadened considerably and I’m not regretting it for one moment. We have an ecological responsibility and I think people are becoming more and more aware of it all the time.”

Through the years the EcoTraining qualification have become the trusted nature-guide training standard in the industry, giving people from all walks of life and from all over the globe the opportunity to become one with nature. We have trained all across the African continent and also in many other parts of the world.


And our wilderness camps in South Africa (Makuleke, Selati, Karongwe), Botswana (Mashatu) and Kenya (Lewa), is where it is all happening. It’s in these simple unfenced bush camps in the middle of these great wilderness areas participants truly get to experience what it is like to live in wild places. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, countless hours are spend walking or driving in the bush, and an understanding of our place in the natural world is cultivated.

Africa indeed just has its way with people. The continent’s wild and wonderful places lure people from all over the globe, to come and explore and then to return wherever they are from with vivid memories to last a life time.

You will get all this, and so much more, on an EcoTraining course.


But don’t just take our word for it. From the horse’s mouth, or in this case, Nick Baker, a former professional field guide course participant:

The beauty of this course is the extended time one spends out there, nothing is rushed and every day one learns something new, building a quite awesome knowledge base… I miss it today and will miss it every day that I am not there. The experience is total and is built of a complicated set of components, animals, birds, trees, plants, insects, soil, water, weather, stars, sights, sounds, smells, magic…  The bush does funny things to your head. It has got inside mine…”


Candice Wagener McGuire echoes these sentiments:


I guide because I like sharing my passion with those around me, I love seeing how the bush inspires every single being. My day is made when I see how people brighten up when they spend their holiday in the bush, how the smallest things put a smile on their faces. When I guide, I feel like I’m making a small difference to keep Africa alive in everyone’s hearts.”
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