Step into a safari guide’s shoes

Ever dreamt of having the bush as your office? A short course by EcoTraining is a glimpse into the world of safari guides. You will learn to decode nature – from reading wildlife tracks to identifying plants and bird calls.

If you’ve wondered what it’s like to work in nature full-time, the EcoQuest will give you a taste first-hand. This weeklong course is a snapshot of the training that safari guides receive. In fact, it’s offered at the same camps and by the same instructors running the formal qualifications.

With 27 years’ experience, EcoTraining is the pioneer in the field of safari guide and wildlife training in Africa. Their offering ranges from a year-long professional qualification to short courses for people with a passion for nature. If you want to learn more about the bush, you could complete an EcoQuest or focus on tracking, birding, wildlife photography or wilderness skills. The EcoTraining online courses offer a convenient way to expand your knowledge ahead of time in the field.

One of EcoTraining’s unique assets is the fixed camp in the Kruger National Park. Located in the Makuleke Contractual Park, it lies in a part of Kruger that is not accessible to ordinary tourists. Known as the park’s wild garden, this area is legendary for its fever trees and dramatic gorges.

Taking time out on an EcoTraining short course in the beautiful Makuleke area of Kruger. Picture by Johann Groenewald

What to expect

This bush experience is ideal if you want to get more insight into nature and see what it’s like to be a safari guide. The EcoQuest covers aspects of EcoTraining’s accredited guiding course, from animal tracks and tracking to bird identification and behaviour. Plus every day involves two bush activities, whether a wilderness walk or a game drive.

Your day will start early, before the sun is up – the best time to see animals. Your class might even start there and then. EcoTraining camps are located in prime wildlife areas and it’s an education in itself to see which animals paid a visit overnight. After coffee and rusks, it’s time for a game drive or walk. The next three hours your mind will be expanded with fascinating facts as you explore wildlife, plants, birds, ecology, geology and more.

A guided wilderness walk in Kruger’s Makuleke Contractual Park.

In time-honoured safari tradition, you’ll return to camp to enjoy brunch. During the heat of the day, there’s time to rest up or investigate the well-stocked EcoTraining library. In the afternoon you’ll head out again for another opportunity to brush up on your bush skills. Accommodation is in safari-style tents on wooden decks while a big thatched deck that is open to the elements doubles as dining hall and lecture area.

If you’re passionate about nature, you will love this opportunity to deepen your appreciation. You might even find yourself inspired to become a safari guide.

Win a 7-day EcoQuest

Want to win this nature experience from EcoTraining? Nominate a South Africa-based guide/ranger who has impressed you. Find out how to enter our Guardians of Nature competition.

Let us know about your experience