Book an unforgettable bush course with EcoTraining
EcoTraining is making it easier than ever for bush-lovers to gain a whole new perspective and understanding of the bush. You will be amazed at the interesting and fascinating information there is to absorb that will take your bush experience beyond gazing at the impala, giraffe or lion from your game drive vehicle. EcoTraining’s course participants study in the African bush whilst living in it 24 hours a day.
The different courses involve growing and deepening your knowledge of all facets of the bush – from understanding the big and small five, learning bird and tree identification; studying tracks and tracking big game on foot; star-gazing; ecology; navigating and orientating through the bush, to how to approach dangerous game on foot and how one should handle these situations.
EcoTraining’s tented camps are in big five game reserves, with their special camp being in one of the most pristine, untouched and game-rich areas of southern Africa – the Northern Kruger Park. Access to this private concession makes for a special and privileged bush experience.
For those wanting a career as a Field Guide (Game Ranger), the Field Guide Courses cover the subjects needed to complete Level One of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) certification. Highly experienced trainers safely guide you through training that complies with government standards (THETA) to cover practical and theoretical programmes within big 5 areas.
For a typical Field Guide or EcoQuest course, the daily itinerary is:
Each morning you will walk with the instructors in the bush, learning all the skills required to navigate your way around a game reserve, discover the flora and fauna and maybe see the big game, such as rhino as well as well as the small game. To learn how to track animals you will follow your instructor on the trails of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and birds, utilising tracking techniques from following footprints and analysing animal dung for freshness. Constant vigilance is required to learn the variety of signs that animals leave behind them, which if followed, will lead you to animals. You will learn how to approach them safely so that they will be unaware of your presence.
Before lunch there will be lectures that cover a range of subjects including geology, weapons, animal biology, and working in the safari business. We will then have time to relax, read or have a game of volleyball on the river bed.
The afternoons will be spent going on game drives to look for more interesting wildlife. You will take it in turns to drive, or sit in the tracker seat on the front of the vehicle looking for animal tracks. You will master the art of driving 4×4 vehicles in the off-road bush terrain, paying attention to driving off-road sensitively without eroding the environment.
Back to camp for discussions around the camp fire of the day’s sightings; encounters and learning experiences and then being lulled to sleep by the night sounds of the bush in your tent or on the open decks.
For those looking to work in the bush, the comprehensive accredited One Year Field Guide Course starts on Sunday, 17th of February 2008.
Birdwatchers can improve their “twitching” skills at one of two week-long specialised Birding Courses starting Thursday, 22nd and Thursday, 29th of January. Bush-lovers can immerse themselves in nature and learn about it in the 2 week EcoQuest Nature Identification course starting Tuesday, 26th of February 2008.