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Welcome to our new member – EcoTraining
WYSE News | June 20, 2024

EcoTraining believes in the power of authentic and sustainable experiences. That’s why our immersive programmes are hosted at unfenced, tented bush camps in Africa’s top wildlife destinations.

Whether you’re an agent, tour operator, or student, EcoTraining offers customised experiences that cater to your needs. From small group departures to alumni travel and university study abroad programmes, our educational safari itineraries guarantee an unforgettable adventure. Choose EcoTraining and discover Africa’s beauty in a meaningful, sustainable, and authentic way.

1. Can you elaborate a little more on who you are and how EcoTraining started?

EcoTraining’s goal is to create guides and guardians of the natural world.EcoTraining was started in 1993 when a few forward-thinking young guides from several safari lodges realised the need for formal field guide training and nature conservation courses. We offer hands-on training in the bush at unsurpassed locations in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.

Today, EcoTraining has six camp locations – four in South Africa, one in Botswana and one in Kenya.

2. What excites you most about inviting students to join your training courses in Africa as part of their gap year experience?

Our courses allow individuals to follow their careers and dreams while building personal strength through living and learning in the bush. This immersive experience will enable them to evaluate themselves, their values, and their behaviour, fostering self-sufficiency, empathy, and respect for nature. Participants gain a deeper appreciation of the natural world, understanding its limitations and how humanity must behave, transact, and impact globally to achieve a sustainable existence. Through these comprehensive educational efforts, EcoTraining strives to create a profound and lasting influence on individuals and the broader community, driving forward the principles of conservation and sustainability.

3. What sets EcoTraining apart from its competitors?

  • Large, bio-diverse footprint – It is the original guide training school in South Africa, with the largest, most bio-diverse footprint in Africa
  • Prime locations – Located in six pristine wildlife reserves in three African countries. We’re the only private training school situated inside the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves
  • Accredited courses – We offer FGASA-endorsed and CATHSSETA-accredited courses.
  • EcoTraining is the first guide training school to receive formal accreditation from the Council for Higher Education (CHE).
  • All courses are conducted in remote wilderness areas from our unfenced bush camps.
  • Our courses lend themselves to participants getting real-world experience in nature.
  • EcoTraining’s accredited courses are the most widely recognised in Africa.
  • Our Field Guide instructors are among the most experienced in the industry, with 150 years of collective experience.
  • Our six bush camps are located across three African countries, comprising 110 000 hectares (270 000 acres) of wilderness land.
  • EcoTraining is the only private safari guide and wildlife training facility inside the Kruger National Park.

4. How do you ensure that the training courses you offer are meaningful and impactful for both the community and the students?

Our mission is to inspire and inform this generation of guides and guardians to think, live, and act with understanding and respect for nature and one another. The cornerstone of our efforts is professional nature guide training. By empowering and educating guides, we enable them to host and inspire travellers from around the world to understand, respect, and protect our natural heritage. EcoTraining has trained more nature guides in Africa than any other organization, believing that guides are catalysts of conservation and sustainable eco-tourism. These guides serve as the interface between individuals, cultures, nature, and people’s understanding, uniquely positioning them to make a significant impact.

Additionally, training guides from local communities helps drive income into households near conservation areas, empowering those who live closest to these vital ecosystems. We also focus on training university students, bridging the gap between academia and practical understanding through sensory immersion.

4. Ensuring safety and prioritising wellbeing are crucial when organising international courses or gap year programmes. Can you share the specific measures you’ve implemented to ensure student safety?

Relevant supervision care of trained, qualified, and experienced staff with industry and related practical experience is available 24 hours a day, and students are in the supervisory care of such personnel at all times.

  • The camp/campus layout is meticulously designed to minimize any potential contact between students and any potentially dangerous game, prioritizing their safety at all times.
  • Frequented areas are cleared to provide a good view of the surrounding areas.
  • Comprehensive emergency and Evacuation Procedures are in place, encompassing communication and alerting procedures, fire response procedures, and flood response procedures, ensuring the safety of all students in any unforeseen circumstances. Students are advised not to move around alone, to wear closed shoes, and to walk around with earphones are not allowed.
  • Students must use a flashlight when walking around at night and are escorted to their accommodation during nighttime when necessary.
  • 24-hour emergency evacuation is available through SATIB 24.

Member snapshot

EcoTraining believes in the power of authentic and sustainable experiences, offeting customised experiences that cater to small groups to university study abroad programmes. Find out more.

Membership type: Full member
Country: South Africa

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