Judy van Zyl
Enquiries & Sales
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+27 (0)13 752 4753
The course is endorsed by FGASA who have THETA accreditation. FGASA is the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa and THETA is the Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority of the South African government. These are the two bodies responsible for regulating standards within the guide training industry in southern Africa
Who are we?
We started in 1993 with a mission to raise the standard of guiding in Africa. EcoTraining is the oldest field guide training company in Africa. We were one of the first companies to conduct formal training programmes for nature guides. For more than a decade, we have been sending people of all ages into the African wilderness to learn about the environment in exciting, in-depth and sensitive ways and to find out what it really takes to become a game ranger or a field guide. Our courses provide participants with an exciting never-to-be-forgotten learning adventure. Our instructors have years of experience guiding tourists around Africa, and now they are giving something back to the wilderness that they love by sharing their knowledge, experience and wisdom with students who attend our courses. In addition, a cook and an assistant keep the students fed and the camp clean, so allowing students to focus on the learning experience.
From the mind, heart and mouth of Anton, the co-director of EcoTraining. I've been thinking for a long time about what EcoTraining is about. My personal conviction, and I think that of most of EcoTraining's small team, is that we can make a difference towards conserving this planet by educating people and exposing them to wonderful and sometimes life altering experiences in the wild.Nature is powerful, our venues are good, our instructors are professional and the students attending our courses fortunately always seem to be eager to lap up the information imparted to them and to really get in touch with nature.
I take nothing away from the practical need for EcoTraining, FGASA and THETA qualifications and to me these qualifications are part of the bigger picture and part of our mission. What I want to draw attention to is the opportunity we have to actually reach people on a very real level and to make a difference in their lives and in the world around them in future. We've all seen how the many people we've trained that are working in the industry as well as the environmentally-conscious international people working in other industries have benefited from learning about nature at EcoTraining over the years. I've always wondered what will become of some of these bright sparks and how the seeds that were planted on course may bear unimaginable fruit one day. Perhaps future Ministers of Environmental Affairs, future Guides, Wardens, Eco Lawyers, Eco-minded bankers, Eco-minded
moms and dads and Eco teachers.
Issues such as global climate change, the impact of mans' ever increasing population, the depletion of fossil fuels, the role of tourism in conservation, rain forest and woodland destruction in South America, Africa and Asia, the extinction of endangered species, the pointless use of indigenous hardwoods in the local wood curio trade these are all extremely important and we hope that these issues will be discussed and debated on course amongst the students.
Our instructors may motivate our students to "make a difference" in their own back yards and we would be surprised how many "wildlife warrior" seeds may germinate from an inspirational course and an inspirational instructor.
If we consider the accumulated sensory wild exposure our students have over 28 days, there is a great opportunity to allow nature to embrace them and for them to embrace nature. We want to use this powerful experience towards bigger goals whenever possible. Our program of lectures and assessments becomes more inspiring when we can remind ourselves and our students of the bigger picture and the important role that we all have in it.
Why choose EcoTraining?
Why should you choose EcoTraining over and above all the other game ranger/guide training courses being offered? EcoTraining has been in the business of training guides since 1993. We were one of the first organisations to conduct these formal training programmes. We have been around for a long time and we plan to be around for some time to come still.
1. EcoTraining conducts their courses in great wilderness areas including one of the greatest national parks in the world, the Kruger National Park. Our students spend their entire course living in the middle of the African wilderness, with wild animals potentially right outside their tents. We do not conduct our courses in air-conditioned lecture rooms in urban areas and then take you on "field trips". The entire course is a "field trip". We don't just have "access" to wilderness areas, we actually live in the wilderness areas. Our camps are unfenced and mostly canvas, so you are in touch with the wilderness all the time.
2. EcoTraining is owned and managed by two people with a passion for wilderness. Anton Lategan and Lex Hes have both spent most of their lives visiting and living in wilderness areas. They believe passionately in the need for students to come away from their stay with us with an amazing, exciting learning adventure under their belts together with a better understanding of the way wilderness areas work.
3. EcoTraining is a company dedicated to training. We do nothing else, so we stay focused on making sure that our training programmes are of the highest standards.
4. EcoTraining's instructors have been around for a long time. Apart from other factors, we select our instructors based on the number of years of experience that they have had in the guiding industry.
5. EcoTraining has been involved in community training with the Africa Foundation and the Makuleke Community, ensuring that local people living on the borders of our national parks gain access to training which will ultimately provide them with job opportunities.
6. EcoTraining has conducted training programmes for top tourism operators such as Wilderness Safaris, Tanzania Wildlife Safaris, KZN Wildlife, Heritage Group and various
privately-owned game lodges in southern Africa.
7. EcoTraining's course was the subject of a popular 13-part reality TV series called "Safari School" broadcast on Animal Planet.
8. EcoTraining limits the number of students on each course to a total maximum of 20, with a maximum of 10 students for each instructor. This ensures that the students get personal
Cnr Ehmke and Van der Merwe, Outpost Centre, Jock & Java
Shop no 4
The Outpost Centre
To view a full list of all courses presented by EcoTraining click below.