EcoTraining Guides & Guardians

Based in South Africa, EcoTraining offers accredited career courses, gap year opportunities, inspirational wildlife courses and high school programs with the ultimate goal of creating highly skilled guides and guardians of the natural world.

The company traces its roots to 1993 when a small group of guides from Londolozi and Sabi Sands came up with the visionary concept. Since then, EcoTraining has coached more than 10,000 people and many of its graduates now work for more than 150 safari lodges and operators around Africa.

Courses are taught in simple un-fenced bush camps in the middle of great wilderness areas, where participants get to truly experience what it is like to live in wild places. EcoTraining hopes that all participants, armed with this knowledge, make a difference to the way we look after our planet.


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Makuleke Concession Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger Park Makuleke Camp EcoTraining WalkMakuleke Concession, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern section of the Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24 000ha (59 305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in the Kruger National Park.

The Makuleke Concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community, who were removed in 1968. After a lengthy process, however, it was finally returned to the community in 1998 in what was a historical event for South Africa.

This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing and the best birding in all of the park, and it is filled with folklore of early explorers and ancient civilizations.

EcoTraining’s Kruger National Park camp is situated in the Makuleke Concession, between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers. This is a true wilderness area, steeped in history and situated in the remotest part of Kruger, in one of its most biologically diverse areas.

Scenery ranges from the beautiful, quietly flowing Luvuvhu River, shaded by nyala trees and fever tree forests, and teeming with hippos and crocodiles, to the awesome Lanner Gorge, palm-fringed wetlands and rocky outcrops with thousand-year-old baobab trees.

Kruger Park Makuleke Camp EcoTraining Accommodation

Karongwe Game Reserve South Africa

Karongwe EcoTraining Camp Landscape

Karongwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000ha (22 239-acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Three rivers flow through the reserve, all tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve.

The vegetation of the reserve falls within the savannah biome of southern Africa, with distinct vegetation zones being represented – mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

The camp consists of 10 walk-in Meru tents, with twin beds (students share tents) and supplied bedding (a duvet and one pillow); although you might want to bring an extra blanket for the winter months and an additional pillow should you require. There are also shared ablution facilities and a central communal area. We have mosquito nets in camp.

There are viewing decks in the central area of the camp, which many students choose to make their “bedroom” for part of or for the duration of the course. The camp itself is un-fenced.

Karongwe EcoTraining Camp Accommodation

Selati Game Reserve South Africa

Selati Camp EcoTraining Header ImageSelati Game Reserve, South Africa

The Selati camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River, in the 33 000ha (81 545 acres) Selati Game Reserve, to the west of the Kruger National Park.

The Selati Game Reserve is a large reserve, with diverse topography and biodiversity. In the east there are large granite hills, where Verreaux’s eagles and klipspringers can be found.

The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well-suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there.

The reserve is bisected by the Selati River, which dries up into large rocky pools of water in winter. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness.

Special species occurring here include sable antelope and eland. We are also able to visit the sable breeding program run by the management of the reserve.

The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with two mattresses and single pillows (two learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the Selati River.

Please bring a sleeping blanket, additional blanket and pillow should you require them. There are no mosquito nets available at Selati.

Selati Camp EcoTraining Camp Bush Buck

Mashatu Game Reserve Botswana

Mashatu Camp Botswana EcoTraining Landscape 2

Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana

The Mashatu Reserve is part of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, which is located at the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe Rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve is the collective name for several privately owned game reserves, including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.

 

The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with two mattresses with pillows (two learners per tent). Please bring along your sleeping bag and an extra blanket/pillow if required. There are shared bathroom facilities, and a central communal area overlooking the river bed.

Mashatu Camp Botswana EcoTraining Camp Accommodation

Borana Conservancy Kenya

Kenya Borana Conservancy Camp EcoTraining Elephant Walk 2

Borana Conservancy, Kenya

Borana lies at the foot of Mount Kenya, just 26km (16 miles) from the equator and 1 980m (6 500 feet) above sea level. It is located within the vast area of the Ewaso ecosystem on the Laikipia Plateau, with a view of the snow-capped peaks and the glaciers of Mount Kenya to the south, and a panorama of mountains and desert to the north.

This location provides an idyllic setting for any African experience. This area is home to more than 50 indigenous tree families, and more than 300 bird species.

Laikipia is an area of exceptional beauty. It enjoys some of Kenya’s most prolific wildlife, as well as the highest populations of endangered species in Kenya.

The Borana Conservancy is the non-profit conservation organisation dedicated to the sustainable conservation of critical habitat and wildlife. The mission of this conservancy is to provide a sustainable ecosystem in partnership with its neighbours and community, for critically endangered species on the brink of extinction.

This holistic approach commits Borana tourism, ranching and other enterprise to building local livelihoods and enhancing ecosystem integrity. Borana has received numerous awards, including the Ecotourism Kenya Award for best conservancy.

Mara Training Center Kenya

EcoTraining Mara Training Center Kenya

Mara Training Center

Located on the banks of the Mara river, the centre is nestled between communities and the wildlife conservancies. The courses provide insight into the issues of cohabitation and conflict between the community herdsmen with their livestock and crops and the wildlife.

The Mara Training centre evolved from informal community meetings under an acacia tree within the Enonkishu Conservancy to what it has become today.

Enonkishu was founded in 2009 by Tarquin and Philippa Wood, whom together with their neighbours established a community to work together to protect the fragile northeastern boundary of the Mara Serengeti ecosystem. The aim is to improve livelihoods and maintain heritage through wildlife compatible land uses such as ecotourism and improved livestock production in the region.

Enonkishu was established and today secures 6000 acres of wildlife grazing rangelands, owned by the resident community on the edge of the Greater Mara Ecosystem.  It has become a world-class wildlife viewing conservancy.

Traversing is not limited to Enonkishu alone, we also have access to two other conservancies in close proximity. Ol Choro Oiroua Conservancy covers 17,000 acres of a group ranch in the most northern section of Masai Mara wilderness. The conservancy logistics and land are managed by Seiya Limited under the guardianship of Fairmont Kenya, and the Fairmont airstrip is also the closest air link to our camp.

Lemek Conservancy is another of Kenya’s wildlife management success stories though with a twist. Most part of Lemek-Koiyaki has now merged with the adjoining Mara North thus reducing Lemek’s size to around 19000 acres.  The land was once privately owned by the Maasai communities before being transitioned to the Koyaiki Group Ranch and Lemek Group Ranch. The group ranches became key partners in the introduction of the conservancy. Measures are taken to set aside areas of the conservancy that served as valuable habitats for flora and fauna. Guest accommodations and activity services are provided to generate revenue to operate the conservancy, as well as benefit local communities. The result is a relatively small conservancy with few visitors, good wildlife viewing and pleasant scenery.

EcoTraining Mara Training Centre Kenya

Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

Stanley Livingstone Camp Victoria Falls Zimbabwe EcoTraining Falls

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The Vic Falls camp nestles alongside an “oxbow” of the Masuie River, a tributary of the great Zambezi River in the 3 500ha (6 000-acre) Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve.

The famous Victoria Falls are just 10km away. The Masuie River is the primary river flowing through the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve, incorporating the Nakavango Dam along its course, the dam is a vital water source for game in the dry season.

One of the tributaries of the Masuie River within the reserve is the Nakavango River, from which the student centre and original name of the property (Nakavango Estate) take their names. The Masuie winds its way along the western boundary of the reserve, exiting into the Zambezi River, downstream of the Victoria Falls.

Stanley Livingstone Camp Victoria Falls Zimbabwe EcoTraining Elephant

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