EcoTraining’s well-known 28-day Safari Guide training course is aimed at those wishing to experience a bush holiday, while also learning about the environment they are in.  Although this course in a nutshell is about learning to conduct guided nature walks in dangerous game areas, you don’t have to be a field guide working to attain the trail guides certificate to do this course. Anyone who merely wants to be part of the conservation movement and wants to reconnect with nature may join the course.

Completing a trails guide course is one of the most rewarding experiences for any nature lover. It is unlike any other experience, allowing you to see, smell and feel nature on-foot. It is an absolute privilege spending every day walking in nature and learning about the variety of species that make up this incredible ecosystem unhampered by humans. Spending a month of living and learning in nature at their wilderness camps (Selati and Karongwe in South Africa, and Mashatu in Botswana) will provide you with the practical and theoretical knowledge of the natural environment.

“A trails guide course is an intimate experience with nature because when you experience nature on a game drive you are an observer but when you experience it on-foot, you become a participant of nature.”

Lend your imagination for a moment as we share a typical morning on this course…Imagine traversing through the African wilderness on foot with no civilization for miles. The sun is slowly rising and you are getting ready to depart for your morning expedition on-foot. Staying in an unfenced bush camp allows you to you hear the cracking sounds of breaking branches from elephants feeding close by. While waiting for your fellow comrades to get ready to depart you enjoy a cup of coffee. You walk in a straight line behind your lead trail instructor and back-up guide. The morning is quite noisy with the sounds of the wild. You can identify many bird calls in the distance and chatting baboon troops roosting nearby. The wind fortunately carries your scent to a herd of buffalo you come across so they are not frightened off. Instead, they stand cautiously aware of your presence and you take a moment to observe them in awe of the morning sun.

Further on you find tracks and dung on the ground. The instructor tells you that it is was the presence of an elderly elephant cow. She left her herd and now travels alone. Her dung, unlike younger elephant dung that is finely refined, is coarse and shows thicker twigs and lengths of bark that have not been chewed properly. The old lady has ground away five sets of teeth and is now wearing away her 6th set and is unable to chew her food properly.

Your instructor finds a great resting stop near the river where you set up for tea and coffee. Perched on the riverbed sand and looking at the river you see a group of hippos clustered together in the water. The instructor tells you that they are more active at night because it is cooler and more favorable for them to move around on land. Their skin secretes an oily fluid that looks like blood, which helps prevent their skin from drying out and also acts as a natural antibiotic from scratches they may get in the water.

Heading back to camp you discover amazing encounters and views along the way. Arrive after walking 4 hours in the bush to a well-deserved breakfast with the resident crested barbet bird and a recap on the mornings adventures. Your environmental knowledge, situational awareness and appreciation for nature will improve greatly on this course. The lessons you take away from this experience help you to be more in tune with other areas of your life. If you have a yearning to break away from the hustle and bustle of life and need to re-set by going back to basics as nature intended, then inquire about this Trails guide Course. You will not regret it.  This course will leave you a different person with a new outlook on life and nature.