If you’re passionate about wildlife and photography, and have always wanted some guidance to get that perfect shot, this giveaway is for you! 

Win one spot on the acclaimed EcoTraining Wildlife Photography Course (in conjunction with Premier Magazine & Lounges) that aims to reveal more behind what is required, when pursuing that perfect wildlife composition. The winner will have the opportunity to put these skills into action, under the guidance of an experienced wildlife photographer, while out in the field in the Karongwe Game Reserve. 

To enter simply visit send in an enquiry for photography or LIKE the Facebook fan page: EcoTraining – Ecotourism SpecialsAnd while you are at it, add some of your favourite wildlife images that you captured to the album WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE COMPETITION (WITH PREMIER MAGAZINE). 

Competition closes on the 29th of November 2012; winners will be contacted via the fan page. Terms and conditions apply.


The 28 year old Sam Ryan started entertaining EcoTraining fans last week with the diary he kept during his 55 day Level One Field Guide course at our wilderness camp in Makuleke in the Kruger National Park and another camp in Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal.

It’s been a couple of months since this British lad finished his course, but the read about his “adventure of a lifetime” continues…

DAY 6 
Waking up was a little bit of a struggle today as these early morning are starting to hurt. Arriving for coffee, I heard people complaining about an alarm that had been going off since 3:50… I had a horrible suspicion it could have been mine, so very quickly I went back to my tent and switched it off.

So we went off on a walk, following up on some tracks we followed yesterday evening. As we were walking we heard elephants in a close proximity to where we were. We decided to change our plan and head towards where we believed we heard the noise. As we got close we saw the tracks of two elephants, followed those for about 1.5 km but every time we heard them after that, they seemed to be getting further away from us.

We decided we would follow the tacks from the previous day ad followed them for about 2 km through thick bush and many different terrains. As we were in the mopani scrubland we heard a noise ahead of us and just got down in time as a breaking herd of elephants walked past our position, maybe 40 m away from us!

We had our lecture on creating the guided experience which was very interesting. We discussed our plans for the afternoon, got into the vehicle with Madeline driving and me on tracker seat. We sauntered off north towards Maqueba Windmill and on from there to see what we could find.

After driving for about 2.5 hours we decided to stop for sun-downers with a stunning view over the Limpopo River. We then got back into the vehicle and headed home as it would be dark soon. On our way back we came across a nice heard of buffalo not far from the road and also a small spotted genet which was great to see.

The only problem of being in the tracker seat is you end up in a lot of bushes and these bushes here are not pleasant – I pulled maybe 25 thorns out of the left side of my body, but hey, that's Africa for you!

Stuart, Casper and I were on duty so we had to get up at 3:30 and get all the tea and coffee ready for everyone when they woke up.

We headed off towards Caracal Pan to go and identify some trees and start the basics of tree and botany. We drove for an hour or so to the sandveld where Mark (Gunn, instructor) got us to identify a few different trees from their leaves, which was tough but very rewarding when you got the answer right.

On our way back to camp we heard over the radio that one of the Big 5 had been spotted 10 km from us, so we decided to go and check it out! The closer we got, the more excited I was. As we approached the site we were looking out and suddenly there it was in a baobab tree, my first proper leopard! It was a stunning creature, sleeping after a night on the hunt… After about 10/15 minutes, we decided to head back to camp. That sight will stay with me for the rest of my life, amazing!

After all that was said and done during the day, we went off to bed. There was no hyena to say good night but that leopard sighting made me a very happy man and really appreciative why I am here and what this place has already done for me – LOVE IT!!!  


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

It was in 1993 when EcoTraining took the first steps on the mission to up the standards of guiding throughout Africa, when the first courses were held in the Sabi Sands Reserve. And nearly 20 years later, the company has stayed on the dedicated path with scores of prospective field guides and nature lovers unearthing vast amounts of interesting facts about all things wild and wonderful.

From Mpumalanga training grounds have since been established throughout the rest of South Africa (Selati, Karongwe, Makuleke, Pongola), Botswana (Mashatu) and Kenya (Lewa Wildlife Conservancy).

And now EcoTraining has joined the Wilderness Collection (Wilderness Safaris) to give guests at Segera in Laikipia, Kenya the best possible guided experience.

For the last couple of weeks, six local guides have been undergoing training in all aspects of field guiding under the tutelage of EcoTraining’s highly experienced instructors. This process is on-going.

Instructor Mark Gunn found some time in between the theoretical lectures and practical exercises and used the bush telegraph to send through the following update:

“The training of the guides here at Segera is going on as per the schedule. The daily rain at about 13h00 is doing its best to put a damper on us, but we just adjust and get on with it. The normal daily schedule is therefore not always applicable. The roads are black cotton soil, so we cannot use them for fear of destroying it. A normal day begins with a drive and then a lecture. If rain threatens, then the lecture goes to the late afternoon slot and the drives are done in the early and late morning. The wind seems to have died down a bit; it is not cold but irritating. Even though Segera is home to a vast array of animal, bird and plant life, game is a bit scarce at the moment. However, that which we do see is utilized to the utmost.”