EcoQuest with EcoTraining at Karongwe. .

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When THIS is the view from my office view, how can I complain? The EcoTraining camp at Karongwe is regularly visited by a small herd of Nyala. Seeing that the camp is unfenced, they wander in and out during the day and this youngster was most interested in watching me watching it. All Nyala, both male and female, start out looking the same when they are small. It is only when the males mature that their coat colour changes and horns appear.

From my vantage point in the library, I look down on the kitchen and the lecture hall to the right. Above the lecture hall is a space that can be utilized for yoga classes, or, if it is very hot, for sleeping.

A regular day on and EcoQuest course at Karongwe usually consists of the following: An early morning activity, either a walk or a drive. Breakfast is then followed by a lecture after which the students have free time to study or relax. There is a late lunch which is followed by an afternoon activity and an early dinner. Here the students can be seen, listening in rapt attention, as Instructor Richard Davis tells them about Jackals.

A call to action…or in this case, dinner. After years a bugler in out high school cadet band, that training finally paid off when I got to blow this kudu horn at every meal during my stay. Take a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZrlLmwqlcQ

Richard Davis
Dinner time at Karongwe Camp. Instructor Richard Davis carrying homemade pizza to the dining area. Given the fact that the camp is situated deep within the Southern part of the Karongwe Game Reserve, I was amazed at the diversity of food that the kitchen staff produced. Not only for the carnivores, but for vegetarians an vegans as well

Part of the duties as a field guide is ‘presentation’. Here, back-up guide Benni Hintz, sets the dinner table for the final meal for the students on the EcoQuest course. Much of the table decoration was sourced from grasses surrounding the camp. And recycled paper bags with tea-lights gave ambience to the superb meal that the kitchen prepared.

Although all the EcoTraining camps are different, they have two things in common. They are unfenced and they all have a volleyball court. Usually in a river bed alongside the camp which might make for interesting games once the rains arrive!

My accommodation, almost hidden in the vegetation. The tents here can sleep two people in comfort and the ablution block is not too far away. The deck outside each tent is a great vantage point where I sent time composing Blog posts or just sitting and watching life unfold in the bush in front of me.

While having breakfast one morning we noticed this giraffe watching us from across the river.

Just another African sunset as the students and I, together with the instructor,s head back to the camp.

Lala Conrad
Interview with LaVelda Conrad. Lala, as she likes to be called is an American actress and former USA Miss National Teenager who has decided to become possibly the oldest working back-up trails guide! She has totally turned her life around and after having completed all the required modules she is ready and able to perform that task. Listen to her story that she shared with me: https://soundcloud.com/david-batzofin/in-conversation-with-lavalda-conrad

Listen to what Anton Lategan, MD of EcoTraining has to say about the company and their ethos. Then follow his call to action and sign up for one of their courses! https://soundcloud.com/david-batzofin/in-conversation-with-anton-lategan

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This is the EcoTraining mission statement…

1] Vision: To be the global leader in environmental education by reconnecting people with nature…

For me, the most important part of that statement is the word *reconnecting.

2] Mission: To provide inspirational & immersive learning experiences for professional safari guides and guardians of nature

and finally…

3] Values: Inspire. Professionalism. Caring and Accountability.

Are you ready to make a commitment to yourself and your future?

If so, then visit their website for more information:

https://www.ecotraining.co.za/