Wilderness Trails Skills

This unique 6-day Wilderness Trails Skills course provides a perfect platform for aspirant or qualified guides or nature lovers, to discover and reconnect with meaningful wilderness encounters.

We firmly believe that the wilderness experience can be an inspiring cornerstone in the lives and careers of all those with a passion for nature and it’s inhabitants, developing a lifelong culture of conservation. We take pride in creating such opportunities … encouraging a deeper appreciation of wilderness or simply recharging your batteries!

The course may challenge some personal boundaries as we sleep wild under the stars, track and stalk game, and travel light with minimal supplies. It’s certainly more about depth than distance. The backdrop, of course, is traversing some of the finest and most remote wilderness regions of southern Africa on foot.

Why do the course?

While there are no formal subjects or lectures, the emphasis of the course lies on meaningful wilderness philosophy, tracking, low impact guiding skills and bush lore. The adventures are instructed by some of the most experienced trainer/guides in Africa.

Lessons taught will not be found in any book, but while learning “hands on”. These include advanced navigation and orientation (with an emphasis on map reading), situational awareness, setting up eco-friendly camps and water purification (without using modern techniques) is but a few of the advanced skills you will learn.

Some subjects and activities covered on course

  • PLAN for overnight stopsP – Position: Is your position a safe one?
    L – Location: Are you located close to escape route?
    A – Acquisitions: Are resources close to hand (water & firewood)?
    N – Navigation: Will it be easy to navigate from, come leaving time?
  • How to make an eco-friendly fire (you’ll have to come on course for that one…)
  • Minimal footprint – how to guide in the bush leaving little or no evidence of your presence
  • Navigation using maps, compass & landmarks
  • Planning and setting up camp sites
  • Night watch
  • Planning for and collection of water replenishment
  • Trail/track where appropriate

What to bring

  • Sleeping bag (check temperature rating)
  • Sleeping mat (foam roll mat) or inflatable hiking mattress (minimalist)
  • Cooking utensils (spoon to cook and eat with is sufficient)
  • Cooking equipment (stackable camping cooking set)
  • Hiking gas stove (plus spare gas canister in case you run out)
  • Navigational aids (optional)
  • Personal first aid kit (small)
  • Torch/ head lamp (strong beam) – new batteries plus spare
  • Personal toiletries & sundry – Toilet paper, Toothbrush plus small Toothpaste, Sunscreen
  • Personal clothing
    – Neutral colored: 1 set for walking, 1 set for sleeping
    – Spare pair socks
    – Fleece and beanie for cold weather
    – Rain poncho (can also be used as ground sheet to sleep on)
    – Hat (preferably wide brimmed)
  • Good comfortable walking shoes/boots
  • Flip-flops for evenings
  • Backpack (50 – 70L)
  • Water:
    – A 3 litre bladder in your back-pack allows you to drink whilst walking and is easier to fit in your back-pack.
    – If you take bottles only, ensure you have bottles equivalent to 3 litres per day.
    – You will need to bring sterilising drops and ideally flocculants powder (the latter you can get usually from hiking shops and is used to separate any dirt in the water). – Powder energy drink mixes are optional.
  • Trail food– you will need to cater for these:
    – 5 breakfasts; 4 lunches; 5 dinners
    – trail snacks; energy drinks (i.e. game powders)- Suggestions:
    Tea/coffee: Nestle cappuccino sachets; condensed milk sachets (if you like sweetened drinks) or normal coffee, tea bags, sugar and powdered milk.
    Breakfast: Instant Oats sachets
    Lunch: Savoury crackers; Tuna sachets, Nola chicken & mayo sachets; 2 min noodles; Cup-a-soup sachets or Cheese for crackers (best in cooler winter months)
    Dinner: Dehydrated dinners; 2 min noodles with the tuna or chicken sachets to mix in; 2 min noodles with cup a soup to mix in; to any of these, you can add salami or biltong.
    Snacks: Trail Mix (nuts, dried fruit etc); Muesli/energy bars
    Tips:
    – Be considerate of rubbish as what is taken in, has to be taken out.
    – Ziploc bags are great to have to allow you to store rubbish. Sealing your rubbish will ensure you don’t get ants in your back-pack.
    – The only rubbish remaining from most of the suggestions above is the packet and minimal utensils are required.

EcoQuest

The EcoQuest course is designed to provide an ecological learning experience. It is primarily aimed at those who are looking for a more in-depth bush learning experience, but who do not necessarily have four weeks to break away from work obligations. It consists of two components – learning about the fascinating elements of nature and how each are carefully interconnected to one another in a specific region, while at the same time experiencing some aspects of typical safari guide training.

Why do the course?

If you are an adventurous spirit wanting to gain a greater understanding of nature and the environment, whilst experiencing the excitement of the bush, then EcoQuest is for you. If you are a student testing the waters for a career in this field, join this course. In addition, we show you how to drive a 4×4 vehicle, to identify common birds, plants, trees, tracks and how to track game.

Some subjects covered on the course:

  • Ecology
  • Common Trees and Shrubs
  • Animal Tracks and Tracking
  • Bird Identification and Behaviour
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Astronomy
  • Orientation and Navigation
  • Bush Skills
  • Positioning Vehicle for Photography
  • Correct Use of Binoculars

Accommodation 

The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.

Meals

  • Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal)
  • Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
  • Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
  • Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)
  • All course participants receive an EcoTraining certificate of participation.

Wildlife photography

Capturing a wildlife photograph is not as easy as it looks. Not only does one need creativity and technical knowledge, but also a knowledge and understanding of one’s subject matter.

We start the course with a discussion on the equipment needed to become a versatile nature photographer and then discuss the various fundamentals that combine to make a good wildlife photograph. Participants will spend mornings and afternoons in the bush looking for photographic opportunities followed by a lecture each day and constructive criticism of any digital photos taken during activities.

What does the course consist of?

Module 1: Understanding exposure

  • A practical understanding of exposure
  • How to use camera settings to achieve and change exposure
  • How to setup a camera for wildlife photography
  • Creative use of shutter speed, ISO and aperture

Module 2: Composition

  • Introduction to creative compositions
  • Understanding of compositional techniques and tools
  • Creating a visual flow
  • Creating points of interest and balance

Module 3: Understanding light

  • To introduce a photographer/guide to African light
  • Light direction, time of day and white balance
  • Provide a good foundation of light skills and knowledge to guide photographers
  • Understand the types of light and lighting

Module 4 : Photographic guiding skills

  • Your role as a photographic guide
  • Communication
  • Positioning photographers in the field
  • What wildlife and nature photographers want to photograph
  • Interactive photography

Module 5: Editing images and social media

  • Introduction to Adobe Light Room
  • Import to export
  • Develop module
  • Blogging and social media

Important to Bring

  • Camera Equipment
  • Your camera – DSLR preferred, but any camera will a Manual option will work 
  • Lenses – wide angle, standard zoom and if possible a Telephoto zoom of around 300mm 
  • Any other camera accessories you may wish to use
  • Camera instruction manual
  • Memory cards and card reader
  • Flash if you have one
  • Good sturdy tripod
  • Beanbag – you can make your own beanbag by filling three quarters of a cloth bank bag with rice 
  • Laptop if available – but not necessary

It is not necessary to have big telephoto lenses and fancy equipment. Please bring whatever equipment you own and we will structure the workshop around the type of equipment you have.

Accommodation

The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.

Meals

  • Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal)
  • Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
  • Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
  • Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)
  • All course participants receive a certificate of participation.

Birding in the Bush course

Birding as a hobby has risen tremendously in the last decade and these days, visitors to the African wilderness areas want to do more than simply spot large game. Due to this development on the ecotourism front, we have developed our Birding in the Bush course to get these birding enthusiasts on their way to our wilderness. This course has been designed to broaden and enrich your knowledge and skills by educating you about the fascinating world of birds.

Why do the course?

You don’t have to be a ‘twitcher’ to attend. The course caters for those who wish to learn the basics of bird identification or improve their existing identification skills. Although there are some lectures, it is very much a practical course with hours spent out in the field, learning how to successfully identify birds by both sight and sound. We are confident that any person attending our course will leave us more enriched and with greater confidence in being able to pass on the wonders and beauty of the South African birdlife to family, friends or clients.

Some subjects covered on the course:

  • Evolution
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Habitats & Environments
  • Bird Identification
  • Bird Behaviour
  • Ethics/Conservation

Accommodation 

The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.

Meals

  • Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal)
  • Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
  • Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
  • Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)
  • All course participants receive a certificate of participation.

Rates include:

  • Accommodation (sharing)
  • Meals
  • Tea/coffee and cordials
  • Instruction and training
  • Game walks
  • Open vehicle game drives
  • Sleep outs/ additional activities

Rates exclude:

  • Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
  • Any accommodation before and after the course
  • Beverages (beer, ciders, bottled water)
  • Kruger National Park entrance fee

Interested in any of these? Need more information?
Please fill in your details below:

First Name*

Last Name*

Your Email*

Mobile Number*

Which country are you from?*

Which Programs are you interested in?




Your Message

* Required items

[recaptcha]