How To Take Your First Steps Towards a Career In Conservation
Last week we posted a blog post by the wonderful Sarah, about heading out to South Africa and working with some fantastic training projects. See the video and read the post here. Sometimes giving up the hours spent each day working on your computer, and the early morning commute in rush hour, to travel the world and work closely with nature seems an impossible dream. But here we have gathered trips from two fantastic companies offering the chance to do exactly this:
The name Nkonzo comes from the language of Lingala in central Africa meaning “possibility” or “new beginnings”. The aim of the project was to create a new way to interact with animals where ethics, sustainability, and the environment come first. Nkonzo offers two training projects in South Africa
The Wildlife Conservation Program – As a volunteer on the Wildlife Conservation Program, you will spend one month out in a Big 5 game reserve in South Africa. You will have the chance to learn all about the daily running of various conservation projects. You will receive training on animal tracking, bush survival skills, wildlife ethics, and how to approach dangerous game safely. This project is focused on giving you practical experience of working on a wildlife reserve, whilst also giving you the chance to make a real difference to the futures of key African species.
Dangerous Game Training – This project is for the thrill seekers and those fascinated by the wilds. You will spend two weeks on the reserve, learning about the conservation efforts going on there. You will learn how to interpret animal signs and behaviour, and assess situations to ensure the safety of both humans and animals. You will also pick up practical bush survival skills such as sourcing water and protein, and navigation. And of course, you will get a chance to help out with wildlife management activities, contributing to building a safer and brighter future for several African species.
EcoTraining has been operating for 24 years and is a pioneer in safari and wildlife training in Africa. All courses are run directly from EcoTraining’s unfenced bush camps in prime wilderness areas across South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. EcoTraining offer accredited career courses, gap year and sabbatical programmes, nature programmes, high school and university study abroad programmes, custom courses and on-site professional guide training at safari lodges… there really is something for everyone!
EcoTracker Animal Tracking Course – This project of only a week will allow you to become totally immersed in the African Wilderness. You will travel to some of the most remote wilderness areas of Botswana and South Africa to learn ancient tracking skills. Working alongside certified Shangaan trackers, who have mastered traditional hunter-gatherer skills, you will go on daily wilderness walks, learning how to identify and interpret animal tracks and signs, and picking up other techniques and skills that allow you to truly connect with wildlife and your surrounding environment. At the end of the course you will even have the opportunity to take an assessment endorsed by the Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA), and gain certification!
EcoQuest – Nature & Wildlife Course – This course is perfect for students of biology, conservationists, and adventurers alike! Spend a week learning about the ecosystems of some of South Africa’s most diverse game reserves. You will learn how to identify birds, plants, and trees as well as how to track animals and drive a 4×4. You will also pick up some useful bush surviving skills and learn about animal behaviour and astronomy. Spend your days on wildlife walks and have unforgettable encounters.
Professional Field Guide Course – For those ready to take the first step to becoming a Safari Field guide, this trip can provide everything you need. Spend a year out in the African bush. For 4-5 months you will have the attention of expert instructors, who will teach you all the theory and practical skills you may need. Then head out on placement and spend the rest of the year in a safari lodge gaining real-world experience. At the end of the year, you will have worked in stunning big game areas, gained professional certification, and enjoyed a truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
Click on any of the names above to get more information on the companies or projects mentioned. Happy adventuring!