• Field guide training Academy launched by Tourvest in partnership with EcoTraining
• Three year contract has been signed between Tourvest and EcoTraining
• Empowering local communities with experience and employment opportunities within the Tourism industry
In 2019 Tourvest, in partnership with EcoTraining launched its first ever Field Guide Training Academy. EcoTraining signed a three-year contract with Tourvest to conduct an annual one-year Field Guide Training Programme to chosen participants. This transformation initiative identifies local candidates and provides opportunities for them to qualify as field guides and provide them with employment opportunities within the industry.
“The programme has been specifically designed for members of communities that live in the areas surrounding our various lodges throughout South Africa”, says Gary Elmes, Tourvest CEO. This exciting programme aims to improve community’s employment prospects and allow Tourvest to empower local talent at their various Lodges. Communities and Tourvest will be enriched in the long-term as this programme will be repeated for many groups for years to come.
Tourvest and EcoTraining interviewed and selected a group of candidates who have a passion for people and the environment. All candidates have gone through a formal screening process to ensure a higher success rate.
The students are accommodated in furnished tents at Makalali Private Game Reserve. Makalali provides exposure to a five-star hospitality environment as well as a vast ecosystem with a wide variety of animals, including the big five.
The training will be provided by EcoTraining who brings 26 years of experience to the project and includes CATHSSETA accreditation and FGASA endorsements. South Africa has a shortage of foreign language guides so these candidates will receive basic German language tuition. This training will include theoretical lessons, practical activities and a placement at one of the Tourvest lodges.
EcoTraining is the pioneer and leader in safari guide and wildlife training in Africa. EcoTraining is widely recognised by the safari industry for its credibility and standard of excellence in nature guide training. We 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. All courses are run directly from EcoTraining’s unfenced bush camps in prime wilderness areas across South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. To date EcoTraining has trained over 12 000 people from 33 different countries around the world.