Specialist Course

Wilderness Trails

"A real bush adventure"

Price $600 USD (See price tab)
Course Type
Specialist Course
South Africa
6 Nights
Makuleke Concession Pafuri

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 and the wilderness within. 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 its 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, share wilderness experiences, 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.

general information

Why do the course?

While there are no formal subjects or lectures, the emphasis of the course lies on meaningful wilderness philosophy, low impact guiding skills and bush lore. The adventures are instructed by some of the most experienced trainer/guides in Africa, with a choice of stunning venues within the Makuleke Concession (KNP).
Lessons taught will not be found in any book, but learning will be “hands on”. Lessons include wilderness appreciation and the MIA (Minimal Impact Approach), situational awareness, setting up an eco-friendly camps and water purification, and ‘leaving no trace’ are but a few of the advanced skills you will learn.

about the school

Operating for 24 years, 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 11 000 people from 33 different countries around the world

course content

Some subjects and activities covered on course:

The PLAN for overnight stops

  • 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
  • Minimization is maximizationWilderness Trails Skills
  • Wilderness – the importance thereof
  • Night watch
  • Planning for and collection of water replenishment
  • Mastering ‘Time’
  • Sounds of Silence – Facilitating a Wilderness Experience


Course structure
Day 1 Meet at Pafuri Gate (KNP) at 13H00. Vehicles will be left at the student car park. The course commences from car park. Sleep out in the bush.
Day 2 – 5 Sleep out on trail
Day 6 Students depart from the car park (Pafuri Gate).

start dates

16 August 2021 - 21 August 2021
20 September 2021 - 25 September 2021
1 October 2021 - 6 October 2021


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.


  • 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)

The Wilderness Trails Skills course takes place in the Makuleke Concession.


Departure from Johannesburg (1st day of course)
All EcoTraining scheduled BushBus transfers will depart from the Emerald Guesthouse on the first day of a course. The departure time is strictly 6am from the Emerald Guesthouse
Emerald Backpackers/ Guesthouse: (19 Halifax Rd, Kemptonpark)

Participants flying into Johannesburg (international and domestic) are advised to arrive the day before and overnight at Emerald
Backpackers/Guesthouse to ensure all passengers are on time for departure and the bus leaves as scheduled.
The guesthouse is within close proximity to OR Tambo International Airport and if supplied with your flight details, will collect you at no additional charge. They offer a range of accommodation options, to suit your individual requirements and budget. As the Bush Bus departs early morning from Emerald, overnighting at the guesthouse will help simplify your departure.

Please book directly with Emerald Backpackers/Guesthouse on [email protected]


2020 Rate per person [5 nights/6 days] R9 900

2021 Rate per person [5 nights/6 days] R10 690

Rate includes:

  • Instructor & walks (sleep-outs/ trail)

Rate excludes:

  • Meals & beverages (please see before “what to bring”)
  • Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the
  • Any accommodation before and after the course
  • Kruger National Park entrance fee

Ecotraining Walking
Ecotraining Tracking
Ecotraining Scenery
Ecotraining Instructor interaction
Ecotraining elephants in riverbed
Ecotraining Elephants in rivebed
Ecotraining Guiding
Ecotraining bush walk students water
Ecotraining Sunset walk

Do you want to do a course?

Just drop us a message and we help you to find the right course for you!