Your trip at a glance


  • Experi­ence the exciting world of wilder­ness trails in the "big game" country of South Africa
  • Explore the bush with tracking and sign experts, watch them in action and get hands-on training
  • Learn essential skills needed to navigate wild landscapes
  • Develop funda­mental life skills associ­ated with leader­ship, decision-making, group manage­ment, strategic planning, system­atic problem solving and risk assess­ment
  • Spend 4 days out on the Primitive Trail
  • Get an official Cyber­Tracker Universal Tracker Certi­fi­ca­tion


Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
A drone was used to take an aerial view of a herd of African buffalo in the Timbavati Game Reserve.
A single African elephant is viewed from a bird's eye view. He walks across the sandy ground
A happy EcoStar Nature Course participant sits on the ground in front of a rock face in South Africa, surrounded by her trail gear.
A large elephant stands at a waterhole and brings its trunk to its mouth. It is viewed from above from a bird's eye view.
In the dark nights, a flickering campfire lights up the night camp on the Primitive Trail. The course leader has crouched down next to the fire and makes sure it keeps burning.

Trails Guiding Skills, Tracking and Leadership Course

While studying in our intensive EcoSavvy course, you spent an average of seven hours daily in the bush. A unique highlight of this course are the four days on Primitive Trail, experiencing the hunter-gatherer way of life of our ancestors.


Arrival and orien­ta­tion in South Africa

You either have to book a flight to Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit) or fly to Johannesburg and take a shuttle bus to Hoedspruit. According to your arrival time, you will be met by a staff member and taken to the camp in Timbavati. This transfer is included and takes approximately 1 hour. All participants are welcomed with camp orientation followed by a bush and trail safety briefing. There will be an activity on the first afternoon. This could be an introductory walk. You will be brought back to Eastgate Airport at the end of your course before continuing your journey or returning home.


Tent Camp in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

The basic tented camp is located in a breathtaking setting: Under giant jackal berry trees along a dry riverbed. In dome tents, two participants are accommodated together at a time. Mattresses and pillows are provided. Please bring a sleeping bag. The "bush bathroom" consists of pit-fall toilets and bush showers under trees, open to the astonishing view of the surroundings. There is no electricity, cell phone signal or Wi-Fi. This course is fully catered, and all meals, tea, coffee and juice will be provided. You will spend the first eight and last two nights in this tent camp.


Activ­i­ties while based at the tent camp

This course will give you the insight needed to spot, interpret and follow tracks. This hands-on learning experience will sharpen your situational awareness, as even the smallest details reveal a wealth of information about your immediate surroundings. At the same time, you will train how to safely guide people on foot through a potentially dangerous environment.

During your time at the tented camp, your day will begin before sunrise. You will go on two bush walks daily. Midday will be spent eating, relaxing and attending a presentation at the camp. The evening is spent around a campfire.


Primitive Trail - Four days becoming one with nature

A Primitive Trail is an alternative, immersive way to explore nature. There are no set routes or predefined campsites. It's just you, your backpack and endless possibilities. The only restricting factors are limited access to water and the powerful midday sun. You will navigate the wilderness according to your interests, skills and pace. Led by professional wilderness trails guides, each with thousands of trail experience hours, you will spend three nights self-sufficient in the wilderness under the stars (no tents).

This portrait of a blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) with strong, curved horns and match on its face was taken in a leafy landscape in the Kruger National Park, which borders the Timbavati Game Reserve.

Cyber­Tracker Universal Tracker certi­fi­ca­tion

Back at camp, you will spend the last full day of the course taking the CyberTracker exam. You will be assessed in the form of a practical field test. To begin with, each participant will be asked to give their interpretation of the tracks and sign at hand. Errors will be corrected and explained throughout the duration of the exam. For the evaluation, the apprentice tracker receives a percentage.


Leisure time at your EcoSavvy Course

Your days are packed with one adventure after another. However, during your time at the camp, you will have a few hours of free time around noon. This time can be used for showering, having a nap or reading.

FAQ – Learn more about this trip

Learn what others say about their Natucate adventure.

Review EcoQuest South Africa – Corinna

“[...] sleeping under the stars and waking up in the middle of nowhere, without walls or tent around you, just surrounded by rocks and trees. I never felt so connected to nature before!”

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Review Field Guide Level 1 South Africa – Linda

“I particularly liked the fact that you get a completely new view of nature and actually learn to become a part of it.”

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  • reiseorte-suedafrika-timbavati-game-reserve-blue-wildebeest-aus-angrenzendem-kruger-national-natucate
    1. Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

    The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is a paradise on earth for nature enthusiasts and admirers of the unique diversity of African wildlife and vegetation. It covers 53,392 hectares between Hoedspruit (Limpopo) and Acornhoek (Mpumalanga). Without a fence, it borders the Kruger National Park in South Africa. White lions, as well as the other large mammals of the African Big Five, roam freely in this area.

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Enabling life-changing experi­ences

This course focuses on the essentials and removes the unnecessary. You will be free from distractions. Free from a noisy mobile phone. Free from your ever-growing inbox. This authentic wilderness immersion will deepen your appreciation for yourself, your social surroundings and the natural environment — a pure, grounding sensation.

We hope that with trips like this, we can motivate people to be environmentally conscious. We want to empower people to apply their understanding of conservation to their personal lives upon returning home.


Conscious Travel with Natucate

Supporting real conservation projects worldwide through individual wilderness adventures – our ambitions, our values, our service.

Adventures to get you dreaming