The first safari guide scholarship was awarded to a young Motswana (citizen of Botswana) at the end of 2015 following a comprehensive selection process.
The programme uses relevant Botswanan media outlets to make potential applicants aware of the scholarship. Applicants must submit their CV and education certificates by email before a small group of the most promising candidates is selected at the interviews. Applicants are put through their paces during a mobile safari in order to get a better picture of the personality and skills of each candidate.
The first finalist, Grace Seidisa from Maun, started her training with EcoTraining on 1 September 2015 in Nelspruit, South Africa.
EcoTraining has been a professional and officially recognised safari guide trainer for over 20 years, and has training camps in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
There are two parts to the one-year training course:
- Five months of practical and theoretical training from professional trainers at various camps around southern Africa. Participants learn about geology, ecology and conservation, in addition to zoology and botany. Trainees have to pass a written and practical exams before proceeding to the second part of the course.
- The second part is a six month internship at a safari lodge where trainees build on what they have learned and put it into practice.
Trainees frequently get offered a job as soon as they are finished due to the excellent reputation of EcoTraining and the lodge placement in the second half of the course. This allows scholars to repay their loan in instalments within 2 to 3 years.
Grace Ottah Seidisa was born on 16.12.1991 in Gumare to Gosiame & Kereenang Seidisa. She has two brothers and four sisters, and went to school in Maun.
Grace is an open-minded, self-confident young woman who made an excellent impression throughout her training because of her outstanding ability to communicate with visitors and colleagues as well as her high level of motivation.