Discover Eden offers custom-made Big 5 Experience, Ecology and Marine Biology courses for people passionate about ecological sciences and conservation.

Big 5 experience, ecology and marine biology courses

Discover Eden offers specialist experiential courses for people passionate about the ecological sciences and conservation. Working with leading specialists in South Africa, Kenya and Ecuador, our Big 5 Experience, Ecology and Marine Biology courses aim to expose students in the field to what conservation in action is all about. Our custom-made small group tours ensure a personalised learning experience with fun-filled days under the African and South American sun.

Picture of an elephant in africa for the Discover Eden Big 5 Experience Course



During our three-week big 5 experience course, you’ll be in and amongst the largest and most deadly animals on the planet, from rhino, elephant & buffalo to hyena, pangolin and snakes. This course is ideal for those who want to get to grips with large mammal conservation and reserve management in Africa and includes topics such as animal rehabilitation, animal capture, reserve management, ecology, ornithology, herpetology and more. You will walk away with skills that are essential tools for the modern-day conservationist. MORE INFORMATION



We offer three Ecology courses – 11 day Ecuador, 16 day Kenya and 19 day South Africa courses. Each course is designed to get you hands-on with several aspects within the ecology sector. Engage with professionals across a variety of habitats, from field-based to sanctuary-based, that go beyond a tourists experience. Get to grips with a range of field-based research techniques that modern-day conservationists employ. Interact with NPO’s leading conservation efforts. These courses WILL give you meaningful field experience. More Info: ECUADOR     SOUTH AFRICA      KENYA



Our two-week marine biology course is designed to give meaningful field exposure to students who are wanting to experience what life as a marine biologist is all about. Rub shoulders with the staff at our partner organisations who are making vital contributions to the conservation of South Africa’s marine environment on a daily basis. Join specialists who are studying sharks, whales, dolphins, seals, fish, and birds in the wild southern Cape marine environment and get that field experience you are yearning for in this diverse environment. MORE INFORMATION


First up, kudos to you! Choosing a career in the conservation world is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s definitely worth it. Our trips are designed to give an important hands-on snapshot of a range of different career options in the biological sciences. Whether you are aiming to work as a researcher, a conservationist, an animal rehabilitator, a game ranch manager or even a tour guide, we will give you an insider’s view of what it’s like on the ground.

Why South Africa, Kenya and Ecuador?

All three countries have a rich history of cutting-edge research & conservation. World leaders in innovative conservation, South Africa, Kenya and Ecuador are in our opinion the places to learn what it takes to make a meaningful career in the field.


Run by Elton du Plooy and Dr Mark Brown, Discover Eden is the outcome of our combined passion of doing high-quality scientific research, cutting edge conservation, and passing on knowledge and passion to the next generation of ecologists.


what students have to say

“Discover Eden was one of the best things I’ve ever done! I learned so much from a vast array of people in the field and got plenty of hands on experience. If you are passionate about conservation and ecology and want to get some field experience, this is the course for you! I made amazing memories and created friendships with people from all around the world! Couldn’t recommend it enough :)”

Ellie,  Australia

“Not only was I able to see and learn about a host of beautiful animals but was provided with many opportunities to meet with working scientists and other experts in the field. Elton was fantastic and made sure we were comfortable and supported the whole trip. I am very sad to leave but have had the best time, thank you so much!”

Lizzie, University of Western Australia

“This experience was absolutely amazing! It gave me so much clarity on what career path to follow and reaffirmed my passion for conservation & animals. I made many precious memories with my group and saw breathtaking views. South Africa is the perfect learning environment for anyone interested in conservation, ecology, or the huge diversity of wildlife found here! Learning from several diverse conservationists while also getting hands-on experience is something I have never been able to do and am so grateful I took the opportunity to”

Amanda, Texas A & M University

“This course really helped me to understand how conservation is done in different areas, e.g. marine ecosystems, coastal ecosystems and the Karoo. The experts were incredibly passionate and professional and ready to answer anyquestion we had. Our guide Gareth taught us a lot about conservation and life skills. Its been the best trip of my life so far!”

Jon, University of  Bosque

“This was not just an Ecology Course. I experienced so many things! I loved the program, learnt a lot and had so much fun!”

Elisa, University of  Geneva

“It was a great opportunity for me to travel to Africa and gets hand-on while learning about what I’m passionate about. I learnt so much about South Africa and its wildlife. I can’t wait to come back. I will definitely be spreading the word about the program when I get home.”

Simone, Savannah State University

“This has been a wonderful experience that has helped me decide on a more solid future career path”

Marianna, University of North Alabama

“Discover Eden was a fantastic opportunity for me to explore what I’m passionate about—ecology and conservation—in a country full of culture and biodiversity. I loved getting to talk to conservationists in South Africa and see up close what they do, how they got there, and why their work matters.”

Miranda, University of California, Santa Cruz

“I came here knowing that I wanted to work in the field of wildlife. And after this program I have never been more sure about my life/career plans!”

Jeremy, University of Salford

“This trip has been amazing! So many once in a lifetime opportunities. Every day was something different and loads of fun.”

Elizabeth, Humboldt State University

“I chose Discover Eden because it provided hands-on experience with various animal conservation efforts and provided a chance to speak with professionals in the field. Its been an incredible experience. Thanks so much!”

Ramsha, De Paul University

conservation partners

Wild Tomorrow Fund for Discover Eden partner logos
Wild Tomorrow Fund for Discover Eden partner logos
BLSA logo
APSS logo
Offshore Adventures Logo
Roam logo

education partners

UTTyler Logo
VHL logo
ECIS logo

contact us

Please do get in touch with us if you have any questions about the Discover Eden Big 5 Experience, Ecology and Marine Biology courses or travel information for our courses.
+27 82 797 8907    contact@discovereden.co.za

Discover Eden is a proud member of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Assocation! A SATSA membership indicates excellent quality, recourse, vetted, and financially stable businesses with all legal requirements and insurances in place. Members are bound by a code of conduct that promotes professionalism in all areas of operation and is bonded with third-party indemnity. Membership denotes integrity, credibility, and stability and is widely recognised locally and abroad.