African Animal Tracking Course
This wildlife-tracking programme offers you the ultimate wilderness immersion. Through the ancient art of tracking – possibly the world’s oldest art and science – you will connect with the iconic places and creatures of Africa on foot. The 7 and 14-day courses take place in remote wilderness areas of Botswana and South Africa.
In many parts of Africa, the ancient survival skills of tracking have disappeared at an alarming rate – alarming because without these skills, humanity’s connection to the earth is significantly reduced. The time-worn skills of tracking taught human beings to live consciously with an appreciation and respect for the natural world. With urbanisation and technology, much of this profound ecological intelligence is being lost at a time when it is most important to our long-term survival.
This training course aims to contribute to the preservation of indigenous wilderness skills and the conservation of the Earth’s last wild places. Our instructors are certified trainers.. Participants will get a taste of the knowledge from trackers who have dedicated themselves to mastering the skills of traditional hunter-gatherers.
What is Tracking?
There are two major aspects to tracking – Track and Sign Interpretation and Trailing (following animal trails). The course includes Hunter-gatherer techniques as part of the course. All aspects of tracking take years to master.
Track and Sign Interpretation – this component of tracking looks at the signs left by invertebrates, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals. All learning takes place in the field using field-guides, photographs and presentations to supplement practical training.
Trailing – this component involves following tracks to find the animal. Mastering trailing takes years and this aspect of the course requires a relatively high level of fitness and an ability to focus mentally. The course instructors are amongst the best animal trailers in South Africa and we pride ourselves on our ability to teach this complex skill. Students will have the opportunity to practice trailing animals themselves – under the watchful eye of an instructor. Interpreting mammal and bird alarm calls, animal behaviour and assessing the age of tracks form part of the trailing skill set.
Hunter-gatherer techniques – Southern Africa’s indigenous peoples survived off the land for centuries. The course instructors will teach you how to build traps using only natural materials, show you how to find birds nests, water and edible fruits. Through sharing of their experiences growing up in the wilderness, the instructors will immerse students in the wild.
This course is designed to give the student a basic understanding of track and sign interpretation. The assessment at the end of the course is endorsed by FGASA for those who wish to try and achieve certification. Depending on the seasonal movement of animals in the area, students may be afforded the opportunity to follow or trail animals on foot.
The longer course gives students the opportunity for a more comprehensive understanding of track and sign interpretation, trailing and hunter-gatherer techniques. The core focus of this course is to spend time trailing animals such as rhino, elephant, buffalo and lion on foot (often dependent on seasonal animal movements). At the end of the course, students can choose to do a fully endorsed FGASA trailing and track and sign course. If arranged in advanced, at an extra fee, students may be assessed on animal trailing skills.
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 cereals)
Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)
2018 rate per person [6 nights / 7 days] – R15,700 (no VAT payable)
2018 rate per person [13 nights / 14 days] – R27 800 (no VAT payable)
2019 rate per person [6 nights / 7 days] – To be confirmed
2019 rate per person [13 nights / 14 days] – To be confirmed
- Accommodation (sharing)
- Tea/coffee and cordials
- Instruction and training
- Game walks
- Open vehicle game drives
- Sleep outs/ additional activities
- Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
- Any accommodation before and after the course
- Select beverages
- Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at Makuleke Camp)
- Border crossing fee (only applicable if the course is at Mashatu Camp)