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Sponsored tracking courses are only offered to unemployed, previously disadvantaged people.

Course Structure

Three intakes per year: two in January and one in June. Eight students per course. Courses are one-year full time, on campus.


January and June intakes (Samara-Londolozi):

Two six-month semesters form the one year programme. These are conducted at Samara Private Game Reserve in the Karoo and Londolozi Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park. Students are exposed to the diverse range of wildlife of the semi-desert and bushveld biomes of Southern Africa.

January intake (Tswalu):

A permanent 12-month programme based at Tracker Academy’s Tswalu Kalahari Reserve campus is reserved for candidates who live and work in that region. The Tswalu campus welcomes women trackers due to its separate living areas.



Our training programmes are accredited by CATHSSETA (Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Sector Education and Training Authority) and endorsed by FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa).

  • Nationally accredited NQF level 2, Tracker Skills Programme (CATHSSETA)
  • Nationally accredited NQF level 4, Lead Tracker Skills Programme (CATHSSETA)
  • Endorsed Tracker Level 1 to 3 (FGASA).
  • Endorsed Advanced Tracker (FGASA).
  • Endorsed Lead Tracker (FGASA).

** Qualifications are based entirely on the results achieved by the tracker student.


Training Curriculum

Tracker Academy makes use of its own content and that which is published on the national qualifications framework.

Below is a list of the CATHSSETA unit standards covered in our various programmes:

  • 8460– Track animals and identify spoor using easily recognisable spoor – 40 credits
  • 8518 – Track animals and identify spoor using moderately difficult spoor – 50 credits
  • 8440– Conduct a guided nature experience in a limited geographical area – 21 credits
  • 252462– Identify and monitor local wildlife – 8 credits
  • 335979 – Conduct a guided experience to view potentially dangerous animals


It is important to note that the unit standards above provide the student with the basic minimum accreditation. Tracker Academy exceeds the required training outcomes.

The Tracker Skills Programme is designed to fulfil the needs of the conservation and eco-tourism industry.

The practical tracking skills form the core component of the training. Students accumulate over nine hundred hours of field experience whilst on the course. Most of this time is spent tracking predators on foot.

The remainder of the curriculum equips the students with the skills necessary to apply practical tracking in animal monitoring, wildlife protection, predator habituation and eco-tourism.


Subject Matter

Accredited subjects:

  • Trailing (following animal trails)
  • Track and sign interpretation
  • Tree and plant identification
  • Theory of tracking
  • Animal monitoring
  • Man tracking & wildlife protection
  • Guiding theory

Non-Accredited subjects:

  • Hunter-gatherer techniques
  • Birds and alarm calls
  • Tree and plant medicinal purposes
  • Situational awareness
  • Life skills
  • Conservation ethics
  • Basic English and financial literacy
  • Presentation skills
  • Data collection

Certificates Obtained

  • CATHSSETA Tracker Skills Program (NQF 2 or NQF4)
  • Tracker Academy tracker certificate
  • First Aid – Level 1 certificate
  • SAPS Rifle competence
  • Birdlife SA specialist birding certificate
  • LobsterInk online guiding 1 theory








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"Tracker Academy’s work aims to prove that wildlife tracking is a legitimate and vital conservation management skill.” Alex van den Heever

Professional trackers trained


Graduates deployed into conservation jobs

Hours logged tracking per student


Enquiries and Contact Details

SA College for Tourism - Tracker Academy

Magazine Hill
PO Box 314



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