Positive news from a testing year

A total of 23 tracker students graduated on 4 December 2020. Students represented the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo as well as Botswana and Zambia.

All our students are previously unemployed people. Most live in rural villages located near National Parks or private game reserves.

Tracker Academy students at Tswalu Game Reserve

Tracker students with birding certificates at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

The entire class of 2020 was found competent against the CATHSSETA-accredited Tracker Skills Programme. A yearlong full-time course.

Seventeen students achieved Tracker Level 3, and 5 students, Tracker Level 2 (FGASA-endorsed tracking certifications).

One student, Enrico Afrika, achieved level 4 in his trailing assessment. He becomes only the third to achieve this distinction in 11 years.

Tracker Academy Student, Enrico Afrika

Talented tracker student, Enrico Afrika (Photo by James Tyrrell)

Trailing is the skill required to follow an animal’s trail until it is found. It takes the longest to learn because it requires one to be rational and creative at the same time. A case of recognising complex signs and anticipating the animals’ movements. No easy feat! 

Our trainers are especially talented in the techniques of following animal trails. Hundreds of hours are spent coaching students the art of trailing.

Trainers Pokkie, Renias and Innocent must be credited for Enrico’s achievement.

Tracker Academy student Ngwenya and student tracking lions at Londolozi

Trainer Innocent Ngwenya and student tracking lions at Londolozi (Photo by James Tyrill).

Students logged an average of 1072 hours of practical experience in the bush. Each completed 53 individual trailing opportunities with lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino.

These young men and women now graduate with the hope of finding employment in the conservation industry.

If you know of game reserves or lodges looking for professional trackers, please contact us.

Thank you to our generous donors – Die Rupert-Natuurstigting, Koos & Rona Rupert Opvoedkundige Trust, Jonsson Workwear, Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, B&J Lloyd Family Charitable Trust, Bergplaas Spirit of the Wild, Samara and Londolozi game reserves, and Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. Your support in 2020 is most appreciated.


Tracker Academy family
a.k.a Timhisi (the hyeanas).