Tracker Academy starts 2021

Training wildlife trackers is one thing. Deploying them into meaningful conservation jobs is an entirely different matter!

The employment of our graduates is a key indicator of Tracker Academy’s success.

Our tracker graduates get employed in animal monitoring, wildlife protection, ecotourism, and predator habituation projects.

We focus on the application of tracking skills in ecotourism and conservation management.

To ensure they are the best versions of themselves once they are employed, we work with psychiatrist, Dr Ian McCallum. “Dr Ian” spends one-on-one time with each student to understand their particular needs.

Tracker graduate Given Mbetse with an aardvark at Samara Game Reserve. Given monitored aardvarks at Samara. He did such a great job that this female became totally comfortable with his presence.

As part of our life skills training, each student receives a monthly ‘ethics’ score which looks at their performance and potential in areas such as work and conservation ethics, manners, cultural sensitivity, work readiness, technical expertise, and positive energy.

Since 2010, the overwhelming majority of our trackers are in permanent conservation jobs.

Below is a visual representation of the types of work they are doing

Trackers from Chad
Tracker Academy accepted its first two tracker students from Chad in North Africa in January. Bonaventure and Arabi work part-time for African Parks Network in the Zakouma National Park at Camp Nomade. This 3-million-hectare wildlife area is situated just south of the Sahara Desert and above the great African rainforest regions.
Should they be successful, Bonaventure and Brahim will become the first ever formally accredited wildlife trackers in Chad. Their attendance on our yearlong professional tracker programme was made possible due to a 3-way collaboration between African Parks, Invent Africa and Tracker Academy.
In particular, we’d like to thank Ian Michler and Rob Whiting for generously sponsoring Bonaventure and Arabi’s international flights from N’djamena to Johannesburg.

FROM CHAD: tracker students Brahim Arabi and Bonaventure Nguessa.

Fund Raising

As a training division of the SA College for Tourism (NGO), Tracker Academy is entirely donor reliant.

In 2018, ex-Londolozi guides Don Heyneke and Mike Sutherland started a travel company called Escape Safari Co. Their venture has done exceptionally well and a year later made a donation to Tracker Academy.

Last year, Escape Safari Co. teamed up with Melville & Moon to once again raise funds. Despite a very challenging year for tourism, the duo was successful in raising enough to sponsor a tracker student on the 2021 course. Mike says, ‘Our overarching goal is to try and sponsor a tracker student each year on yearlong tracking course’.

Thank you very much Don and Mike!

Founders of Escape Safari Co. Mike Sutherland and Don Heyneke

All the very best for 2021.
Tracker Academy family
a.k.a Timhisi (the hyeanas).