Tracker Academy’s overarching objective is to restore indigenous knowledge in Africa. We aim to prove that traditional wildlife tracking skills are relevant in modern nature conservation efforts.
Made possible by Mrs. Gaynor Rupert, SA College for Tourism, Samara and Londolozi game reserves (among countless others), Tracker Academy has trained and graduated 88 trackers of which 82 are currently employed in permanent conservation jobs. A deployment success rate of 93% – a statistic of which we are very proud!
Candidates are recruited from rural villages situated close to wildlife areas in southern Africa. In all cases the young recruits are unemployed as they begin their 12-month journey with the Academy. Upon graduation most are absorbed into the burgeoning ecotourism industry, animal monitoring organisations, and due to the sadly escalating rhino poaching crisis, sometimes as anti-poaching operatives.
Over the past seven years Tracker Academy has spread its wings and started projects in Brazil (habituating jaguars in the Pantanal), Botswana (habituating leopards in Khwai), and Malawi and Zambia (training local field rangers as trackers). All are examples of South Africa having exported rare skills for the benefit of wildlife. Next month we begin training operations at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in order to give focus to the Khomani San people of the region.
It is with great excitement that we announce our newly published Tracker Manual. The book is a complete wildlife tracking field guide authored by Tracker Academy’s founding trainers, Alex van den Heever, Karel Benadie and Renias Mhlongo. What began as the student textbook is now available to the public. The Tracker Manual contains decades of cumulative knowledge gained from expert trackers who have engaged in practical tracking for all their lives.
Special thanks to Helen De Villiers and Penguin Random House (Struik Nature) for your skilled editing, patience and support in creating this humble yet compelling field guide.
Should anyone want to attend the book’s launch, two events are to be held: the first one at Bryanston Country Club in Johannesburg on the 20th April, the second at Imibala Restaurant in Somerset West on 25th May. Those interested can RSVP to Nyiko by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The book will be available at amazon.com, or for local purchases, click HERE.
All royalties earned from the book sales flow directly to Tracker Academy.