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

The book will be available at, or for local purchases, click HERE.

All royalties earned from the book sales flow directly to Tracker Academy.

Filed under Wildlife

About the Author

Alex Van Den Heever


Alex spent his formative years growing up on a cattle farm in the Western Cape, South Africa. After completing his studies in Marketing and Business Management, he joined world-renowned Londolozi game reserve in 1995 as a game ranger. Alex’s greatest fascination during his ...

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on Tracker Manual Launched

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Lynn Hurry

What is the price of the Trackers Guide ?

Alison Smith

wow! would love to attend in Bryanston


Available in the US on Amazon July 3. I just pre ordered.

David Finkle

Love the daily blog, keeps me connected to the Bushweld until my next visit, keep it up. How can we purchase the Tracker Manual?

Vicky Auchincloss

We have visited Londolozi 3 times and are coming back for a 4th time next year. We have always had wonderful trackers – Jeff, Fan, and Equalizer. These men along with the equally wonderful guide- Jess, Trevor and

Vicky Auchincloss

Pushed the wrong button! These 6 people have given us some of the most wonderful moments we will never forget!!

Wendy Hawkins

Congratulations on this beautiful & necessary manual for new guides & fully qualified ones! I wish you every success with the sales of it 🙂


I am Danko Marinković live in Serbia.
I’d like to go along with your academy in Africa and learning from you.
Is it possible to sign up with you?


Congratulations Alex for both the Tracker Manual and the fabulous success of the Academy. We still vividely remember the game drives we shared with you some 17 years ago and, particularly, our last sighting of the Tugwaan female just a short while before she passed away…

Pierre Malherbe

Is the Tracker Manual available for purchase, if so where is it available?

James Tyrrell

Hi Pierre,
Absolutely, you can find it at Exclusive Books.

Pierre Malherbe

Many thanks, book has been ordered!


What a Wonderful initiative. So inspiring!!

Dumisani Mnisi

i have a question can I have a telephone number pleas,I need help.

Amy Attenborough

Hi Dumisani. You can contact the lodge on 013 7355653. Thanks, Amy

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