About the Author

Matt Rochford


Growing up in the small coastal town of Mtunzini afforded Matt a childhood of endless adventures and the freedom to explore the rich diversity of animal and plant life in the area. He thus developed his passion for wildlife at a young age. ...

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on What Tracking Has Taught Me

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Tracking an animal on a bush walk is so interesting, I love it. But it’s also quite tricky if one doesn’t have the knowledge the trackers and rangers have.

It’s quite an addictive process I must say! We’re all learning every day, so even for us it can be quite tricky sometimes 🙂

Very interesting Matt, and it is surely rewarding to do the tracking and being rewarded with the leopard in the end. There are so many tracks out there and you Rangers and Trackers have to be on top of you game to see which animals track you have found, and then to go and look for that animal. It can take quite some time out there in the bush in the blazing sun to look for them. Well done you are heroes of the bush.

Thanks so much Valmai. You are so right – it really is a great reward, and gives one a great inner feeling. The leopard being the goal at end of the tracks, after following them for sometimes hours.

You’ve written a really interesting article Matt about the tracking experience and how it has affected your life in general. Sitting behind the ranger and tracker, looking at the ground as well as the trees, it’s always amazing that suddenly we hear “Bateleur eagle in tree at left” when we’d just looked up and seen nothing. There are so many signs and tracks that one truly has to live and be one with nature – I commend all of you for showing us your Londolozi!

Thank you Denise! I am very grateful to be constantly surrounded by nature as it certainly does make it easier to be more in tune with it and understand it a little better.

Matt – I have been waiting patiently for a post from you, and this was absolutely worth the wait. You are so thoughtful and reflective in what you share, it truly makes one stop and think. Your observation about how animals rarely attract attention to themselves (except with express purpose), and go about their way unobtrusively is something most humans could try to emulate – even just every so often.
My family and I felt so fortunate to have you, Terrence and Jerry guiding us – it was such an incredible opportunity to watch the three of you practice your skill and art, and do it so collaboratively. You gave all of us a transformative experience. And I can tell you, that it deepened my reverence for the earth and its creatures, and I definitely spend more time quietly observing and appreciating connection with my natural environment.
This is a gift you bestow on your guests, if they are open to receiving it. And even if they aren’t fully in tune, they will still be gifted by the experience you provide them through your knowledge, skill and deep passion for the land, creatures and people amongst which you live and work. I will always remember the intensity of Terrence’s expression as he talked about tracking leopards…becoming the leopard – and wow did we see leopards!!
Wonderful message, and wonderful images. Looking forward to more!

Hey Kylea, thank you so much for such a wonderful response. We had the most amazing time exploring the reserve with you, with some crazy leopard sightings indeed! It is special for us to connect with people who are receptive to a deeper appreciation and understanding of the natural world – so thank you for that! I hope to see you again soon. Sending you, Frank, Ben, Chloe and Patience lots of love.

Tracking a leopard is the ultimate fun on safari!

Matt , thank you for your insights on tracking. For me tracking awakens my senses and awareness of my surroundings. Truly a gift.

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10 April, 2798
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