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Animal Tracks and Tracking (7 or 14 Days)

from US $1065 (PP Sharing)

Animal Tracks and Tracking offers you the ultimate wilderness immersion. Through the ancient art of tracking – possibly the oldest art and science – you will connect with the iconic places and creatures of Africa on foot.

Dates: 7 Days (6 Nights): 28 Feb-6 March 2017 (at Makulele Camp in South Africa), 17-23 March, 16-22 April, 12-18 Oct, 5-11 Dec 2017(at Selati Camp in South Africa) & 14-20 Nov 2016 (at Mashatu Camp in Botswana)

Please note there is also a 14 Days course from 12th to 25th June at Mashatu Camp in Botswana. Please enquire.

Group Size: Min 4 / Max 20

Overview

Animal Tracks and Tracking offers you the ultimate wilderness immersion. Through the ancient art of tracking – possibly the world's oldest art and science – you will connect with the iconic places and creatures of Africa on foot. Our 7 and 14 day courses take place in remote wilderness areas of Botswana and South Africa. EcoTracker will engross you in all aspects of tracking track and sign identification, animal trailing and survival techniques. The courses are mostly hosted by engaging and expert Shangaan trackers.

In many parts of Africa, the ancient survival skills of tracking have disappeared at an alarming rate – alarming because without these skills, humanity's connection to the earth is significantly reduced. The time-worn skills of tracking taught human beings to live consciously with an appreciation and respect for the natural world. With urbanisation and technology, much of this profound ecological intelligence is being lost at a time when it is most important to our long-term survival.

This training course aims to contribute to the preservation of indigenous wilderness skills and the conservation of the Earth's last wild places.

Our instructors are certified by the acclaimed Tracker Academy – the first and only accredited tracker training school in South Africa. Visitors will get a taste of this knowledge from Shangaan trackers who have dedicated themselves to mastering the skills of traditional hunter-gatherers.

What is Tracking?

There are two major aspects to tracking–Track and Sign Interpretation and Trailing (following animal trails).

This course includes Hunter-gatherer techniques as part of the course. All aspects of tracking take years to master.

Track and Sign Interpretation–this component of tracking looks at the signs left by invertebrates, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals. All learning takes place in the field using field-guides, photographs and presentations to supplement practical training.

Trailing–this component involves following tracks to find the animal. Mastering trailing takes years and this aspect of the course requires a relatively high level of fitness and an ability to focus mentally. Our instructors are amongst the best animal trailers in South Africa and we pride ourselves on our ability to teach this complex skill. Students will have the opportunity to practice trailing animals themselves - under the watchful eye of an instructor.

Interpreting mammal and bird alarm calls, animal behaviour and assessing the age of tracks form part of the trailing skill set.

Hunter-gatherer techniques – Southern Africa's indigenous peoples survived off the land for centuries. EcoTracker's instructors will teach you how to build traps using only natural materials, show you how to find birds nests, water and edible fruits. Through sharing of their experiences growing up in the wilderness, the instructors will immerse students in the wild.

Course Information

7-day course:

This course is designed to give the student a basic understanding of track and sign interpretation. The assessment at the end of the course is endorsed by FGASA for those who wish to try and achieve certification.

Depending on the seasonal movement of animals in the area, students may be afforded the opportunity to follow or trail animals on foot.

14 - day course:

The longer course gives students the opportunity for a more comprehensive understanding of track and sign interpretation, trailing and hunter-gatherer techniques. The core focus of this course is to spend time trailing animals such as rhino, elephant, buffalo and lion on foot (often dependent on seasonal animal movements). At the end of the course, students can choose to do a fully accredited FGASA trailing and track and sign course.

Please note a 23% discount is available for South African residents on the 7 Day Experience and a 9% discount on the 14 Days Experience. Please enquire.

Why we chose this Provider

  1. We have been in the business of training guides since 1993 when we were established as the first formal field guide training organisation in Africa. We thus live up to our reputation as the pioneer and leader in our field. 
  2. A company owned and managed by a person with a passion for wilderness. Anton Lategan has spent most of his life visiting and living in wilderness areas. He believes passionately in the need for students to come away from their time with us with an amazing, exciting learning adventure together with a better understanding of the way wilderness areas work. 
  3. A company solely dedicated to training. We do nothing else, so we stay focused on making sure that our training programmes are of the highest standards. 
  4. Instructors who have been around for a long time. We select our instructors based on the number of years of experience that they have had in the guiding industry. We are proud of our specialist trainers that are well known throughout the industry. 
  5. Number of students on each course limited to a total maximum of 20, with a maximum of 10 students for each instructor. This ensures that the students get personal attention at all times. 
  6. We offer quality over quantity. Sometimes a training provider offers many qualifications which look good on paper, but the time available does not allow for thorough training that is sufficient to pass the FGASA exams. 
  7. Courses in great wilderness areas collectively covering more than 100 000 hectares, including one of the greatest national parks in the world, the Kruger National Park. Students are immersed in these great wilderness areas from the moment they step into camp giving them an intimate, experiential experience that can be life-changing. Our camps are unfenced and mostly canvas, so students are in touch with the wilderness all the time.
  8. We play an important role in community training throughout Africa ensuring that local people living on the borders of our national parks and game reserves gain access to training which will ultimately provide them with job opportunities. Our community training includes countries such as Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Gabon, Kenya and Swaziland. 
  9. We have conducted training programmes for top tourism operators and various privately-owned game lodges in southern Africa and our programmes are held in high regard by these organisations. 
  10. The partners and trainers have trained thousands of people over the years in a number of countries – from rural tribesmen in the Gabonese forest in the Congo Basin of West Africa to royalty from Europe.

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Accommodation Options

    There are no extra accommodation options for this Experience. Please contact us for accommodation options before and after your trip

Optional Activities

    There are no optional activities features for this Experience. Please contact us if you would like us to enquire further

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