Tracking | SafariFRANK
Specialist Course

Tracking

"Learn the art of tracking - an indigenous wilderness skill"

Price $1300 USD
Course Type
Specialist Course
Country
South Africa
Duration
7 Nights

EcoTracker 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 formally accredited tracker training school in South Africa. Visitors to EcoTracker will get a taste of this knowledge from trackers who have dedicated themselves to mastering the skills of traditional hunter-gatherers.

general information

A wildlife-tracking programme – EcoTracker 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 seven and 14-day courses take place in remote wilderness areas of Botswana and South Africa. EcoTracker will engross you in all aspects of traditional tracking skills – track and sign identification, animal trailing and hunter-gatherer techniques. The courses are mostly hosted by engaging and expert local Shangaan trackers. Animal Tracks and Tracking

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 longterm survival.

about the school

Operating for 24 years, EcoTraining is the pioneer and leader in safari guide and wildlife training in Africa. EcoTraining is widely recognised by the safari industry for its credibility and standard of excellence in nature guide training. We offer accredited career courses, gap year and sabbatical programmes, nature programmes, high school and university study abroad programmes, custom courses and on-site professional guide training at safari lodges. All courses are run directly from EcoTraining’s unfenced bush camps in prime wilderness areas across South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. To date EcoTraining has trained over 11 000 people from 33 different countries around the world.

course content

What is Tracking?

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

EcoTracker 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. EcoTracker’s 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 EcoTracker 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 endorsed FGASA trailing and track and sign course. If arranged in advanced, at an extra fee, students may be assessed on animal trailing skills.

start dates

2019
10 February 2019 - 16 February 2019
4 June 2019 - 10 June 2019
1 August 2019 - 7 August 2019
15 July 2019 - 28 July 2019

camps

The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.

Meals

  • Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal)
  • Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
  • Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
  • Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)

The Tracking course takes place in Makuleke, Mashatu or Selati (depending on start date).

qualifications

FGASA endorsed evaluations – the week(s) culminates with a 2-day evaluation of both tracking components. Depending on the results achieved, the learner will receive a FGASA endorsed tracking certificate.

price

2019 rate per person [6 nights / 7 days] / R16 960
2019 rate per person [13 nights / 14 days] / R33 895

Rate includes:

Accommodation (sharing)
Full meals
Tea/coffee
Instructors and Training
Bush walks
Open vehicle drives and specialist trainer/s.

Rate excludes:

Transfers/transport to and from the camp, before and after the course
Any accommodation before and after the course
Beverages (beer, ciders, bottled water)
Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at the Kruger Makuleke camp)
Border crossing fee (only applicable if the course is at Mashatu Camp)
Animal Trailing skills assessment fee (14-day course only)


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