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History & Location

HISTORY

SA College for Tourism
SA College for Tourism
SA College for Tourism was established in 2001 as a private institution for further education and training aimed at the hospitality sector of the tourism industry of southern Africa. The college is located at the Panorama guesthouse in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The Panorama guesthouse, including the four hectares of land on which it was situated, was a gift to the college from the late Dr Anton Rupert, founding patron of Peace Parks Foundation and founder of the college.
A further donation by the Rupert Family Foundations to the college was utilised to upgrade the existing kitchen facilities of the guesthouse, turn a big conference hall into a lecture room and a small conference room into a restaurant, and build a demonstration kitchen with state-of-the-art equipment and a seating capacity of 40. A training kitchen with 15 fully equipped workstations and a fully equipped computer laboratory were also added. Other training equipment, such as video machines and overhead projectors, was also financed from this donation.
The college was officially opened by Mrs Zanele Mbeki, South Africa’s first lady at the time, during the graduation ceremony of 18 October 2002.

SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy

In 2010, the range of training programmes presented at the college was expanded with the establishment of SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy.
The academy focuses its training on the preservation of indigenous knowledge, as it pertains to tracking competency and other forms of traditional nature conservation, described by many as the origin of natural science. It is the first institution of its kind in southern Africa to offer a nationally accredited tracker skills development course. In 2015, a nationally accredited, more advanced lead tracker training course was added to the curriculum.

From its first intake of 20 hospitality service students in 2001, the college has grown to the 106 students currently trained every year. Since inception, the college has trained well over 1 000 women in hospitality services while 74 young tracker trainees have graduated from the Tracker Academy.

Drostdy Hotel

The Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet, donated to the college by the Rupert family, reopened its doors on 27 November 2014, following extensive renovations to the property. The hotel annually offers internships and learnerships to hospitality graduates and serves as an operational training area for the college students. Hotel profits are ploughed back into the training of hospitality students at the college.

Location

SA College for Tourism is situated on Magazine Hill overlooking the historic town of Graaff-Reinet nestled in the plains of the Camdeboo in the Great Karoo region of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. This historic and picturesque town, the fourth oldest town in South Africa, boasts five national monuments and about 260 officially declared historic homes and sites.
Graaff-Reinet is the only town in South Africa that is completely surrounded by a game and nature reserve, the Camdeboo National Park (South Africa's 22nd national park), which was proclaimed in 2003.
Tracker Academy maintains campuses at Samara Private Game Reserve, Londolozi Private Game Reserve and at Singita Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

The first six-month semester of the course is conducted at Samara Private Game Reserve in the Karoo, some 45 km from Graaff-Reinet, in a semi-desert biome. Thereafter the students move to Londolozi Private Game Reserve bordering Kruger National Park, to complete the second semester in the traditional bushveld savannah biome. As a result, students learn the diversity of wildlife and its behaviour in two extremely different environments. Karel (Pokkie) Benadie, a Master Tracker, is based at Samara, while Renias Mhlongo, a Senior Tracker, is based at Londolozi.

Singita Sabi Sands, adjacent to Kruger National Park, is the seat of the Tracker Academy’s lead tracker training course.