The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 Oct 2022
The SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy has just completed the five-week Lead Tracker course. The programme candidates were hosted by Singita Game Reserve, while the field work was conducted on both Singita and Londolozi game reserves’ properties. The academy is privileged to be able to operate on such a vast expanse of prime wildlife land.
Each candidate had to complete the theory of animal tracking and approaching dangerous game on foot. Since many of them were illiterate, translators and scribes assisted. This was thanks to services provided by the current level 2 students based at Londolozi. Additionally, each candidate had to successfully trail a lion and leopard for a minimum of two hours, correctly interpret bird and animal tracks and signs, and approach a member of the Big 5, i.e. a lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard or rhino, safely and with pseudo guests in attendance.
This year bird and animal alarm calls were added to the Lead Tracker programme. On the whole, it must be said that Lead Tracker, thanks to many people’s inputs, is the most comprehensive coaching and evaluation of animal tracking skills in South Africa. Of the eight candidates enrolled, five were found competent on the full National Qualifications Framework level 4 Lead Tracker skills programme. They will receive their Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Sector Education and Training Authority certificates later in the year.
92% of the students trained by Tracker Academy since 2010 are in full-time employment.
Story and photos by Alex van den Heever
SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy Manager
Visit the Tracker Academy website for more