January 26, 2017

From cattle herder to EcoTraining instructor - Norman Chauke

One of the things I love about EcoTraining is the people that work for the company.  They have one common goal …

The beginning of an ecological career and lifestyle

The beginning of an ecological career and lifestyle

I grew up in a village named Makuleke which is situated in the far north of the Limpopo Province.  As a young boy I used to wake up very early in the morning and take the cattle out to graze on my way to school.  After school I would come home, briefly do my homework and have something to eat, before I was sent back into the bush to find our cattle and bring them home. 

Norman feeling at one with Africa's soil, having walked the African bushveld since childhood

Norman feeling at one with Africa's soil, having walked the African bushveld since childhood

There were consequences if I did not bring all our cattle home so I naturally became a diligent tracker.  Our food when I was a boy was mainly pap, it was not often that we had meat.  Sometimes my brothers and I would go hunting, setting traps to catch small birds such as hornbills and doves.  We would also sometimes go out in a bigger group with dogs to catch small game such as scrub hares, duiker and steenbok.  This was always good fun and I always enjoyed the chase!

The turning point in my life was when I had the privilege of doing a year-long Tracking course with Tracker Academy.  The co-founder of this company is Alex van den Heever and after I completed my tracking course I asked Alex to assist me in starting a career in tracking.  He sent me on two EcoTraining course: FGASA Level 1 Field Guide course and the Trails Guide course.  After successfully completing both these courses I stayed on with EcoTraining to help train students on a number of different courses, including tracking which is my specialty. 

Norman doing what he does best, teaching the art of tracking

Norman doing what he does best, teaching the art of tracking

My time at EcoTraining has dramatically changed my life making me more aware of nature conservation and the ecosystems that I have been lucky enough to work in.

One of the things I love about EcoTraining is the people that work for the company.  They have one common goal of being nature conservationists and work hard to spread the word to the world about nature and why we should protect it.

Now that I’m working for EcoTraining my life has completely improved to the point that I have built myself a house, bought a car and am able to look after my family and my son Katlego.

As an EcoTraining employee I now strongly believe in educating people all over the world about conserving and protecting our wildlife, especially protecting our most loved rhinos, since they have become the target of false beliefs that are threatening their survival.

Norman's cheerful disposition makes a course with him so worthwhile

Norman's cheerful disposition makes a course with him so worthwhile

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