Another Successful Day at the Office

At 5:30 am while everyone was getting ready for their morning activity, I heard the same lion roaring at a distance. This time around I was not going to ignore the sounds. I quickly grabbed my shoes, put them on, and ran outside gathering all the students. Swiftly we all got into the game viewer and off we go in search of the lion, determined to find this king!

Another Successful Day at the Office - Animal Tracking
Photographs © Christoff Els

Tracking and Trailing

With our freshly prepared coffee at hand and the aroma hanging in the air, we headed towards Solomon’s Wall Ridge. We came across fresh lion tracks that showed the lion had passed there not so long ago. As we continued to track the lion, I realized that the lion’s pace was increasing as he was moving east along the Motloutse River. We then began to trail him for a good few hours. The tracks were now crossing the boundary line towards the other side of the concession, unfortunately, we could not cross over to the other side.

We decided to make use of the opportunity out in the bush and delight ourselves with another morning coffee. During our lovely coffee stop/break, we contemplate whether to continue the search or to call it a day. We decided to turn around and head back to camp after our nice coffee.

Another Successful Day at the Office - Lion Safari
Photographs © Tere Abumohor

What a Pleasant Surprise?

During our ride back I was in deep thoughts contemplating about my unsuccessful trailing of the male lion. It was at that precise moment, nature decided to surprise us with a very handsome young male leopard on top of a tree near a watering hole. From a distance, there was a herd of impala and you could tell from the stair that he was hoping they would probably come closer. At that very moment, whatever he was thinking did not matter as we were all marveling at his beauty.

He eventually jumped off from the tree and began to shy away from it as we tried to follow him a bit. He then gracefully moved into the bush, that moment I began to smile and take in what my “office” as I call it has just produced. This by far became one of the most memorable moments to share with my guests since the beginning of their trip to Mashatu. And I officially said to myself, another successful day in the office, the greatest lion surprise!

Tracking with Norman | Trailer

So, what is animal tracking? Animal tracking is more complex than most people might think. We invite you to join us on this exciting learning adventure. Learn to connect with nature and get back to your roots.

Have a read in our blog: What is animal tracking?

About the Author: 

Norman Chauke is a Tracking Instructor – He attends its EcoTraining Field Guide Level 1 course and went on to Tracker Academy where he qualified as a Lead Tracker. He also has his Trails Guide Back-up, FGASA Level 2, and CATHSSETA Assessor qualifications. Norman is the first-ever formally qualified African tracker assessor in South Africa.

About the Author:
Norman Chauke

Norman Chauke

Explore more

student sitting in the game viewer

The first 24 hours on an EcoTraining Practical Course

There’s one for aspiring professional Field Guides, taking an entire year. There’s one specifically for birding enthusiasts, taking just seven days. And there’s an extensive range of other ones in between. EcoTraining’s practical courses and experiences can cater to many different needs, but they all guarantee one thing: intense quality time immersed in nature! EcoTraining graduate Wim tells the story of his 35-day Practical Field Guide course, which took him first to Karongwe and then to Pridelands.

Read more
group of students on a birding course

Popular Birding Book Takes Flight

The newly revised Second Edition of Robert’s Birds of Greater Kruger book was released! It is a fresh and new edition, from the introduction to new chapters, habitat descriptions, checklists, distribution maps, illustrations, and photographs—and it only took three hard years to revise.

Read more
group photo of field guide students

Globalization in the Wild

My dad’s experience at EcoTraining was genuinely remarkable. It was an incredible example of how people from different backgrounds and cultures can come together to learn and appreciate nature. The diverse group of companions he met at the camp, including those from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, UAE, and Reunion, made the experience even more enriching. He learned from instructors from various countries, explored the African wilderness, and encountered awe-inspiring birds. It was a unique opportunity to witness globalization in the wild.

Read more

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

Join our nature-loving community.