Alex van den Heever, co-founder of the Tracker Academy, is just one example of how EcoTraining has been part of job creation and education in the tourism industry.
Alex attended one of the first EcoTraining game ranger courses, in 1994 in the Sabi Sand Reserve. Since then, he has since spent almost 20 years at the world-renowned Londolozi Game Reserve, where he became fascinated with tracking.
Alex soon realised the traditional art of, and indigenous knowledge about, tracking animals in the wild was fast disappearing.
Tracker Academy is a training division of the SA College for Tourism, which operates under the auspices of the Peace Parks Foundation. It is a non-profit organisation that trains disadvantaged rural people in the traditional skills of tracking. More than 90% of Tracker Academy graduates are permanently employed in the conservation industry in South Africa. To sponsor a student, one may contact the SA College for Tourism directly.
Alex works closely with his best friend and mentor of 20 years, Renias Mhlongo, who is the principal trainer of the Tracker Academy at Londolozi. Alex and Renias have travelled the world teaching tracking and presenting their motivational talk, called The Power of Relationships.