WHAT IS TRACKING?
There are two major aspects to tracking of wildlife – track and sign interpretation, and trailing (following animal trails). EcoTracker includes hunter-gatherer techniques as part of the course. All aspects of tracking take years to master.
Track and sign interpretation – this component of animal tracking looks at the signs left by invertebrates, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals. All learning takes place in the field using field guides, photographs and presentations to supplement practical training.
Trailing – this component involves following tracks to find the animal. Mastering trailing takes years, and this aspect of the course requires a relatively high level of fitness and an ability to focus mentally. EcoTracker’s instructors are among the best animal trailers in South Africa, and we pride ourselves on our ability to teach this complex skill.
Students will have the opportunity to practise trailing wild animals themselves – under the watchful eye of an EcoTracker instructor. Interpreting mammal and bird alarm calls, animal behaviour and assessing the age of tracks form part of the trailing skill set.
Hunter-gatherer techniques – Southern Africa’s indigenous peoples survived off the land for centuries. EcoTracker’s instructors will teach you how to build traps using only natural materials, show you how to find birds’ nests, water and edible fruits. Through sharing of their experiences growing up in the wilderness, the instructors will immerse students in the wild.
This course is designed to give the student a basic understanding of track and sign interpretation. The assessment at the end of the course is endorsed by FGASA for those who wish to try and achieve certification. Depending on the seasonal movement of animals in the area, students may be afforded the opportunity to follow or trail animals on foot.