EcoTracker 14 Day Course
Learn to track and trail animals through the African wilderness
At a glance
EcoTracker is the ultimate wilderness immersion operated by our African training partner, EcoTraining. This course takes place in remote wilderness areas of Botswana and South Africa. EcoTracker will engross you in all aspects of tracking animals including track and sign identification, trailing and survival techniques of wildlife. The courses are led by expert Shangaan trackers.
South Africa / Botswana
Next start date
12 June 2017
13 nights/14 days
Online or on location?
Who is this for?
For those interested in understanding the bush and tracking animals on foot.
Prices start from US$2000 for 14 days including tented accommodation and all meals
Upcoming course dates
12 June 2017
EcoTracker aims to contribute to the preservation of indigenous wilderness skills and the conservation of the Earth’s last wild places. Our instructors are certified by the acclaimed Tracker Academy – the first and only accredited tracker training school in South Africa. Students to EcoTracker will get a taste of this knowledge from Shangaan trackers who have dedicated themselves to mastering the skills of traditional hunter-gatherers.
The longer course gives students the opportunity for a more comprehensive understanding of track and sign interpretation, trailing and hunter-gatherer techniques. The core focus of this course is to spend time trailing animals such as rhino, elephant, buffalo and lion on foot (often dependent on seasonal animal movements). At the end of the course, students can choose to do a fully accredited FGASA trailing and track and sign course. If arranged in advanced, at an extra fee, students may be assessed on animal trailing skills.
The course price includes accommodation in fully equipped two person tents with bedding, all meals and professionally trained guides.
SKILLS YOU'LL GAIN
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 practice 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.
The course will begin with the track and sign interpretation component, where trainers will teach you how to correctly analyse an animal’s track. Visual presentations, using photographs and illustrations, are also employed to assist with the learning process.
The second component of the course deals with the ability to follow or “trail” an animal’s track, until the tracker finds it. Trailing skills are more complex, and therefore take much longer to master.
Learners will get to experience the trailing skills first-hand from our Shangaan trainers, who are some of the top trackers in South Africa. Once comfortable the learners will have the opportunity to practise trailing an animal themselves, under the tutelage of the trainers.
During your course, you should encounter some (or if you’re lucky, all) of these fine animals. Sightings aren’t guaranteed of course, but you never know!