A senior tracking assessment was recently held in the Timbavati, the first of its kind in the area. These assessments are incredibly difficult and only the best of the best pass. Trackers cannot simply apply, but are invited to participate by previously showing their skills.
There are two parts to the senior tracker assessment: ‘track & sign’ and trailing.
Members of the Tanda Tula Safari Camp team were invited to participate and put their amazing tracking skills to the test. Jack, one of our most experienced trackers, was invited to attend the spoor identification segment of the assessment as he has already achieved his senior tracker status for trailing.
Scotch, a ranger and qualified tracker, would be doing the trailing segment and would have to track down any number of big 5 animals to prove their worth – nothing short of 100% would do. The top trackers in the country are involved in the grading system so this is no easy task.
To give you an idea of just how challenging this senior tracker assessment can be, some top trackers have taken up to five times to achieve their senior tracker status.
Scotch triumphed in his trailing segment and achieved full marks in his ability to track and follow dangerous game. This is a fantastic achievement considering that this is Scotch’s first attempt at senior tracker level. With his larger than life personality and hunger to learn, I am sure that he will go on to achieve his spoor identification in the very near future, and acquire his full senior tracker status.
This means that Tanda Tula Safari Camp now has TWO senior trailing specialists! This is not only good news for Tanda Tula Safari Camp, but for the Timbavati as a whole, as such specialists are very rare.
Going on a bush walk with any of our experienced guides and discussing tracks and spoor, is a wonderful learning experience and a must when you stay with us at our Safari Camp.
Text by Dale Jackson