Who we are
The Tracker Academy trains disadvantaged individuals from underprivileged rural communities in the hope of a better future by teaching them the traditional skill of wildlife tracking and equipping them with the tools necessary to apply practical tracking in animal monitoring, wildlife protection, predator habituation and eco-tourism.
What we do
Every year, the Academy trains a number of students across 3 campuses – at Samara, Londolozi and Tswalu - with many trackers receiving job offers before the course has even ended, proving their importance to conservation and ecotourism. Their skills have been exported around the world – from habituating leopards in Rwanda to tracking jaguars in Brazil.
Professional trackers trained
Graduates in fulltime employment
Hours logged per student
How Animal Friends have helped
Tracker Academy has received a £45,000 donation from Animal Friends that will go towards training disadvantaged rural people in the traditional skill of wildlife tracking.
It will cover the costs of all training, food, accommodation, learning materials, uniforms, assessments and field trips for six students who will go on to study birding, ecology, taxonomy, reptiles, amphibians, insects, animal behaviour, geology, weather and climate, dealing with dangerous game, plants, guiding skills, human tracking, wildlife monitoring and life skills. The fully accredited one-year training programme is the only one of its kind in the world with tracker students logging over 1,000 hours of practical tracking experience during their training.
The course also focuses on developing life skills, including literacy and positive health, empowering these young individuals to believe in themselves and their futures.
Why Animal Friends wanted to help
We are passionate about protecting the animals we share our homes with as well as those around the world and it’s important to our customers that we give back to charities dedicated to protecting Africa’s last remaining wild areas and the amazing creatures that live in them.
When we learnt about their tireless work in creating sustainable ecosystems, animal monitoring and habituation, conservation education and wildlife protection we knew that we had to help!
Our donation of £45,000 will help these young people to become the best version of themselves and help save 'the big five' throughout Africa.
How you can help
To find out more about The Tracker Academy, how you can support them and keep up to date with their work why not follow them on their social media or visit their website today?
At the current rate of rhino losses in Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, Rhinos face local extinction by 2028. Tracker Academy is working to change this, and we knew we had to help.
We donated £45,000 to fund the training and deployment of 6 highly specialised expert trackers as Rhino Guardians. These brave individuals will use the African craft of animal tracking to create safe havens for Rhinos, joining the fight against rhino poaching as fully-fledged rangers.
Some of the curriculum
Amos Mzimba, the head trainer of Rhino Guardians, has spent 27 years in Kruger National Park, accumulating immense experience in the field of anti-poaching. Mr Amos, as he’s affectionately known by his students, has made over 300 successful arrests and will teach:
- Animal and man-tracking techniques
- Animal behaviour, birds, trees, plants and basic ecology
- Conservation guardianship and ethics
- Bushcraft, navigation, patrols, combat and self-defence
- Animal monitoring and K9 handling
- Life skills, first aid, presentation skills and work readiness
- Law enforcement basics
A massive thank you to the Tracker Academy and the courageous wildlife trackers working to save rhinos from the brink of extinction in Kruger National Park. Inkomu!