Last week we welcomed Colin Patrick to facilitate the Cybertracker Track and Sign course for this student group. The goal for the week was to broaden knowledge, not only about tracks, but also signs left by animals and awareness of our surroundings. The tracking week began with a hand out of a booklet with the most common tracks of animals in our natural area. In this week we learned to identify tracks from the largest of animals like elephant to the smallest of the animals like Matabele ants.
As always, Colin made the topic very interesting for us from the start. He introduced tracking as similar to reading the newspaper, minus the sensationalism of course, with only the truth if you learn to read the language of this tracking newspaper correctly. Reading the tracks gives us much better insight into the life of the animals we meet in this area. Through tracking, we can re-awaken our senses as tracking also forces you to be present and look at the bigger picture of the natural environment around you. So, off we went on a total of 12 game drives!
The whole week was very practically orientated and Colin found and showed us many tracks and their specific differences. We learned to read the language of the leopard, the bushbuck mother and its calf and many more. Every day this week we set out into Makalali and practiced identifying tracks (with a couple of awesome high profile sightings too!). Our confidence grew as we went further into the course. Each day flew by and before we knew it the sun set and the Tracking assessment was only a day away.
Tracking assessments were completed over 2 full days, with the assessment being based on over 60 tracks. A huge congrats to our students, most of whom achieved Cybertracker Track and Sign Level 2 (between 80 -89%)! Tracks will never be looked at in the same way as before and each participant will benefit from this tracking course for as long as we live and work close to nature. Thanks to Colin Patrick, it’s been a pleasure!
This week it’s back to the ‘normal’ routine, with a game drive on the go at the moment. There has been quite a lot of rain over the last week, but that hasn’t stopped the learning process!
Until Next Time,
The Bushwise Team