/Ui-G/aqo, Namibia’s top Master Tracker
Discovery Trails, in liaison with natural scientists at local universities in a range of disciplines such as ornithology, geology, botany, zoology, entomology and anthropology, can offer customised EcoScience Trails in Makuleke.
These are distinctly immersive programmes for the wildlife connoisseur. They involve a combination of presentations, discussions and illustrative field excursions including – for the sake of a bit of exercise and good game encounters – walking trails.
The Art of Tracking = the Origin of Science (Louis Liebenberg).
History will be made in mid-2018 when Bushmen, displaced from the Lowveld several hundred years ago, walk the Kruger savanna for the first time in a trails capacity. Not just any Bushmen, but members of the Ju/'hoansi from the remote Nyae Nyae Conservancy in Namibia, the last group in the whole of Southern Africa still allowed to hunt in the traditional way. And the last of the 'endurance hunters'. Not any Ju/'hoansi, but all of the three recognised indigenous Master Trackers in the country, including the best of them all, the renowned /Ui-G/aqo/.
The trails, four in Makuleke and three in the Nyalaland wilderness area of the Kruger Park itself (under the auspices of SANParks), will adopt the well-settled magic formula of allowing participants to engage with all aspects of the environment, from rocks to plants to creatures great and small, but now with a special focus on tracks and tracking. Campfire evenings will be opportunities to hear Bushmen stories - of which there is an endless supply. Makuleke has a few modest Bushmen rock art sites, Nyalaland some notable ones.
A maximum of six places per trail are available. (There will be two trail guides alongside the trackers, plus a documentary film-maker, plus an archeologist for the Nyalaland trails.) Expressions of interest can be submitted to email@example.com.
For those wanting a trail experience with a deep focus on elephants, Michelle Henley can take you there. Her time and a few other things considered, we can craft a bespoke learning experience in the wilds: education plus observation. Let us know, and we'll take it from there.
Michell has worked in the areas of elephant ecology, behaviour and reproductive physiology for some 20 years. After completing her PhD on the sex- and age-related feeding distinctions in the African elephant, she was appointed Programme Co-ordinator and Research Ecologist of Save the Elephants – South Africa. For the past ten years she has monitored elephant movements and their social interactions by means of an identification study and habitat selection throughout the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, straddling South-Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. She has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, popular publications and has contributed towards various books. She has written and illustrated children’s books on elephant conservation related topics, a subject which lies close to her heart.
(3) 6-10 July, Makuleke: Last places (R13 200)
(4) 8 -11 July, Nyalaland Wilderness Trail, Kruger National Park (SANParks): Full(5) 10 - 14 July, Makuleke: Last places (R13 200)