Lowveld, Northern South Africa. January 2012 - Animal Tracks and Signs Course, Moholoholo Mountain View.

We spent 6 days at Moholoholo Mountain View taking part in a brilliant Tracking Course.

There were just 4 other people on the course:
Sean, who was the guy who ran the photography workshop that we attended last September.
Cecile, originally from France but she then moved to Reunion and is now married to David, a Pastor who used to live in Zimbabwe.  They now mostly live near Hoedspruit but Cecile still works (teaching) in Reunion for part of the year and also works at Moholoholo as a guide.
Tim and Geralyn, an English couple who, for several years, have spent 3 months of the year travelling in Africa.

We both had a wonderfult time, Colin was a great teacher and we learnt a lot.

10 days before we arrived they had big floods in the Hoedspruit area so the usually dry river in front of the lodge had water in it. In the background is the Drakensberg escarpment. Moholoholo means 'The

90% of the course was out in the field. Colin would find tracks and mark them out with a circle around them. He would then either explain which animal made the track or ask us to work out what left the tracks.

Colin pointing out where a leopard had walked down to the water.

Cecile using her book to try and identify a track.

Tracks marked out for us to identify - warthog.

It wasn't just animal tracks that we had to identify. We learnt about all sorts of signs left by termites to rhino!

This is where a rhino has repeatedly rubbed against a tree. Warthog and wildebeest also run against trees.

This is a scorpions' hole.

We also had to been able to identify some bird tracks. These are made by a dove.

More tracks - impala.

leopard

On the last day there was an (optional) assessment. As well as the 6 of us on the course there were 2 other people, Julie and Gerald, being assessed. Everyone except for us had done the assessment previously and were trying to improve their marks - you need 100% to get a Tracker level 4 which then allows you to go onto the Senior Tracker course.

Coffee and rusks on the deck early on the final morning, before the assessment.

We had 2 assessors, Andreas and Robbie who marked out several tracks and signs. We had to, individually, work out what we thought they were, write them down and then tell Andreas our answers. Once everyone had finished that group of tracks/signs Andreas or Robbie would tell us what they were, explaining why it was that animal/bird. We learnt an awful lot on this final day. There were around 50 tracks and signs to identify and it took all day - with a couple of breaks for breakfast and lunch.

Gerald getting up close to some tracks. Gerald and Sean both got 100%.

Kevin, pleased having handed in his final answers to Andreas while Colin and his wife, Becky, look on.

As well as improving our knowledge of tracking and signs we also found that we now look at animals and birds in a different way, looking at how they move, what they’re doing etc.  All in all we both loved the course and want to go back later this year or next year to learn more.

1a. Animal Tracks & Signs Course at Moholoholo Mountain View.

1b. Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre

2. Satara, Kruger National Park.

Diary. (Word '97 document).

A hole where a porcupine had been digging for termites.

 

 

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