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The Symbiotic Relationship between Guides and Trackers

Shara Burger | Community

Mutual respect and corresponding skills are what form the basis of any good tracker and guide relationship. Their unique rapport with one another elevates a guest’s experience when on safari. The relationship between these two individuals is based on a trust so deep that a true brotherhood is formed.

Trackers and guides have very different skill sets and both are incredibly important in finding the game.

There are key character traits which are fundamental for success while out in the bush. They need to be patient, humble, in tune with nature, possess the ability to always remain calm and have a good sense of humour. The key to the bond between these two individuals is that the connection transcends any traditional approach to either of the roles and that it rather evolves naturally according to their individual strengths and attributes.

No matter the close knit relationship between trackers and guides the roles of these individuals is in essence different.

Tanda Tula - Guides and Trackers

Traditionally, guides spend more time with their guests curating the overall safari experience and creating personal connections. Often, guides are gregarious people who are born entertainers, sharing their connection to nature while ensuring the safety of their group.

Trackers are usually born with a “sixth sense” for their wild surroundings, along with skills which have been passed down through generations.  Trackers are a crucial support to guides in order for guests to have a truly rewarding experience. The amazing wildlife experiences these individuals have had create an even greater connection to the environment.

As Dale Jackson points out: “Experiencing a well-qualified guide and specialised tracker unpack a fresh set of spoor and decipher these signs to their guests thereby compiling the story written in the dust and surrounds is something truly unique. It requires the honed skills of the tracker to interpret the signs and for the guide to then convey this information across to the guests building the pattern on events. From this point they collectively follow the tracks and anticipate the animals path and hopefully location. A hugely rewarding experience!”

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