Best Trackers in Africa Today?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Upepo, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    I'd be interested in hearing firsthand opinions about who are the best trackers in Africa today? I'm not talking about the legends recorded in books, but rather people you've actually worked with who know what they are doing. It could be local tribesmen, or alternatively it could be guides working for the safari and hunting companies. It could also be guides or park rangers in certain African parks.

    Life in Africa is changing very rapidly, and many traditional communities are not maintaining their old ways of life. I have traveled in many of the parks in Kenya, and have generally been surprised that the rangers I met did not have a good knowledge of tracking. This doesn't mean that everyone is bad - but if there are good ones then they are few and far between. Similarly, I suspect that the old traditions of tracking amongst tribes that were once hunters are being lost permanently - which is too bad.

    But let's hear from the hunters here and see what you think.

    thanks,
    Upepo
  2. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    I few years back I hunted with Jerry, a Tswana from the north of Limpopo Province in RSA. He was just amazing.

    Jerry with PH Hannes Lamprecht

    [​IMG]

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  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Nyati, judging by that leg you shoot hartebeest about as well as I do! :biggrin2:
  4. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    Nyati - thanks for the tip.
    the PH you're referring to there (Hannes Lamprecht) looks like he used to be a rugby player. Did he play for the Sprinkboks??? Hahahaha!!!

    Upepo
  5. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Trackers who have proven themselves in the Zambezi Valley are very impressive. They're all better than I'll ever be, but the most impressive I've seen are from Zimbabwe. Hard, rocky ground with significant relief, yet they can somehow follow an elephant or buffalo for miles. Sometimes you just shake your head in disbelief.
  6. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Don't know where this is going but but all trackers I have ever worked with have there own special skill Smiley who could spot a blood spot 100meters before you could even see it. And Owen from Zim he could tell you where to look for game before the game put tracks there not to mention Aleck J Mafuta from the congo who could track a hippo under water in a muddy river going upstream. Each and everyone have a skill that is beyond anything I could ever do and it has been my pleasure to hunt with them all and hope to again.
  7. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    I have had the pleasure to have hunted with dozens of good Trackers BUT the best three I have been with are Ian Gibson's Ndabelle tracker Robert, Stu Taylors Shona Tracker Davie and Lyndon Stanton's Shangani Tracker Jabalani. All Zimbabwean trackers.
    These trackers often learn there trade as children following the Cows and rturning them to the Coral for the night. If they loose a cow, they are in big trouble!
    These Trackers are but another reason to use these top PH's.
  8. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Not my hartebeest. A friend of mine shot it at more than 300m.(bad decision), that hit in the foot slowed him down allowing him to shoot again at around 50 m.
  9. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    He did play rugby, but not for the Springboks. The strongest man I have ever met !
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    In the attempt to not have the skills die out.

    The Tracker Academy :: Assessment of students participating in our wildlife tracking courses

    For sheer hunting skills including spotting and tracking on new ground (not the same old property):
    The people and the specific feats:

    Xhose, (San) spotted Eland and Kudu in the Kalahari that I have no idea how he saw them. One over distance and the other in cover.

    Moosa (Zulu), seeing a bedded Hyena in high yellow grass, repeatedly. If I had not shot it in an opening in the cover I would never have seen it. Tracking Kudu across rocky ground and coming up with the specific animal over distance.

    Martin. (Zimbabwean) Dogged determination to hunt/track Eland. The ability to sort it all out over long distances, lose it and reacquire was quite impressive.


    I also got to witness two "trackers" in RSA that have either lost the skill, never acquired it or did not care to exert the effort yo use what they may have had. Sadly, I was better. Which is something I never expected to encounter.
  11. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    I will second this motion. I was fascinated by both of these mens ability. The speed at which they unraveled the clues the animals left behind was uncanny.
  12. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    i've seen similar accomplishments - but not on the scale you are describing. i do know a guy in Kenya who's pretty good at spotting animals (antelope, lions) in bush and thickets. I've driven past them a number of times, and then he's stopped me and made me go back. The camouflage of the animals can be impressive. so yes, some of these guides do have excellent eyes.

    but I would say - based on your description - that Xhose and Martin are in a class by themselves. And that would include Robert, Davie and Jabalani too.

    Upepo
  13. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Poni Mokwena and Joe Mokwena both Sotho Gentleman roughly aged at around 50 and 36 years of age, Poni as well as Joe was born on Kwalata in the the Waterberg mountains and as a boy spent his entire days which would become months and later on years and decades tracking the native game of the area, and cattle herding.... Both expert trackers...

    They are as good as any Zimbabwean, Tanzanian, Bots or Mozambique tracker, I have hunted with................. They truly are that good.... I do firmly believe that a tracker is pretty much as good as the terrain he knows and spends most his time tracking in... no matter what it is.... this along with his imprinted or rather inherited and self taught observation skill, especially when it comes to attention to detail... something that should not be the way it currently is... interpreting it.... anticipating what could possibly happen, making the next step by putting on foot in front of the other............... and then being right about it...... Not guessing, but rather knowing what each and every species does as well as the way they move.....in many ways a sixth sense if you will...

    IMO rough mountain country with plated rock, small gravel rock, big rock and even rock river beds could possibly be some of the toughest terrain to track in...

    I honestly don't believe it can be pointed or placed into one specific country, and never will as it is simply silly to try and do so

    Some of us have been blessed though.... to hunt and learn from special individuals like these, and very often their skill are the major contributing factors to our success, in all actuality most of the time it is....

    Poni with Ahmed and the wounded Buff we tracked for 4 days

    View attachment 22193

    After 4,5 hours of tracking this Kudu bull through and over incredibly tough and hard mountainous terrain Joe pointed him out for the second time this day... :)

    View attachment 22194

    My best always
  14. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    well if i get a chance - i will try and spend a few days with these outstanding trackers the next time I am in Africa. it may be the first time that someone has hired a hunting company simply for the pleasure of going out and tracking animals ... but from my point of view - it would be time well spent.

    Upepo
  15. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Could not agree more upepo, I have realised that being a good tracker in the modern industry if I may call it that is a professional occupation, just as being a professional hunter.....

    I believe that good trackers will continue to come up in the industry if they are looked after by outfitters pretty much the same as good .PH's :):):)

    Interesting thread

    My best always
  16. joester

    joester AH Veteran

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    Sgt Magoshe is a game scout in the Bubye Valley Conservancy in Zim who willingly acts as a tracker while accompanying PHs and their hunters. His tracking skills are truly phenomenal. I had "drawn blood" on a waterbuck with a single shot that nipped its brisket (literally we found a single drop of blood - about 50 yards from where it was shot - about the size of this : "0"). He tracked that bull for 3 hrs until dark, then picked up the same track the next morning, all with no blood to trail. In more open spots, if you drew a 3 foot circle you would easily have enclosed a dozen different tracks of multiple species. He found that same animal later in the morning, having covered many winding kilometers. I told the well known PH, John Sharp, of his abilities and John agreed he's one of the best. To me his skills are other-worldly! My wife said watching him track that animal was the most memorable experience of all our safaris, including any game she had ever shot.
  17. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    if I do nothing else in my lifetime - I hope to spend some time with these guys.
    it's on my "bucket list" :)

    Upepo

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