Tanda Tula are ecstatic to announce that both Jack Ngomani and Scotch Ndlovu have achieved the prestigious qualification of becoming Senior Trackers. They both achieved 100% in the final FAGASA (Field Guides Association Of Southern Africa) practical exam for Track and Sign. Previously, they achieved 100% in the Trailing exam. They have now both been awarded the highly sought after Senior Tracker Certificates.
Senior Tracker accreditation
This is no easy feat. Firstly, there are a series of levels to pass before reaching the final stage, namely FAGASA 1, 2, 3, professional. Only then can one apply to do the Senior level. There are only nine assessors (scouts) in the whole of Africa to hand out this qualification. Scotch and Jack were assessed by two of them – Andreas Liebenberg and Collin Patrick. There were eight students that took part in the two-day practical exam which consisted of over 50 highly challenging questions.
The kinds of tracks they had to identify correctly included ones of birds, invertebrates, beetles, reptiles, and mammals. They have to work in the heat of the day, often using hats to get rid of shadows in order to make the correct identification. On this particular practical exam, there were some particularly challenging tracks. These included a chameleon, a pair of white-tailed mongooses running side by side in very soft sand, and some deceptive scratch marks alongside old buffalo dung which belonged to guineafowl. The only way to identify this was by spotting the guineafowl scat off to the side and not mistaking it for francolin.
Overall, it is an extremely taxing exam, one that is regarded with huge respect within the safari industry. Well done Scotch and Jack on such an incredible achievement.