Wilderness Safaris -- Guide/Tracker System

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Jun 14th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #1
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Wilderness Safaris -- Guide/Tracker System

Help!

Researching camps in Botswann on this board, I came across something in a post (from Rocco, I believe) that has confused me a little. He and then others mention that Wilderness Safaris do not use the guide/tracker system.

Then what do they use...does that mean no tracker? I'm not a total newbie, by the way, but come to think, I've only ever been to CC Africa lodges and Singita, where, of course, its guide/tracker, which I though was the standard across all safaris operators and lodges.
Mike14c is offline  
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Jun 14th, 2005, 11:10 AM
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The driver acts as guide and tracker, which to my mind, works perfectly well, having been on two safaris staying at Wilderness Safaris lodges in Botswana and Namibia. Two don't see twice as much as one.
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Jun 14th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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It depends on the skills and training of the individuals. A poor driver/guide and tracker combo can be less effective than a good single person.

We have stayed at quite a number of WS camps and have had, in the main part, exceptionally able guides who have astounded us with their knowledge, instinct, abilities.
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Jun 15th, 2005, 08:58 PM
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I second what Kavey said. My experiences at WS have been exceptional.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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I agree with Kavey and Napamatt. I could not imagine seeing more animals than we did and none of our guides had a tracker. They all did a great job finding animals listening to animal calls, looking for tracks, etc. Sometimes it was nothing short of amazing. They also rely on radio with the other guides so there's a lot of teamwork. Whenever you hear lots of Setswana chatter on the radio, get your camera ready!

All of them also engaged everyone in the truck on looking for animals, and thought us what to listen for and what tracks look like. It was fun to feel you were a part of the tracking process, though of course we were pretty ineffective. Although I am very proud to say our truck was the one to spot the wild dogs at Duma Tau after a 2 month absence, and it was one of the guests who spotted them, not our guide. He got a lot of pats on the back in camp and gave credit to the guest

I did hear from a couple that was at Little Vumbura that they had a tracker, and it was a guide in training. I think this happens quite a bit.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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Hmmm interesting. Little Vumbura in 2001 was the only WS camp where we encountered a tracker too and, actually, the combined efforts of the tracker and guide were poorer than the efforts of the work-alone guides. I'm not just judging this on what we saw, as that's down to what's in the area, but on their knowledge and ability to share their knowledge with us, including about all the stuff we did see such as plants, birds and so on.

One guide, Grant, at Tubu Tree in 2004, was nothing short of incredible. Picture a night drive, Grant driving the vehicle with one hand, at reasonable speed with with due care and attention and accuracy, over the regular bumpy ground, torch in the other hand, playing the torch over the many trees and bushes around us and over the ground and yet managed to spot a teeny tiny tree mouse way up above us! The mouse looked back down at us for a moment before running off up the tree!
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Jun 16th, 2005, 06:24 AM
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Oh and on that same drive we saw a genet and various other cool critters too!
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