Tracking, Life Lessons from an Ancient Oral Tradition – Guest: Alex Van den Heever

Every human is born to track, says Alex Van den Heever. He cofounded the Tracker Academy of South Africa, wrote “The Tracker Manual: A Practical Guide to Animal Tracking in Southern Africa” and “Changing a Leopard’s Spots” and speaks widely on applying the deeply embedded skill sets our early ancestors applied to tracking their environment to navigating our lives in any sphere. His students help track wild animals through the bush for research and for ecotourists to shoot, with cameras, for research in the field, and in anti-poaching efforts. They are reviving this ancient, oral tradition, and documenting it lest it disappear. Alex illustrates his stories about the range of the knowledge, skills and senses employed to pick up the often minute, barely-there clues trackers read, and the concentration, powers of observation, intuition, attunement and endurance it takes to decipher the habits, movements, and location of their quarry. It’s in our DNA, well honed from our days as hunting and gathering, “humanity’s first and most successful strategy. Today we track what is important to us… our health, wealth and happiness” says Alex. “Knowing what to track, who to track with and how to get back on track represent the most important decisions of our lives.”

Hosted by Laura Lee and Paul Robear. Conversation4Exploration, Conversation 4 Exploration, Conversation for Exploration, Cuyamungue: Felicitas D. Goodman Institute, The Laura Lee Show