The conservation community of the Eastern Cape region in South Africa is brimming with talent and passion, which shone through at the sixth regional FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) AGM on the 7th of August 2019. FGASA is the body in South Africa responsible for setting the standards for safari guiding.
The AGM event was organised by the Ulovane team, who deliver our Game Ranger Course. The Standards Director of FGASA, Brian Serrao also made the trip to the region for the meeting. Attendees enjoyed presentations from some inspiring guest speakers:
- Stacey Webb of the SST – Sustainable Seas Trust, who addressed the topic of plastic pollution in our oceans, and inspired everyone with practical ways as individuals to lessen our contribution to this serious problem and spread awareness.
- Andre Klussman of 4Dignity, who highlighted the weight of our impact as humans on the planet and encouraged action primarily via strong conservation messaging by the guides and rangers to safari guests.
- Grant Fowlds of Project Rhino who shared his incredible conservation work with the group, leaving everyone inspired with the knowledge that every individual can make a difference for wildlife. Grant is the brother of Dr William Fowlds who leads our Vets Go Wild
Following the presentations, several annual awards were announced. Worldwide Experience director, Taryn was there to present the Karoha Tracking Award. Taryn is currently the only tracking evaluator in the Eastern Cape (and also was the first woman in the world to become a tracking evaluator against the CyberTracker standard which is internationally recognised).
The Karoha Award goes to the individual who has either achieved the highest score in a tracking evaluation in the past year, or who has showed the most improvement and dedication. The winner of the Karoha Award 2019, after achieving 100% for trailing and becoming the first Professional Tracker in the Eastern Cape, and only the third woman in Africa to achieve this, is Shani Preller.
Shani is an instructor at our Game Ranger Course – a 10 week intensive course focusing on coaching and equipping students with the necessary skills for entering the safari industry as a nature guide. Shani is a fully qualified FGASA Professional Field Guide, Lead Trails Guide, Professional Tracker and Marine Guide. She is also a Specialist Bird Guide for the Savanna biome, and tracking has always been a big passion for Shani!
Our Worldwide Experience team and community congratulate Shani on this impressive achievement!
*The award is named after a San/Bushman tracker. Find out who Karoha was in this video, commentated by Sir David Attenborough!