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bergplaas nature reserve partners with the tracker academy
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SA College for Tourism
Tracker Academy

Magazine Hill
PO Box 314
Graaff-Reinet
6280

SA COLLEGE FOR TOURISM'S FORMAL ALLIANCE WITH BERGPLAAS PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE AND SPIRIT OF THE WILD

SA College for Tourism has established a formal training and human development alliance with Bergplaas Private Nature Reserve. The college and its Tracker Academy have maintained a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with Bergplaas Private Nature Reserve and its Spirit of the Wild Programme since 2012.

The newly-established alliance means that the Spirit of the Wild Programme will annually host two groups of eight students from Tracker Academy for a one-week Spirit of the Wild training programme on Bergplaas Nature Reserve. In addition, Bergplaas will annually host two hospitality graduates and one tracker graduate from the SA College for Tourism and its Tracker Academy respectively for a one-year internship.


ABOUT BERGPLAAS AND THE SPIRIT OF THE WILD PROGRAMME

Bergplaas Private Nature Reserve is a 5000-hectare proclaimed private nature reserve in the Sneeuberg Mountains on the Great Karoo Escarpment. The region is a key water catchment and watershed for the Karoo and the Eastern Cape.

Princess Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld, who founded the Spirit of the Wild Programme in 2006, owns Bergplaas. The reserve has a population of approximately 900 large mammals, including eland, kudu, red hartebeest, zebra, springbok and black wildebeest. Approximately 25 small mammals have been recorded in the region. Small carnivores include caracal, black-backed jackal, small-spotted genet, bat-eared fox, African clawless otter and the Cape-, grey- and marsh mongoose. 

Cindy and Wayne Maspero were appointed in 2007 to develop Bergplaas and to facilitate and develop the Spirit of the Wild Programme. They have extensive skills development and wildlife management experience. The Spirit of the Wild Programme is a personal and leadership skills development programme that reconnects people from all backgrounds with the natural environment and develops their understanding of wildlife and the environment at the deepest level.

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The SACT Tracker Academy is a not-for-profit organisation which trains disadvantaged rural people in the traditional skills of wildlife tracking. The accreditation of its tracker training programme with the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) made the Tracker Academy the first tracker training school to achieve this distinction in South Africa. More than 94% of our trainee graduates have found permanent employment within the tourism industry.

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