Tracking a path to an unbreakable bond

05 March 2020 - 14:18
'Changing a Leopard's Spots: The Adventures of Two Wildlife Trackers.'
'Changing a Leopard's Spots: The Adventures of Two Wildlife Trackers.'
Image: Supplied

World-renowned wildlife trackers Alex van den Heever and Renias Mhlongo have spent more than two decades working together, tracking leopards and lions at Londolozi, jaguars in South America and grizzly bears in the US.

In Changing a Leopard’s Spots, Alex shares stories from his life with Renias, including the successes, failures, dramas, laughter, disappointments and highlights.

As they experience numerous adventures, Alex and Renias learn to trust and rely on one another – both to stay alive, in a literal sense because of the sometimes dangerous environments in which they work, but also to develop a deep and meaningful relationship.

By challenging each other and learning from one another they break down social, cultural, racial and personal boundaries and obstacles that often divide South Africans; and in the process, the two men forge an unbreakable bond.

ALEX VAN DEN HEEVER is the general manager of the Tracker Academy, an NGO that trains people in the traditional skills of tracking, and is also director and shareholder of Eco Training, the largest privately owned guide training school in Africa.

RENIAS MHLONGO has spent 37 years working as a guide, tracker and trainer and has accumulated thousands of hours tracking big game on foot at Londolozi Game Reserve and in wildlife areas around the world.

Alex and Renias conduct their motivational presentation, “The Power of Relationships”, across Africa and overseas. They are co-authors, together with Karel Benadie, of the best-selling animal tracking field guide, Tracker Manual.