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Samara Private Game Reserve appoints South Africa's first female trackerBy Jenny McFadyen, Samara Private Game Reserve
Samara Private Game Reserve is forwarding the advancement of women with the appointment of the first formally accredited female tracker in South Africa.
Justa Frans’ appointment comes after her graduation from the S.A.C.T Tracker Academy, which is located at Samara, in 2018. Her Level 3 tracking qualification (an achievement of over 90%) is a useful supplement to the training she completed in nature and culture site guiding after matriculating in 2015. These skills will serve Justa well as she prepares for her position as a tracker intern at Samara.
Justa was one of two females who completed the Tracker Academy’s course in 2018.
The Tracker Academy is but one example of Samara’s efforts to uplift the local community. A division of the SA College for Tourism, the academy was established in 2010 by Gaynor Rupert and aims to provide employment for previously disadvantaged individuals by equipping them with rare tracking skills. Around 94% of the academy’s graduates have found permanent employment in their field.
“We’re pleased and proud to have Justa joining us at Samara Private Game Reserve,” comments Samara co-founder Sarah Tompkins. As a woman in conservation, Sarah is passionate about empowering other females to play a part in this vital industry. Her commitment is evidenced not only by her own active involvement in the reserve and its activities, but also through her ongoing initiatives to train and upskill female staff members, who account for 70% of Samara’s total workforce. Her daughter, Isabelle, shares her mother’s enthusiasm for the industry and passion for female empowerment, and works alongside her to protect and nurture Samara’s populations.