Meet the Trackers
Jonas grew up in the bush with his best friend – former Master Tracker Wilson Masiya. Jonas was inspired to achieve his own Master Tracker qualification at the end of 2016 and with over 40 years’ experience is considered to be one of the top trackers in the country.
The Master Tracker qualification is an honorary recognition of unparalleled knowledge of animal tracking and behaviour.
This CyberTracker Certification ensures that trackers play significant roles in education, ecotourism, search and rescue, anti-poaching, scientific research, and the monitoring of rare and endangered species.
There are only seven Master Trackers living today. Three of which, including Jonas, are at Royal Malewane.
Lucas Mathonsi’s story as a Tracker began as a five-year-old boy. He would accompany his father who was a Guide in the Timbavati reserve.
Over the next 47 years, Lucas honed his tracking skills, before coming under the tutelage and mentorship of Juan Pinto and Wilson Masiya.
He received his Master Tracker qualification while working at Lion Sands before returning to work with fellow Master Trackers Juan and Jonas at Royal Malewane.
His deep-routed passion for wildlife and conservation and commitment to education and safety ensures that all guests at Royal Malewane enjoy an unrivalled experience in the bush.
Born just 15km away from Royal Malewane, Robert was immersed in the African bush from the start, quickly developing a passion for wildlife and conservation.
Robert has a Professional Tracker qualification through his 25 years of bush experience. He also has a Field Guide Qualification from the Southern African Wildlife College.
Shadrack was Wilson’s first protégé at Royal Malewane, having honed his game tracking skills under Wilson’s guidance from the time he started as a swimming pool cleaner at Royal Malewane in 2001.
Shadrack is a Professional Tracker with over 22 years’ experience.
Patrick is a local tracker who was raised on the borders of the Greater Kruger National Park.
‘Pat’ is a vastly experienced and skilled Tracker. He has a Professional Tracker and a Trailing Specialist Qualification.
Before joining Royal Malewane in 2008, he worked in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve for a decade.
Mumps Mathonsi was born in southern Mozambique and grew up in the Greater Kruger National Park. He has been a Tracker for over 25 years having worked at Simbambili and Mala Mala in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve.
Mumps joined Royal Malewane in 2016 and is a Professional Tracker.
He has incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna from small insects to medicinal and cultural uses of many tree and plant species.
Bennett came to South Africa from Mozambique in 1981 and started working as a Tracker on the Thornybush Reserve in 1987. He is well-known as a highly-skilled Tracker, having been on the reserve for more than 30 years.
He joined Royal Malewane in 2013, and holds a Professional Tracker qualification.
Selby grew up on the border of the Greater Kruger National Park and honed his skills as a Tracker in the Timbavati Game Reserve for 11 years.
He currently holds a Professional Tracker qualification and is one of the next generation of trackers who will perpetuate this ancient art.
Lawrence is another individual that was well-known to the Royal Malewane Guides long before he joined the team. He has been working as a Tracker in the Thornybush Reserve for over 15 years and is a Level III Tracker.
Lodrick has spent the bulk of his 14 years of experience on the Thornybush Nature Reserve and holds a Level III Tracker qualification.
Herman grew up in the small village of Sigagule, a stone’s throw away from Royal Malewane. He became a Tracker in 2006 and spent the last 13 years plying his trade all over the Lowveld.
His work experience took him to the Timbavati and Balule Nature Reserves, followed by seven years working on the Thornybush Nature Reserve.
Herman currently holds a Professional Track and Sign qualification.
The advantage of having the most experienced and qualified guiding team in Africa is that guests can get closer to the Big 5 and enjoy Africa’s wildlife from a different perspective while learning about the finer details of nature. Guests can experience an even more intimate wildlife encounter by walking among the Big 5 and learning about the vegetation, eco-systems, insect and bird life on a thrilling and fascinating bush walk.