Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft  


Tracking in Namibia with Ray Mears

Exploring the Kalahari Basin

Based in the luxurious surroundings of the Old Traders Lodge and accompanied by Ray Mears and Kalahari bushmen guides, you will learn to observe and track the species of this rich environment. You could find yourself following a leopard, a black rhino, a troop of baboons or the secretive pangolin.

In the cool mornings and evenings when the sun is low and shadows are long, the ground is vividly displayed with the evidence of passing game. When the sun is high, we retreat to the shade, enjoy the hospitality of the lodge and listen to experts lecture on the bush.

Further Information

Join Ray Mears and Woodlore for an amazing course and the adventure of a lifetime, experiencing the bush in a way that is offered nowhere else. This special course will take you to the oldest part of Africa and will allow you to interact with it in a very unique way. It is likely you will be following tracks through the very dust that the first human beings did, thousands of years previously.

Drawing on over 40 years of tracking experience, Ray will open your eyes to this fascinating and ancient art. Together you will locate and interpret the signs and traces left behind by wild creatures in the stunning African landscape.

After stepping off the aeroplane under the fierce African sun, we will move deep into the bush and travel to an extremely special game reserve, a place that offers the widest selection of species in the greatest numbers: the massive Erindi Game reserve. During your stay here, learning will be centered around deciphering the myriad of signs left by countless wild beasts roaming the bushland.

Before we venture off into the bush, Ray will teach you how to behave and remain safe, especially when on foot. He will also give you some photography advice, helping to ensure you take home some fantastic memories to show friends and family. There will also be lectures from various local experts, giving you the rare opportunity to learn firsthand about a range of topics.

After this introductory phase, we will take you on exciting game drives before dawn and dusk every day, where we can look for fresh animal sign, step out of the vehicles and take a close look. These drives will of course also give you an unparalleled opportunity to observe the lives of hundreds of species.

Throughout our time at Erindi, San Bushmen guides will accompany us and will offer their knowledge of the bush, helping us to locate animals. These amazing people have occupied Southern Africa for millennia, heavily relying on tracking to feed themselves, and in doing so have developed their ability to an extraordinary level. We will also be joined by experienced, local guides in order to gain the best knowledge about the area and wildlife. Woodlore will call upon its 20 years of experience in Africa, and so as much as possible we will leave the confines of the vehicle to explore further on foot.

Luxury lodge accommodation, superb food and true African hospitality, coupled with the astonishing wildlife, will make this special expedition an unforgettable experience.

Translated as 'a place of water', Erindi is also a pioneer in conservation programmes and eco-management models and contains many rare species. Some of the wildlife you may have the opportunity to see include:

  • Black Rhino
  • White Rhino
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Cheetah
  • Ostrich
  • Giraffe
  • Porcupine
  • Eland
  • Oryx

This list is just a drop in the ocean compared to the wide range of possible encounters during your stay.

You will be staying at the lodge in Erindi from 17th - 27th November. If you are travelling from the UK using our recommended flights, you will need to book flights departing on the evening of 16th November to arrive in time for the course. Your return flight will arrive in the UK early on 28th November. Our recommended flight details will be sent in due course.

Dates, Costs and Bookings

  This particular course is already underway and there are no other dates currently available. Please sign up to our mailing list for future course updates.

Course Video

Course Reviews

Tracking in Namibia with Ray Mears is rated 5/5 based on 11 customer reviews.

All of our reviews are from people who have attended our courses.

Overall Rating:


  1 of 11

  What a fantastic 10 days. A real, in-depth introduction to the birds, animals, reptiles and environment of central Namibia. I didn’t quite know what to expect but the structure of the course, the teaching, the guiding were all excellent and the bush and the African sunsets were just astonishing. I’d genuinely love to do it all again.  


Rated: 5/5

  2 of 11

  We started our Namibian journey in Sossusvlei and it was amazing. Wow, we thought, can anything top this? The answer is a resounding 'Yes'. The Ray Mears bush tracking course did it in spades for us. The breadth of knowledge, the sensible and clear safety instructions, the classroom, the practical: all were top class and exceeded even our high expectations. In addition to the outstanding course elements, the accommodation was truly luxurious with comfortable rooms, close up animal viewing, delicious food and last, but certainly not least, friendly, efficient and delightful staff. If I could give this course 5+ stars I would.  


Rated: 5/5

  3 of 11

  Simply put, this is truly an amazing trip, one definitely not to miss out on! The mixture of tuition, guidance, and encouragement throughout the time spent with Ray, Steve, and the guides within a formal setting and out in the game reserve was spot on, accompanied by the fun loving Ruth with her love of life and many anecdotes just added to the whole experience. Learning how to identify different tracks and signs from a variety of animals mixed up with observing them in the wild was a lovely balance and one I won’t forget. Last but not least, the accommodation, food, and service at The Old Traders Lodge was exemplary. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime trip!  


Rated: 5/5

  4 of 11

  It was a trip of a lifetime. An excellent week in Namibia. Ray's expert knowledge and daily tuition...with local guides...showed us how to track many wildlife in the African bush. We saw close up: lions, leopards, elephants and many more. The Erindi accommodation was first class with friendly staff. We socialised with Ray and his lovely wife Ruth in the evenings. I would thoroughly recommend going.  


Rated: 5/5

  5 of 11

  I wish to state that this experience was excellent and would readily recommend anyone to attend this expedition. As ever Woodlore came up trumps. Ray and the team, Steve and Ruth were knowledgeable, supportive and encouraging throughout. Guest speakers were interesting, thought provoking and inspiring. The two guides were friendly, very knowledgeable and a credit to Erindi. In a word; Awesome. Thank you.  


Rated: 5/5

  6 of 11

  By now you're probably looking at the reviews to see whether the cost paid for this trip is worth the money. Undoubtedly YES! The accommodation is first rate. This is no bushcraft shelter you'll be staying in! It rates with many high class hotels anywhere in the World. The food is really good, the staff are friendly and helpful and the surroundings are so amazing. There are two water holes, one outside the bungalows and another outside the dining room veranda. The drinks are not too expensive and you just sign them to your room and pay, (cash or card), at the end of your stay. The guides for our game drives were so experienced and the benefit of going with Woodlore is you get the same two highly rated guides for the whole week. You have two game drives per day, one first thing in the morning, (half six start, prompt!) and another at 4.30 in the afternoon. Each one lasts about three to four hours long. There is also a stop for coffee in the morning drive and one for 'Sundowners' on the evening one. The guides take you to some amazing high level stops where you can watch the sun go down over the distant mountains. The drive back under the stars is something that you'll never forget. There isn't much walking on the drives as the terrain isn't conducive to being on foot. You don't want to play hide and seek with many of the animals at Erindi! Being part of the menu is something you'll want to avoid! You'll see some amazing animals and be in no doubt you will see them! Being 20 foot, or less, from a lion eating their kill is something you'll never forget. You get lectures on some species of the animals in the park during the day, before the afternoon drive. As well as being taught the different tracks and animal signs by Ray Mears. Who must surely be one of, if not the most highly knowledgeable people on the planet about tracking, spotting and knowing the animals in the reserve. You'll learn so much and come away with so many special memories you'll not want the time here to come to an end. One thing. If your partner is a bit wary of coming along because they might think it's all about 'Bushcraft', it's not! This is about becoming more aware of the many different, and special species of animals that make up our planet. You'll also make some amazing friends and share some memories forever. So if you do have any doubts about this expedition. DON'T! Get it booked you won't regret it!  


Rated: 5/5

  7 of 11

  This was a fantastic expedition with Ray Mears and the Woodlore team. Having traveled to Namibia twice previously, I was excited to see this stunning country through the eyes of a true bushcraft expert. I wasn't disappointed. Our friendly group of 16 learned how to track more than 20 different animals on foot, as well as identify their gender, age, and even direction of travel. We also learned traditional skills from the local bush people and spent time with them and their families. Day and night safaris were plentiful and our guides were incredibly knowledgeable and couldn't do enough for us. We met local conservationists who taught us about projects and how we could get involved and show our support. The pace of the tour was just right, in that we were kept busy but also had time to relax and enjoy the luxuries on camp. A nice added bonus was the extra little lessons that Ray gave us, such as how to use our cameras and binoculars effectively. I learned so many useful skills that can be utilized in all aspects of life and not just in the bush. The accommodation was superb and the setting just breathtaking, right next to a watering hole and overlooking the surrounding grasslands. And the food (especially dessert!) was delicious. Namibia is a magical country in its own right. Experiencing it with Ray and Woodlore left me feeling that I had seen so much more of the "heart" of Namibia that is often overlooked on less specialist trips. I am now looking forward to my next expedition with Woodlore in the Northern Forests of Finland.  


Rated: 5/5

  8 of 11

  Namibia is a place of surprising beauty. The animals and people are generally graceful and wonderfully adapted to their environment. Although the bushmen who accompanied us on many of our outings in 2014 spoke languages that I do not understand, their meaning was made quite clear by GP Britz, who acted as a guide and interpreter, and by their gestures and their eyes. When we first arrived at Erindi, and when I stepped onto the veranda at the back of the lodge over looking the water hole, catching sight of a magnificent elephant feeding very close by, it felt like stepping into heaven. That same day, in the evening, I met Ray. It is obvious from his many books and programmes that Ray has a special knowledge, but personal contact brings an appreciation of his perceptive powers. He sees much, and can ask incisive questions about other subjects, making for good conversation when relaxed. Dan Hume, too, is knowledgeable, self effacing, and hard-working even when taken poorly - something he did not reveal until he had virtually recovered. Ruth was a delight - gracious, fun-loving and keen-eyed. We were kindly and carefully looked after, and tested. On this course it is wise to stay alert and be ready for the unexpected. At the same time there is a great deal of fun to be had in this distant paradise. I miss the people we met and the place itself hugely, but have memories and new skills as a reward.  


Rated: 5/5

  9 of 11

  I have just returned from this course and words cannot describe how amazing it was. Being in Namibia on safari would have been wonderful in its own right with the abundance of wildlife, friendliness of staff, quality of accommodation and extremely knowledgeable local guides. Travelling with Woodlore added a very special extra to the entire experience as we had chance to learn about the animals behaviour, to recognise and follow their tracks and how to behave around these amazing and inspiring creatures if we encountered them away from the vehicles. This made it one of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. Rays knowledge and passion was matched only by his enthusiasm to share it with the lucky few of us who travelled with him. I cant thank Ray, Ruth and Dan enough for all the time they spent with us and for their hospitality. Enormous fun and learning combined in a perfect combination! If you are reading this thinking about booking the trip - go ahead - you will never regret it. I will be living off the memories for a long time to come.  


Rated: 5/5

  10 of 11

  If anyone is wondering whether this course is worth all the expense, I can tell you categorically that YES IT IS! This was my first trip away as a singleton so I was a little nervous, but Ray (and Ruth) and the team were amazing. I was inspired, amazed, bedazzled and in awe at the sights, sounds and smells of Namibia. The abundant wildlife we saw was truly incredible. I spoke with other visitors at Erindi who didnt see half of what our group saw, and for this I credit the expert tracking skills of Ray, the Erindi guides (Rheinhardt and JP) and the San Bushmen we were privy to be with. Our jeep was nick named the fun bus which says it all really as we had a great laugh as well as learning so much about the area and how to track animals in the wild. My fellow course companions were also excellent company. The accommodation too was superb and the Oryx steaks on the menu sublime! I also really valued the time we spent with Natasha Britz who taught us about the Global Leopard Project and the practical help we were able to give working out the parentage of a leopard cub using our tracking skills! There isnt a week that has passed since where I havent reminisced about this wonderful experience. I cant recommend Ray and the team enough. Also, special thanks to the lovely Dan Hume who helped me build a bird snare when I had all but given up!  


Rated: 5/5

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