Tac Trac are funded privately and by various NGO’s who share our profound concern at the wanton destruction of our wildlife. Their mission is to provide a superlative training platform for theory and practical courses as well as to create and equip APU’s (Anti-Poaching Units) with relevant skills and appropriate equipment which will radically enhance their effectiveness in the field and their safety.
We are absolutely committed to providing superlative training for the industry in South Africa, to a standard by which others will be measured. Our base of operations is at the 1,385 hectare nature reserve ‘Rangers Reserve’ in Touwsrivier in the Klein Karoo desert of the Western Cape. The reserve has been designed specifically as a training environment for anti-poaching rangers, and provides excellent facilities both indoor and outdoor. It is as beautiful as it is challenging.
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Their track record has led them to become the chosen provider to some of the world’s largest companies, universities and NGOs. They even provide their services to government agencies like NASA, where they help the terrestrial crews of the International Space Station with their emergent medical and evacuation needs. Ultimately, their commitment to their members is simple – to be there when it matters most.
Ol Pejeta is a 90,000 acre (364 km2) conservancy and the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. It is also home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino. It is the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees, in a Sanctuary established to rehabilitate animals rescued from the black market. It has some of the highest predator densities in Kenya, and still manages a very successful livestock programme. Ol Pejeta also seeks to support the people living around its borders, to ensure wildlife conservation translates to better education, healthcare and infrastructure for the next generation of wildlife guardians.
Ol Pejeta Ranching Ltd. is 100% owned by Ol Pejeta Conservancy Ltd, which in turn is a ‘Not-for-profit’ as enshrined in its memorandum and articles of association. The company is governed by a voluntary board who draw no remuneration. 100% of funds generated must be used for Ol Pejeta conservation and community development – there is no other person or institution that benefits from any surpluses made. The ownership of the land is also safeguarded within this.
Imire was founded in the 1950s by Norman Travers, initially as a cattle, maize and tobacco farm. He longed for the presence of game and in the late 1970s branched out into game farming. He pioneered the integration of cattle ranching, farming and long term sustainable wildlife management. Imire is internationally renowned for its black rhino breeding and release programme. In the 1980’s, during a period of Zimbabwe’s worst poaching, rhino numbers crashed from 10,000 to less than 1,000 in just a few years.
The Department of National Parks & Wildlife moved the remaining wild rhino into the custodianship of private conservancies. Norman believed that Imire could successfully care for rhino, but was derided as a dreamer. However, he convinced sceptics by showing them proof of the rhinos depicted in the 700 year old bushman paintings on the conservancy. Imire’s adopted rhino and their offspring have since thrived.
My name is Wally, I served in the Royal Australian Regiment and saw active service in Afghanistan. After my last time away I decided that was enough and I discharged from the military. I didn’t leave on good terms as I was angry and just wanted out.
I struggled and continue to struggle daily with civilian life, there was no real transition program in place and when I left the military I was told ‘good luck, you will fail and be back’. I made it a point after hearing this that I would not return.
My passion has always been wanting to help my brothers and sisters I had served with however I could, and this is where I started the social media group Help A Digger Out. I saw that countless people would reach out to me and ask for help or advice and the struggles they faced were always pretty much the same.
This began a journey for me to get involved and really help the veteran community out and I had an extreme passion for it. Over the years I have done my best to help people however I can.
I want to share my stories with you all in the hope that you can take something away from them and realise that IT IS OK TO NOT BE OK.
I hope you enjoy my journey and stories and please feel free to reach out if you ever want a chat. For more on Wally’s story and if you need someone to chat to visit https://wallyschinwag.org/
Rachel is a photographer and journalist based in Western Australia who joined Global Guardians on our last visit to Africa to document and promote the amazing work Tac Trac are doing to train anti-poaching rangers. Rachel continues to promote conservation long after our trip in her podcast interviews and articles she writes.
You can listen to her most recent podcast here.
Follow Rachel on Instagram @fieldnotes_