'Tracking' is a body of work about learning to track animals, and more broadly learning to become a Trails guide - someone who takes people on guided walks in the African bush. The texts that appear here are extracts from a longer piece and are randomised, meaning they appear in random order. You are invited to click through to the next text, but the panels do not construct a linear narrative, and will not appear in the same order twice.
Hills sunken purple coated with russets, yellow, pallid gold of late autumn. A sinking is happening in the land, but where. We intuit the presence of the deep gorge, the sluggish river serpentining through it, the impassability to the north, south, to the east, that cordons us off from the known world. We are in the wilderness and he is our guide. We trust him with the abandon generated by necessity. He is on his own with us, we are his charges. He is leading us toward knowledge, self-discovery, toward the green garrison of mopane that ensnares us.
This land is enigmatic. It does not have a single version of itself to offer us, to project. It is not the desert or the savannah, a monochrome immensity which instantly commands our attention. It is furtive, sly, forgotten. Several life zones collide here an the vegetation and animals and birds are all in a confusion.
We are tantalised by the rare sighting of a Palm-nut vulture. We tear off in search of him, binoculars balanced on the dash board. The Palm-nut vulture belongs in tropical coastal forests and we are 70 kilometres away from that. He is off-course in the off-season. He is lost.