'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.
On game drives we look through them as if they were grass, keen to spot one of the more dramatic and violent animals. Impala are sprinter-lissome, a gaggle of fifteen year-old girls putting on makeup in front of the mirror in a highschool locker room. They are all legs, flinty abdomen, eyes, sleek and demure. They never live long enough to become crusted and bitted by age.
They protect themselves by dissolving into a blur when threatened by a predator. Everything wants to eat them. At times I think they have been input into our simulation only to satisfy the appetites of their pursuers. The impala are the most successful antelope, numerically, in Africa. They have a mysterious metatarsal gland on the bottom of their fetlocks, a black spot which functions either to secrete hormones or as a visual ‘follow me’ signal when they explode in deliberate confusion to avoid a predator.
One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in the bush: looking out my tent at four in the morning, hearing the roar of a large pride of lions. I couldn’t see the lions but I did see their quarry, a huge harem herd, hundreds of green eyes (this is how impala appear in the beam of a torch) vaulting logs and brush, floating in an organised detonation through the night.