Tracking the Wild is based in Cape Town and founded by husband and wife, John and Natalie White.
As avid wildlife lovers and conservationists we take any opportunity to escape to the bush and it was on one of these trips – to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in April 2011 – that the initial seed for Tracking the Wild was planted. It wasn’t until a return trip later that year that we convinced ourselves of it’s potential. It has always seemed quite fitting that a Hluhluwe trip was the start of our Tracking the Wild journey – it was Natalie’s first safari experience as well as where we got engaged!
Since beginning development in 2012, we have been meticulous in our quest to develop a product that gives tourists the opportunity to have the best possible wildlife safari experience as well as making a valuable contribution to conservation. We have invested both time and money into building a polished, user-friendly platform based on the latest technologies.
We pride ourselves on offering a great customer experience and that extends to the support you get when using our products. We are always on hand to answer any questions and we make sure that any help you need comes directly from the people behind our brand.
Looking ahead, we have plans to add even more functionality to our apps and website as well as expanding the number of parks we feature, including parks in East Africa and also more private reserves. As is often the case, the ideas come quicker than they can be implemented… so, watch this space!
Our goal is to raise awareness of Africa’s wilderness through sustainable tourism as well as promoting citizen science. We believe that Africa’s wilderness can only be protected when people have the opportunity experience its beauty and contribute towards its preservation.
We have combined our skills and unwavering passion for the outdoors to create a platform that takes a familiar concept, crowdsourcing, and uses it to collect the valuable data conservation research needs to protect our world’s biodiversity. We therefore feed all sightings to researchers at the University of Cape Town’s Animal Demography Unit and they then use the information to understand the distribution, and change in distribution, of species throughout Africa.
Keeping conservation issues front-of-mind throughout the development of Tracking the Wild, we have ensured that we address the highly topical issues around wildlife poaching by building a social media platform specifically for wildlife. We believe that because standard social media platforms are not designed for capturing wildlife sightings, they are therefore not ideal tools for sharing sensitive wildlife data. Our platform has been built to exclude rhino sightings as well as restrict the location information for any species whose safety could be jeopardised by its location being made public. This can be done on a park-by-park and individual species basis.
It is our hope that Tracking the Wild will build a community of wildlife lovers who want to explore Africa’s wildest places whilst simultaneously making an important contribution to conservation.
John hails from the garden province of KwaZulu-Natal, son of a British father and Afrikaans mother, he has spent a childhood and more in the bush. After graduating from Stellenbosch University he spent seven years living and working abroad, primarily following his English roots to the UK where he met his wife Natalie.
Africa’s magnetism pulls him harder than most, and so in 2011 John returned to Cape Town to study his MBA at the University of Cape Town. Now, with his MBA and several years of banking and consultancy experience under his belt, he is following his entrepreneurial heart, which has an indisputable passion for Africa - especially Africa's wildlife. It is this passion that has without doubt been the driving force behind the creation of Tracking the Wild.
John’s love of the outdoors extends beyond that of spotting his next Pel’s fishing owl or side-striped jackal. He has a love of all watersports, especially sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving. He is also a keen photographer and technology enthusiast, constantly on the look out for a bigger and better lens or a new gadget to try – all product-testing offerings are gratefully received!
Natalie is originally from the UK and since moving to Cape Town in 2011, has been easily persuaded to love Africa as much as her husband John. Since her first safari trip to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in 2010, her evolving knowledge and enthusiasm for Africa’s wildlife is nothing short of contagious, as remote as it is from her comfort zone.
Despite graduating from the University of Warwick with a Law and Business degree, Natalie spent over six years as a marketing agency account manager before finally realizing her passion to run her own business as a graphic designer. She has used her talents to not only create the Tracking the Wild corporate identity, but is responsible for the stylish design of the app and website, all the social media activity as well as penning the odd blog post or two.
Natalie likes to keep her creative juices flowing by making time to pursue as many of her other passions as possible. She can often be found behind her Kitchen-Aid making a batch of Ouma’s secret recipe rusks or creating a new culinary delight in her Le Creuset pot. The sunset, a good glass of wine, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a stroll along the Sea Point promenade keep her in her happy place!