media release: 12/02/17

Written by Kerry O'Neill Photography by Secret Compass

Media release: 12/02/17

Learn to track with Namibia’s San Bushmen

An Adventure Academy expedition to Namibia has been launched (in tandem with conservation organisation Nanofasa) to learn Wilderness Tracking from the Kalahari’s experts: the San Bushmen.

“Minimalist and immersive in style, our team will learn how to use traditional San tools, such as knives and axes, before testing their new bush craft skills during forays into the remote Kalahari desert,” said Tom Bodkin of Secret Compass.

San Bushmen expedition highlights

  • Enrol in the San’s Barefoot Academy.
  • Learn the ancient art of tracking from the best in the world.
  • Gain a unique insight into the San Bushman’s way of life.
  • Go on extended, overnight tracking expeditions deep into the bush.
  • Learn about the flora, fauna and big game present in the bush.
  • Be part of a growing eco-tourism project: Nanofasa.
  • Dates: 14 – 28 May 2017, £3,199 all inc. (except flights).

The aim of the 2017 Adventure Academy expedition to Namibia is to learn the ancient art of tracking from Namibia’s San bushmen and to become a certified Adventure Tracker. The course is based at a bush camp in the heart of a wilderness area and will see teammates undertaking extended foraging treks and adopting the ancient nomadic lifestyle of the Kalahari desert.

This is so much more than just a ‘learn to track’ experience as with each step, teammates will gain a deep understanding of the bushman culture. They’ll learn to read the land and to identify the surrounding flora and fauna and will learn to appreciate the intricacies of tracking and moving around big game, akin to being on an extended, real-life safari.

Bodkin explained, “Equipped only with tools, water and their own initiative, the team will join the San on a hunter-gathering expedition, tracking wildlife, locating nuts and berries and learning to survive in the wilderness.

“Despite exploring an area notorious for large game, the team will be protected by the bushmen’s intuitive ability to read the land, the animals and tracks.”

The expedition is run with the Nanofasa Conservation Trust, which promotes sustainable tourism growth as an incentive to conserve the natural resources upon which the San culture depends.

Nanofasa’s CEO, Aleksandra Ørbeck-Nilssen, said, “The little things matter in the bush in Africa. Nature teaches us to see the big in the small. The trick is to travel back to the modern world, seeing small treasures in the big cities.”

With its military background, Secret Compass is renowned for offering adventurous expeditions to regions eschewed by many for their remoteness, post-conflict reputations or inaccessibility.

Former team member Kellie Sommerville said, “There is definitely a reason Secret Compass calls them ‘expeditions’ not ‘tours’. You couldn’t feel further from being a tourist, theirs are such genuine experiences.”

For more information on this expedition or others visit the team Expeditions page. 

Press Factsheet download

View or download our Factsheet (one-page PDF) outlining Secret Compass and its upcoming expeditions.

Notes for editors

Secret Compass redefines what is possible by creating pioneering projects in the world’s wildest places. Secret Compass is built around a team of trusted experts who combine a passion for exploration with industry-leading professionalism. Secret Compass reignites your primal need for adventure, providing the catalyst for you to come alive and achieve the extraordinary. Meet Secret Compass HQ staff and a selection of its expedition professionals.

Expedition Types include Epic, Cultural Immersion, Adventure Academy and Classics Redefined. Expedition styles include mixed-terrain trekking, jungle trekking and minimalist desert traverses, to mountain-biking, rafting and horseback expeditions. Secret Compass welcomes applications from anyone with a good level of fitness who’s keen to achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places.

Secret Compass destinations

View current expeditions filtered by region here. Past, current and upcoming destinations include Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Bhutan, Burma/ Myanmar, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt’s southern Sinai desert, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Greenland, the Himalayas, Iceland, India (Arunachal Pradesh), Iran (Mount Damavand and the Lut Desert), Iraqi Kurdistan, Kamchatka, Kilimanjaro, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, North Korea, Panama, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Siberia, Socotra, South Sudan, Sudan (the Bayuda desert), Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and more.

Secret Compass TV and Film

Secret Compass TV and Film is trusted by production companies and brands to capture the extraordinary in remote and wild regions thanks to its unrivalled location and risk-management expertise. Credits include location-managing Channel 4’s Walking the Nile/ Himalayas and Americas series with Levison Wood, alongside projects for the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel and more.

Secret Compass Brand Projects

Secret Compass Brand Projects works with brands on projects designed to create the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Unique branded content and other projects have to date been staged in destinations from South Sudan and the DRC to Greenland and Finnish Lapland. Clients to date include Mitsubishi, Sony, Nespresso, Giro, Xbox and Jagermeister.


For further information concerning Secret Compass bespoke and team expeditions, TV and Film, or Branded Projects:

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