The Herding Academy is a holistic learning centre where the ancient skill of herding animals are being applied within a holistic decision-making framework to regenerate the landscape and bridge the socio-economic and cultural barriers that existed between humans and wildlife through-out Southern Africa.
Through the Herding Academy, the lost art of herding animals are once again being brought to life by trained professionals and herders, using livestock to mimic the herd and migration effect of the once ancient wild herds roaming our ecosystems, regenerating rural livelihoods. The CATHSETA accredited courses provides practical holistic insight to the land owner, the future student employee or on-site practical herding training to rural and communal stock farmers through our three different short courses.
The course outline focusses on teaching both theory and practice to address our ever changing environmental and social challenges. The Herding Academy is centrally based in the Gem of the Karoo in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Shaping practical and enquiring minds for the future
A Short History of The Herding Academy
The long term effect of well-intended conventional grazing practices as a result of both over-resting as well as over-grazing, were clearly visible in the degradation of the Karoo landscape. We realised then, that to understand "the language of nature" in order to regenerate the ecosystem, a holistic approach was needed.
Roland Kroon introduced us to Allan Savory and his Holistic Management course in 2013, immediately realising the importance of the roll of herding animals in nature. Almost all national parks and wildlife reserves globally are suffering from the same symptoms of degradation as result of current conventional agri- and conservationists paradigms.
We immediately introduced a herd of sheep onto the reserve and applied Allan’s holistic planned grazing principles in our grazing plans with Roland Kroon as mentor. This resulted in almost immediate reaction in our eco-system, something we did not expect. This was during the worst drought in history in the Karoo region of South Africa - and the results were "revolutionary" to say the least!
By 2017 we had made enough mistakes in our planning to be able to share our experiences, failures and successes, and developed the regenerative land management curriculum and founded The
Herding Academy by end of that year.
The Peace Parks Foundation and Conservation International’s Herding for Health program were approached and the first South African students to the Herding Academy were recruited.
We continuously strive to learn and adapt and remain guided by nature to improve our teachings and lessons throughout the Southern African region.