The first conceptual ideas for the „Tracking in Caves“ project were discussed in 2008. The following years were dedicated to the search for funding and very importantly to find trackers who would be prepared to leave their home in the Kalahari and venture into the strange underground world of Pyrenean caves.
It was a fortunate situation that on a first visit to Tsumkwe in 2010 by Marie and Tilman also Megan Biesele was there with her own research project. Since one knew each other very well from earlier meetings, it was a clear decision that we would work together in this project. Megan recommended that Tsamkgao Ciqae, working at Tsumkwe Lodge as a tour guide, could assist with the search for trackers besides being a very qualified tracker himself. Tsamkgao quite quickly agreed to become part of the project and so he contacted the elders of his community, asking them about their recommendation who else could become part of the Tracking in Caves project. The elders pointed to Thui Thao and Ui Kxunta since both are experienced trackers who often work for trophy hunters besides that they have the rare privilege that in their home region they are allowed to hunt with traditional weapons. Upon visits to their villages both agreed too to work with the project.
In the following years of 2011 and 2012 further visits were paid to Tsumkwe, keeping up the contacts with all three trackers. When funding was finally granted for 2013, the big administrative hurdle of getting passports and visa could be tackled.