Trail Surveys Maintains its African Footprint


Specialist geomatic and engineering surveyors, Trail Surveys, have embarked on an unrelenting expansion strategy into Africa.  The firm plans to extend its extensive offering to a wide range of clients in order to fill the gap in professional survey providers across the continent. 

Based in South Africa and Botswana, Trail Surveys, has announced that their services – which are highly specialised in geomatic surveying – will continue to be rolled out across the African continent. This marks a key point in the company’s on-going geographic expansion strategy which is aimed at increasing its presence in key growth markets.

Trail Surveys Business Development Manager & Engineering Surveyor, Jaco Wiesner believes that the company is in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities across the continent. “We will be offering a complete range of survey services. This offering will also include specialised solutions to suit any specific requirements and meet the unique challenges presented within each region. Since 2001, we have worked in 27 African countries and this experience allows us to merge our field expertise with the right knowledge for local application.”

Currently, Trail Surveys is among very few geomatics companies on the African Continent offering a comprehensive range of geomatics services, including; Remote Sensing, Detail Engineering & Topographical Surveys, Hydrographical Surveys, Construction Surveys, Mining Surveys, Cadastral Surveys and Forensic Surveys.  Added this, Wiesner says they have both the experience and capacity to take on large geomatics projects combining various geomatics disciplines.

Furthermore, Trail Surveys has noted a gap in the industry in terms of availability of survey providers who specialise in the type of geomatic surveys that Trail Surveys has extensive experience in. “Trail Surveys aims to help bridge this gap by establishing strategic partnerships with local survey companies and through the regular presence of our staff as when our clients need us,” says Wiesner. “We aim to further this by empowering the companies we partner with. This will entail technology and skills transfer to local survey companies.”

“Many companies have to contract out this work to firms from abroad because the required expertise and/or capacity is not available locally. This unfortunately results in long lead times, given that the foreign firms may experience difficulties in communication and understanding the unique challenges of Africa, ” Wiesner states, going on to say that they have already established a satellite office in Gabarone, Botswana in 2007.

Wiesner concludes by saying: “We believe that Africa is a key continent to expand into, given its wealth in resources and the increased development taking place across various regions. We would like to extend an invitation to local survey companies all over Africa to partner with us for the provision of geomatics services in their respective countries.”


Trail Surveys African Project Portfolio (Major projects undertaken the past 2 years):


Bergstan Botswana: November 2017

  • Project Overview:2 Palapye-Mmamashia water pipeline 240km and Detail Topographical Survey of a proposed new road and reservoir site at Mahalapye WTW.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Control Surveys & Detail Topographical Surveys.

Burrow Bothakga Engineers: December 2017

  • Project Overview: Aerial photography & LiDAR Survey – Pitsane Village, Botswana.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Aerial Photography & LiDAR Survey, Control Surveys.

WJM JV SOPK: June 2018

  • Project Overview: Confirmation of cadastral boundaries for the construction of residential houses in Phakalane, Gaborone.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Cadastral Surveys.



ARQ Consulting Engineers: June – July 2018

  • Project Overview: Bathymetric Survey (MBES) and Terrestrial Laser Scan Survey of Lucilia Poort Dam and Schroda Dam Wall structures; Bathymeric (SBES) Survey to determine the dam capacity to NOC of Lucilia Poort Dam and Schroda Dam.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Control Surveys; MBES Bathymetric Survey of Upstream Dam-wall structures – Lucilia Poort Dam and Schroda Dam; Terrestrial Laser Scan Survey of downstream dam-wall structures – Lucilia Poort Dam and Schroda Dam; SBES Bathymetric Survey of Lucilia Poort Dam and Schroda Dam to determine dam capacity up to NOC; 3D Modelling of dam wall Structures.



NAKO Iliso Consulting Engineers: August 2018

  • Project Overview: Digital aerial photography & LiDAR Survey of the water and sewer reticulation networks in Kitwe And Kalulushi, Zambia.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Control Surveys, Digital Aerial Photography & LiDAR Surveys, Detail Topographical Surveys.


Democratic Republic of Congo

TRAMINCO CONGO: October 2016 – May 2017

  • Project Overview: Provision of full-time construction survey services for the construction of a hydro-electrical power station at Kibali, DRC.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Control Surveys, Volumetric Surveys, Structural Surveys, Setting Out Surveys, As-built Surveys.



 UNRA / Aurecon: August – November 2018

  • Project Overview: Detail Topographical and Engineering Surveys for the Kampala – Bombo Expressway, Uganda.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Control Surveys – establish and fix 85 number of benchmarks along the road corridor; Detail Topographical surveys of 17 Intersections (21 Ha); Cadastral Key-plan of 50km road corridor.



TEAM Engineering / SMC: November 2018 – February 2019

  • Project Overview: Control Surveys for the new western railway line from Takaradi to Kumasi, Ghana.
  • Geomatics Scope of Work: Control Surveys – establish and fix 331 Benchmarks along the rail corridor.