African wildlife conservation researcher and writer. Also a longtime Jimmy Buffett Parrothead!
The call of Africa began when I was growing up in 1980s America. It beckoned through the awe-inspiring photographs in National Geographic Magazine, from trips to the zoo with my grandfather to see lions, and television programs like PBS's Nature with George Page.
It was in 2005 that I first journeyed there, visiting the Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa's Limpopo Province. I then spent some time in Soweto, a township of Johannesburg in Gauteng Province. I'll never forget setting foot in President Nelson Mandela's home, or sipping coffee while watching street musicians and passers-by outside on a warm, sunny South African Sunday morning. Soweto was where I discovered that my passion for Africa's wildlife was matched by a compassion for the African people; a love for their many cultures, languages, stories, and songs.
I've since traveled throughout much of East, Central, and Southern Africa (see travel page). I'm particularly fond of South Africa and Uganda, especially the rich bushveld in the Waterberg Biosphere near Vaalwater, the savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the misty, borassus-palmed deltas of the River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park.
Aside from African wildlife research, I'm a regular contributor to the National Geographic Society, and I assist the Uganda Carnivore Program, a small conservation outfit based in northern Queen Elizabeth National Park that works to protect people, lions, leopards, and hyenas.
Though some of my views on hot button issues have changed since 2005, the one that hasn't is my belief that Africa's people are the key to safeguarding wildlife and their habitats. When the quality of human life increases and when African people can fully engage in conservation and benefit from it, then the continent's natural world will be better off in the long run.
For more, please visit my conservation message page. Also check out my writing page, or contact me if you'd like. Ngiyabonga! Webale! (Thanks!)
"First with the head, then with the heart."
- Bryce Courtenay