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For as long as I can remember, I have always had a deep fascination with African wildlife. I am not sure how this passion started, as I was born and educated in England, but I was determined to make wildlife my vocation. To realise my dreams, I studied zoology at London University for my B.Sc (Hons) degree and on completion, started my career as a university lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa while studying the behaviour and ecology of the greater kudu for my Masters degree. My interest in photography started at this time as it proved to be an invaluable research aide. Five years in, I moved to the Institute of Natural Resources in Kwazulu-Natal as a research fellow and completed my Ph.D on the ecology of two more antelope species. Here I continued my self-taught photographic journey which proved to be very rewarding and highly beneficial. By this time there was no going back – Africa was all I imagined and much, much more – it was home!

Since this early introduction, I have been very fortunate to have worked in several East and Southern African countries, and travelled to many more. The roles I have had in wildlife research and management have been as varied as the locations where I was recruited, including 5 years in Ethiopia as WWF’s country representative at the height and end of a prolonged civil war. My time there showed me that for many parts of Africa, conservation efforts are more likely to succeed if wildlife can be shown to have an intrinsic commercial value (as opposed to competing with other potential revenue streams) and that in order to be successful, conservation programmes should provide tangible and sustainable benefits to the communities surrounding the protected areas.

These beliefs led me to become intimately involved in the most successful form of non-consumptive wildlife utilisation, namely wildlife-related tourism or eco-tourism at a time when it was less fashionable to be “green” and consequently was not without challenges. I have developed and managed several privately-owned game reserves where real consideration has been given to sustainable visitor use and where expectations have been exceeded without compromising on conservation goals. With the focus clearly being on wildlife as the product, my activities inevitably brought me in to the hospitality realm and now my management capabilities were not just confined to wildlife but, through newly acquired skills, to people too. I progressed into general management and have since managed a variety of upmarket properties in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa ranging in size from large internationally-owned lodges to small family-run tented camps in such iconic areas as the Masai Mara and the Serengeti as well as exclusive private reserves.

My strong connection with the safari hospitality industry is cemented by the pleasure I get from interacting with guests who share the same genuine passions and interests I have always had. And it soon became obvious that we invariably share not just a passion for wildlife, but for photography too. I quickly learned from my initial forays that it was less about what equipment and technology was available (particularly in very remote areas!) but much more about patience, persistence and prediction (where a solid understanding of the individual animal’s behaviour is invaluable) in order to successfully capture the moment. Having said that, I must admit that the arrival of the digital SLR made it possible to see instant results even where I was isolated and provided further impetus to my development as a photographer,  while the mistakes  proved  less costly in financial terms so encouraged me to experiment more. And I have found on my photographic journey that you never stop learning or offering advice as you share and exchange experiences – for me these have included sharing local knowledge and opportunities, updates on the day’s encounters and recounting memories (usually over a sundowner, dinner or drinks around the campfire!) to more practical involvement such as offering feedback, technical advice and guiding. To all those who have shared part of this journey with me – you know who you are – I say a most sincere and heart-felt thank you!

All my images here are of wild, free-ranging animals taken in protected but entirely natural, unfenced environments. All are available for purchase either as prints, wall art or licensed downloads, and if you would like any materials, dimensions or sizes not listed here, please email me using the Contact tab.

Many thanks for taking the time to browse my portfolio, and please feel free to leave a comment in the Guestbook should you wish!

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