Africa´s Vulture Crisis

African White-backed Vulture-Maasai Mara, Kenya

Africa is facing a very serious vulture crisis. All of the eight species of vultures from the continent are declining at a rapid pace. It could be that vultures are ready to be included in the list of critically endangered species. In an excellent article in Earth Touch, Jason Goldman, explains the reason for their decline and draws attention to the need to protect this emblematic African species. Full article.

Doug Allen: BBC “shying away” from big wildlife issues!

In an article in The Telegraph published yesterday, Hannah Furness, reports on the declarations made by Doug Allen about the lack of commitment of the BBC to follow important wildlife issues. Link to the article.

Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker

Black mamba-Ngorongoro

In an article on NPR, Barbara j. King writes about Chris Palmer´s new book on ethic in the wildlife filmmaking industry to be published in 2015. In the book “Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker” Palmer shows how programmes produced by Animal Planet and Discovery, among others, falsely depict animals such as wolves, bears and snakes as being vicious, nasty or agressive. He also explains how certain productions use computer animated images making believe viewers that these are in fact real. Link to article

Crossing the Mara River

Last September I went on safari to Mara River in Northern Serengeti. I was lucky enough to see five crossings. Two times I saw crocodiles preying on wildebeests. On the first occassion a wildebeest was swiftly dealt with. On the second (pictured), believe it or not, the wildebeest survived after around 20 minutes of struggle. This was literally a battle between David and Goliath.

Nature Guiding Code of Ethics

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The nature guiding profession is not an easy one. Taking people on safari is not like being a tourist guide in Paris, Berlin or New York where you know that iconic buildings and monuments will always be there. Going on safari involves an element of surprise and requires a dose of luck. While trying to please clients, safari guides must also keep in mind the need to respect the environment, abide by natural parks’ rules and act with solidarity towards fellow guides. All these are reasons why a Code of Ethics for the nature guiding profession is so important. Interpretives Guides Society just adopted its new Code of Ethics which aims at being a compass for guides and nature enthusiasts when going on safari. As voluntary rules let’s hope this Code of Ethics inspire a new conservation-oriented generation.

Are wildlife documentaries contributing to environmental ignorance?

Conservationist and renowned authority on chimpanzees, Dr Jane Goodall.

Wildlife films offer magnificent windows into nature, but is their romanticised view of wilderness hiding the darker side of habitat destruction and threatened species? Sarah L’Estrange asks whether David Attenborough and his ilk are keeping our eyes wide shut. Link to article.

The Vanishing King of the Savannah

The population of lions has declined by 30% in the last twenty years. According to IUCN estimates there are around 32.000 of them remaining in the wild today, making them a vulnerable species. Human beings are lions’ greatest enemy, having taken them to the brink of extinction.This video is a compilation of the footage I’ve taken of these cool and majestic creatures while on safari during the last year. Enjoy!

Interpretive Guides Society’s new website


The Interpretive Guides Society (IGS), a not-for-profit association of  safari guides dedicated to promoting a voluntary standard of excellence in conservation-oriented nature guiding, has a new website. Visit our page and learn about the Society’s work and its Code of Ethics for nature guiding. Get involved and contribute to conservation efforts.

E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth: free biology textbook on itunes

Life on Earth E.O. WilsonOur  living planet faces unprecedented challenges. The most important tool we have to meet those challenges is education. The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation has gathered together a contributor team consisting of educators, multimedia artists, 3D animators trained in science and cinema, and textbook professionals, led by naturalist Edward O. Wilson. Our goal is to create a cultural landmark—a portal that will introduce students to the grandest story there is, the story of life on Earth, from molecules to ecosystems, from the origin of life to the modern awareness that we control the environment we live in. E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth is a new digital textbook for high school biology students. This collection is entirely free and available for download from itunes. (text taken from E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation).

Great Elephant Census project


Paul G. Allen in partnership with Elephants Without Borders has launched the Great Elephant Census project, an unprecedented initiative to count the number of elephants that subsist in Africa today. Current poaching of elephants in Africa is at its highest level in decades. This extraordinary effort will contribute to preserve the population of a keystone species, which is crucial to the African ecosystem. Learn more about the project at

Elephants: nature´s masterpiece

Over the last century elephant population has declined to less than 1%. Every 15 minutes one elephant is killed in Africa. It might be that in a few years we will only be able to watch these majestic animals in videos like this one.

Wayo´s Guide Training Course, 4-15 April 2014

Memories from Wayo´s Guide Training Course which concentrated on birds, botany and insects. A fascinating experience for trying to understand all of nature´s magic and mystery. The course was led by Sean Robertson and Wayne Te Brake two remarkable trainers not only for their very broad knowledge but also for the passion with which they communicate their love for nature. A real life-changing experience.

Africa´s Giraffe: A Conservation Guide


The Giraffe Conservation Foundation has recently published a Giraffe Conservation Guide with up-to-date information on the evolution, taxonomy, distribution, habitat and conservation status of these strange and fascinating animals.


Shooting in the Wild: An Insider´s Account

Chris Palmer, Director of the Centre for Environmental Filmmaking at American University, discusses with Alexandra Cousteau the ethical challenges of producing wildlife films. He argues that production companies deceive audiences by making them believe the images they see on TV or film are natural when in reality many of them have been staged. In many cases animals are treated cruelly and even killed. Palmer advocates a different way of producing nature films; on in which animals are treated kindly and with respect. Remember we humans are just a part of nature not its masters.

Drugs, death, neglect: behind the scenes at Animal Planet

Mother Jones conducts an investigation on the misstreatment of animals during TV productions. Contrary to what people believe most TV series involving animals are produced by staging action and forcing such animals to perform acts that are far from natural. They are harassed and treated in an inhumane way. Animal Planet and other TV production companies showing animals should be guided by strict codes of conduct that ensure animals are treated in respectful way.

In Cold Blood-combating organised wildlife crime

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organisation committed to bringing about change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse. Their vision is a future where humanity respects, protects and celebrates the natural world for the benefit of all. Support EIA and help save animals for present and future generations.

Join the World Giraffe Day and help save these gentle giants!

Maasai Giraffe-SerengetiGiraffe population has declined by 40% over the last 15 years. Less than 80.000 exist in the wild today.  In Africa, for every giraffe there are 5 elephants. Habitat loss, disease and poaching are decimating these gentle giants at a worrying pace. Urgent action is necessary to protect these extraordinary  animals. You can act now. Join the giraffe conservation efforts by participating in the first World Giraffe Day on 21 June 2014. Continue reading

Gentle Giants

Giraffes are very unique animals. They are the tallest of mammals, they have the largest heart in proportion to their body size to be able to pump blood into their brain and they has special valves used to manage the high pressure at which their blood is pumped throughout their bodies. They are the most liberal of mammals in their social organisation with no evident leaders. Baby giraffes live in creches where one mother giraffe takes care of all the babies while other mothers go to browse. Still scientists debate whether giraffes grew their long necks to reach out for highly nutritious plants or if this happened to be able to reach the ground to drink water. A discussion similar to that of the chicken and the egg.

Colombia’s endangered cats

Los Felinos de Colombia

The Felines of Colombia

We normally associate felines with large African or Asian cats such as lions, tigers, leopards or cheetahs, but little is known about felines from other parts of the world and, in particular, the Americas. A recent study by Instituto von Humbolt and Fundación Panthera bring into light information on the six species of felines that occur in Colombia, out of the 36 species known worldwide. Continue reading

Reconnecting with nature

We live in a world that is increasingly detached from nature. Modern kids live “connected” to electronic devices (TV, ipads, computers) through which they see, from the comfort of their beds, the reality that surrounds them. It is time to reconnect with nature and discover the fun of venturing into the wild. Project Wild Thing is an original initiative that aims at supporting children (and adults) to go outdoors to enjoy the magic and diversity of our planet. Watch the movie, read the manifesto, swap some screentime for naturetime and contribute with your wild ideas.

Nature wise

pyramids of life

Nature wise: readings on wildlife and filmmaking

Learning about nature and wildlife is almost as exciting and enjoyable as being in the wild capturing images. I find great pleasure in reading about the natural history of different animals, their behaviour and the functioning of the ecosystems they live in. I also enjoy reading about wildlife filmmaking history and techniques. Besides enriching my spirit, these readings allow me to get my eyes and my mind prepared for when I am working in the field and opens my imagination for new ideas and projects. Continue reading

Restoring a Land Rover Defender Tdi 300 for safari

My experience of restoring a Land Rover Defender for safari en Arusha, Tanzania. The car was completely abandoned and after much effort in terms of time and money I finally managed to put it together. It´s a wonderful and tough beast that all the family has enjoyed.

On safari in Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tanzania

Visiting for the first time in my life three of the best places in the world to watch wildlife was a very emotional and educational experience. Watching wild animals roaming free in the wild is the closest I´ve been to nirvana.


Primer cumpleaños de Simón

Hace un mes aterrizamos en Kilimanjaro Airport emocionados y llenos de ilusión con nuestra nueva aventura africana pero también con la nostalgia natural de dejar atrás nuestra vida de La Haya. Una vida que nos dejó no sólo unos entrañables amigos sino también a nuestro adorado hijo Simón, a quien le acabamos de celebrar su primer cumpleaños.

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