Tag Archives: Africa

Celebrating Attenborough

When I was 13 I queued up at a bookshop in Birmingham to meet David Attenborough at a signing launch event for publication of ‘The Living Planet’. I actually cheekily asked him to sign my previously purchased paperback copy of ‘Life on Earth’ as I couldn’t afford to buy the hardback ‘Living Planet.’ I’ve still got the book & the newspaper cutting from his visit!

I’ve always been a massive wildlife fan and an avid watcher of his television programmes. My grandmother used to say she was going to write to the BBC and say if ever David Attenborough wanted to give up his job I was a prime candidate to take over!
I don’t know whether she ever did write in – but given he is still working as a wildlife presenter it would have been a very long wait!

So instead I’ve been inspired to try and follow in his footsteps to see for myself some of the wonders he has shared with us in his documentaries. As a result I’ve been lucky enough to sit with gorillas in Uganda, marvelled at the migration in the Serengeti, island hopped in the Galapagos looking for finches and iguanas, as well as getting up close with lemurs in Madagascar and taking to the oceans to watch whales.

Hopefully sharing my travels and love of nature through photography, illustrations and story writing with my nieces, nephews and other children will help to inspire a new generation of wildlife enthusiasts.

All Creatures Great and Small

I like it when you log onto Facebook and their ‘On this Day’ app shares a memory of a post that you made in the past. So today – 7 years ago I was lucky enough to be in Mlilwane in Swaziland meeting a nyala. If you don’t know what one of those is – check out the Antelope Alphabet or visit my gallery to find out.
From a young age getting up close to animals is something I’ve always enjoyed doing as this photograph of me meeting a moose shows!
Mlilwane is an amazing place that provides a unique opportunity to experience African wildlife at close quarters. Thanks to dedication of Ted Reilly, who in the 1960’s began to turn the family farm into a game reserve by racing around the African countryside in a Land Rover called Jezebel darting and catching a whole range of creatures, visitors to this wildlife sanctuary can now literally walk with the animals.
Mlilwane is a Siswati word and means ‘little fire’ in reference to those started by lightning strikes in the hills of the Ezulwini Valley in Swaziland.
Similarly the spark of interest I had in animals as a child has been fanned by likes of James Herriot and David Attenborough but more on that another time.