Beverly & Dereck Joubert
For over 25 years National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert have made wild Africa home, dedicating their lives to the protection and understanding of the large predators and key wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa.
Their coverage of unique predator behavior has resulted in 22 films, 10 books, 6 scientific papers, and numerous articles for National Geographic magazine. This body of work has earned six Emmys, a Peabody, the World Ecology Award, and induction into the American Academy of Achievement. In addition, the Jouberts were recently awarded the Presidential Order of Merit by the government of Botswana for their life’s work.
Filmmaking for them has always been a way to bring the message of conservation to audiences. In 2011 their feature film, The Last Lions, was released to critical acclaim. Filmed in the lush wetlands of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the tale follows a determined lioness willing to risk everything to keep her family alive. Eye of the Leopard (2006) documents a young leopard’s survival in wild Africa over a period of three years. Other recent films include Living With Big Cats, Rhino Rescue, Relentless Enemies, Ultimate Enemies, Eternal Enemies, and Lions of Darkness.
The Jouberts are the founders and driving force behind National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative, which aims to place the plight of big cats firmly into the spotlight and funds innovative conservation projects. In addition, Dereck is CEO of Great Plains, an organization committed to bold conservation initiatives sustained by sensitive, low volume, low impact tourism.
Their efforts, as filmmakers, with the Big Cats Initiative, and with Great Plains, coincide with one aim: to save the wild places of Africa, and to protect the wild creatures that depend on them. The President of Botswana recently said it well: Theirs is a lifelong passion; for each other, for big cats, for Africa … they are true ‘children of Africa.’
The very survival of four big cat species—lions, tigers, cheetahs, and leopards—now hangs in the balance. In this sweeping look at five decades of decline, through arresting video and unparalleled images, the Jouberts show the cats’ intelligence and compassion as well as their fierce dominance as kings of the jungle, making a heartfelt plea for our participation in their survival.
In Africa, where the largest numbers of wild animals still thrive, man has created islands of wildlife habitat. As animals roam from island to island in response to instinctual migration, hunting and mating seasons, a host of threats awaits—from everyday realities such as civilization with its hum of farming, commerce, and recreation to the brutal reality of poaching. If we are to ensure the survival of these magnificent animals we must create safe passages between these sanctuaries.