About Saba

Saba was born in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya on the 7th June at 7pm on the seventh day of the week, and became the 7th grandchild in the family. Her name means “seven” in Kiswahili.

When Saba was six weeks old she met her first wild animal, an elephant called Virgo who was one of approximately 400 elephants that her zoologist father, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, was studying in Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania, for his ground-breaking doctoral thesis (DPhil) on elephant society. Virgo had a single right tusk and at eighteen years of age had not yet learnt to be afraid of mankind. Being both inquisitive and friendly it wasn’t long before she became habituated to the researchers and would walk over to greet them when they called her name.

On Saba’s first meeting with Virgo, her mother approached the elephant on foot holding her newborn baby in her arms. Virgo let them come close then stretched out her trunk and took a good long sniff of the baby. She then coaxed her own calf forward as if to introduce it to the humans. The friendship lasted two decades, until Virgo disappeared in the 1990s.


© Iain Douglas-Hamilton

Saba and her sister, Mara, were raised in the wild and learnt bush-lore from the rangers in Manyara, absorbing all there was to know about elephants. Kiswahili was their first language and they rarely wore clothes.  At seven years old, Saba went to school for the first time in Nairobi.  Later she attended the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, and then the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, graduating with a first class degree in Social Anthropology (MA).

Her first job was with Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia, working in the hinterland of the Skeleton Coast on a Crafts for Conservation project that brought benefits from tourism back to the local community.  She was then head-hunted by the School for International Training to work as an Academic Director in Arusha, Tanzania, running a semester abroad programme for University undergraduates (USA). This was followed by a stint of anthropological consulting for the National Museums of Kenya.


© Save The Elephants / Sam Gracey

In 1997 Saba joined her father’s charity Save the Elephants (STE) as Chief Operations Officer to launch the NGO’s research centre in Samburu National Reserve, north Kenya.  It was here that she was talent-spotted by the BBC Natural History Unit and began her career as a TV presenter and producer of wildlife documentaries. Her best known TV series with the BBC are Big Cat Diary, The Secret Life of Elephants, Unknown Africa and Big Bear Diary. She has won several awards for her documentaries, most notably, Heart of a Lioness, that was in the top 25 of Discovery Channel’s best shows for many years.

Saba lives in Kenya with her husband, Frank Pope, and children. Since 2014 she has been based in Samburu national reserve running Elephant Watch Camp & Safaris, to pioneer positive-impact “conservation tourism” hand in hand with a team of naturalists from the Samburu nomadic community. A twelve part BBC series – This Wild Life – has been made about their work, and is now showing on syndicated channels around the world.

She is the Vice Chair of the Ewaso Conservation and Tourism Forum in Samburu, representing a broad spectrum of tourism and conservation stakeholders living and working within the Ewaso ecosystem. The Forum works to provide a united advocacy platform that focusses on effective conservation, regenerative grazing management, land rehabilitation and recovery, responsible tourism and sustainable development, while promoting peaceful dialogue, responsible stewardship of the environment, and best practice in tourism operations.   

14 RoyBorghoutsFotografie-130222-JaneGoodall-138

© Future For Nature Award / Roy Borghouts

Saba has also been Chair of the International Selection Committee of the Future For Nature Award since 2008, a prestigious international award that celebrates the tangible achievements of exceptional young conservationists protecting wild animal and plant species across the world.


Her favourite moments in life, so far?  Falling in love with her husband; the natural births of her children; being investigated from head to toe by a wild bull elephant (while lying on the sand pretending to be dead); collecting a species of scorpion previously unknown to science (later named Somalibuthus sabae by the experts); filming an individual leopard over a period of five years and getting to know every inch of its territory; linking high-end tourism to high-impact conservation; and, finally, surviving a plane crash, viper bite, being hunted by a man-eating lioness, several bouts of malaria, and a ‘shipwreck’ off the Angolan coast. 

Saba ivory burn - Sl. 06

© Mirella Ricciardi

243 thoughts on “About Saba

  1. Hello Saba, Wishing you in advance many many happy returns of the day. A very happy birthday. (7 June).

    I watch Animal planet regularly. You are doing a fantastic job. What baffles me is why you go barefoot.in the wild.!!

    May god protect you & your family. & bless with all the happiness.

    With best wishes & warm regards

    Jay Chandra

    • Good Day, Saba, not sure if this is still a way of making contact, My name is also Frank Pope, originally from Scotland, came to Canada’s Arctic at 17. I am interested in communicating with your Frank Pope, for a discussion him on Elephants and me on Caribou (Mountain, Barren Ground and Boreal Woodland) and other arctic and Northern Taiga specis such as Wolves.
      Frankpope@northwestel.net Norman Wells, NWT Canada

    • Hi Saba, Frank is an extremely lucky man. You are an admirable woman. I helped to have hare coursing banned in the UK and used the media as you do. I climbed the north face of the Eiger solo to raise funds for our struggle. May I wish you well in all you do.
      Lindsay Rogers

    • Hello Saba,
      Looking for your email address to write you a letter. I James Haverly 47, single never married and no children wanted to see if you needed free help in the Bush as they say. Love to life my life dream by seeing the worlds best kept secret. If you have time to listen to my story please let me email you sometime. May you and Frank as well as kidos have a blessed 2017 keep up the great efforts you all are doing for the Elefents and the community.

      Thank you and God Bless you all,
      James Haverly

      • Hi Saba ,just to say that your talk on Monday 1st April in Worthing was amazing and very inspiring. I have supported an elephant charity for someone time and meeting you after the talk on Monday made the evening very special.
        Thank you
        Eddie Jezierski

    • Hi Mr. Hamilton,
      I’m Madalyn Gaffney. At school I’m doing a recerch project about elephants. I was hoping you could maybe answer some of my questions.

    • Dear Saba

      There must be some way of spoiling or ruining Ivory on an elephant so that it makes it worthless to the poachers
      Have you ever thought of creating a program to drill some dye into the tusks? I know this would be a big job but it would save so many. Is this even feasible ?

      • The idea of dyeing or cutting tusks has been circling around for a while. It might work if you were dealing with a few elephants in a small reserve, but not on 450,000 or so elephants across the wilder parts of Africa. Economically and phyically impossible as each would need to be individually darted. Cut tusks grow back, besides which one can only cut above the nerve which is half way along, still enough ivory to tempt poachers. And dyeing tusks is like trying to do the same to teeth. Can be scraped off the surface.

  2. Dear Saba,

    I don`t know if you longer read your blog. But since learning about you and your work via Animal Planet, I have become more aware of what is going on regarding hunting, poaching, and slaughtering of the wonderful elephants. In the beautiful continent of Africa. It grieves me constantly to read about what is happening and how difficult and complicated it is also to embark and solve these problems. I want to thank you for the work you do (Thank your father also!) and also that you constantly inform all of us living so far far away about what is going on. It is not easy to get involved when living completely on the other side of the world. BUT, still I feel very saddened by it all, it really affects me, can`t even comprehend the difficulties when living in the midst of the conflicts. It must be very very challenging. I am reading your Facebook site regularly.

    I have a female cat, who is now 4 years old. She is a typically Norwegian forest cat, but has short hair. When she was born, I thought immediately she looked like a Cheetah. The colors, the distinctive black “tear stripes”, the long slim muscular legs. I just thought she looked like one. But then I remembered you, in Africa, barefoot, looking at the beautiful Leopards in the trees. Well, so I called her Saba instead.

    I am wondering how I can help, when I am here, living in Norway. So far away…

    I wish you the very best in all aspects of your work,
    Friendly ~ Aina
    Living South East in Norway

    • Thank you for your lovely message, and I’m most honoured that you though to me and the leopards when naming your cat! Although you feel very far away from Africa and uncertain how to help, it is always such a boost for us to know that we have allies. If you’d like to know more about Save the Elephants, have a look at their website http://www.savetheelephants.org. Or better still, come and stay at Elephant Watch to see what it’s all about for yourself. That way you can be part of the conservation movement. Best wishes, S

      • Belated happy birthday Saba, sorry for being late. Dr. Gagan from India

        On Fri 4 May, 2018, 09:39 Saba Douglas-Hamilton, wrote:

        > sabadouglashamilton commented: “Thank you for your lovely message, and I’m > most honoured that you though to me and the leopards when naming your cat! > Although you feel very far away from Africa and uncertain how to help, it > is always such a boost for us to know that we have allies. If” >

      • Hi Saba l am Dr. Gagan from India. I am great fan of you. Please tell me the best time to visit Masai Mara to see wilderbeast migration.

      • Thanks

        On Sat, 6 Apr 2019 at 4:12 AM, Saba Douglas-Hamilton wrote:

        > sabadouglashamilton commented: “That would be August” >

      • Hi Saba, you are answering my so many questions.I would like to send you a unique purse designed in my city.Kindly send me your residential address. With regards Dr Gagan

      • Wishing you a very happy birthday & prosperous year ahead .

        On Sat, 6 Apr 2019 at 4:12 AM, Saba Douglas-Hamilton wrote:

        > sabadouglashamilton commented: “That would be August” >

      • How are you Saba? What are you doing nowadays? Please reply.

        On Sat, 6 Apr 2019 at 4:12 AM, Saba Douglas-Hamilton wrote:

        > sabadouglashamilton commented: “That would be August” >

  3. I have all ways had a love of cats big and small tame or better those in the wild. I retired from working in long term care, due to health reasons. I spent 25 years working from 11 pm to 7 am, it is just one of those things that my body and mind can’t seem to change. I spend a lot of time looking for some thing to watch on T.V. and when I started watching the animal planet, feel in love with the meerkats, when I was little we lived in the western part of the state of Texas, when my Grandmother and mom would go to get there hair done. I would sit on the back steps and feed the prairie dogs dry dog food, that way I was not under foot. Thus started my love of animals, their are just a few that I don’t like, snakes any kind, frogs/toads, and lizards. I had a cuz that played nasty tricks on me with these. Until I turned the tables on him with a boat paddle as my partner, it worked. During my nightly hunts, I found big cat diary and fell in love with the cats and those people who watched over them. Thank you and all the folks on the show. Maggie

  4. Hello Saba,
    My name is Kelli Henrikson. I have kind of a long story but bear with me. I have loved Elephants since I was a little girl. I bought your father’s book “Amoung the Elephants” & just loved it & still have it somewhere in a box (hopefully). Years later I was at the dentist’s office & was waiting & picked up a Nationl Geographic magazine & there was an article on your father & mother. There it was the picture of you as a baby being held out to (now I know from above) Virgo (which may have been mentioned in the article). I was just thrilled & started crying. I asked the dentist if I may keep the copy of the Nat’l Geo & told him the story. He said of course. (I better also still have that in a box as well).

    I had seen you doing the shows of the Cats occasionally & never put things together until the show where the female lioness adopted the baby oryx. I was just in awe, that the baby I had seen so many years ago in that magazine, had grown up into such a beautiful & successful woman. Your family has inspired my all my life (even though not going as well as planned) but I was able to work & help run an Exotic Animal Refuge here in Colorado & work with Lions & Tiger’s & Bears oh my…..it was the best job I have ever done & grateful for being able to do it. My dream has always been to come to Africa but life doesnt always go as planned. It is important work that you & your family & so many others do I just wanted to Thank YOU because your family has been an inspiration to myself & so many others that havent had the opportunity to travel to such a location as Africa.

    If I can find that Nat’l Geo magazine I will somehow send you the picture, if you dont already have a ton of copies already.

    Thank you again for the work you do, it does matter all across the World, REALLY it does!
    Bless you & your Family,

    Kelli Henrikson

  5. Hi Saba!

    Hope this message finds you well! Apologies in advance, I wasn’t sure about the best way to contact you, so I’ve also send a message to your Facebook account!

    My name is Brianna Albert and I have been truly inspired by your story. Your background, experiences, involvement with various conservation efforts, and career are both incredible and encouraging as a fellow animal lover. I’ve been reading up on the conservation efforts that you are involved with an I believe that they are absolutely amazing efforts. You seem to be genuinely passionate about what you do and make a wonderfully positive impact on a daily basis.

    Although I’m sure you get hundreds of emails each day (and probably have someone to help filter through them!), I just wanted to shoot you a quick note to get your advice and input. My lifelong passion has been working with and caring for animals of all kinds, their daily care, conservation, and general welfare. However, over the course of the past 3-4 years, I have worked as a consultant helping clients of various industries improve efficiency and increase business opportunities. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take 6 months off this past
    year to work full time at two animal sanctuaries (with a wide variety of domestic and exotic species including sloths, coatis, wolves, koalas, dingoes, etc. etc.) and would love the chance to continue working with animals and improving their general well-being.

    Do you have any general advice for someone looking to follow a path similar to your wonderful one? I would absolutely love the opportunity to help you, any conservation efforts you’re involved with, or the animal kingdom in general in a more hands on way!

    If there is anything at all I can do, please do let me know! I very much appreciate you taking the time to read my email in general. As mentioned, your story is truly an inspiration!

    Thanks so very much and have a great day!

  6. hi Saba. I live in Los Angeles and am very touched by the work you do. I used to live in Johannesburg South Africa and Durban. How can I keep in contact with you just to send an email ofencouragement to you and your team now and again. And possibly get some personal updates from you.

      • Hi Saba, all this so interesting! Kindly put me on the list for your monthly newsletter please? I live in Bryanston, Sandton, South Africa, am crazy about wildlife conservation and anything to do with the Afriican bush. So hoping that The Wild Life programme to which you refer is flighted in SA some time…..never caught it…. So hope to visit Samburu one day.

      • Good day Saba, I am interested in talking with your husband Frank Pope, and yourself of course. I am also Frank Pope and while born and raised in Scotland came to the Canadian Arctic as a boy of 17 to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Thought it would be interesting to share experiences from both ends of earth. I have never written about my 50 years in Canada’s north and still live in the North West Territories on the Mackenzie River 100m south of the Arctic Circle and 25 miles from the majestic Mackenzie Mountains the northern range of the “Rockies” If interested in a conversation I can be reached at frank_pope@gov.nt.ca

      • hi Saba I used to see you in naivasha where you’re dad had a farm am proud of what you’ve become one day I’ll come to enjoy myself at your camp congratulations

  7. HI Hamilton,
    I am amazed by your surname which is similar to mine, does that mean we are family though you are white and originates in Kenya, while I am black and South African?

  8. Saba- my son Bodie (5) and myself love watching the Nat Geo episodes on STE. He has so many great questions and such compassion for wildlife. Your show has allowed him to see the elephants in their natural environment.
    Your all doing such amazing work and would love to take him there someday. Thank you, from Massachusetts

    • Thanks for your lovely message which makes me very happy to hear. You son Bodie clearly has his heart in the right place. Delighted that we are able to fuel his passion. Please keep an eye out for our new series This WIld Life which is currently premiering in the UK. Am not sure when it will be coming to the States, but I’ve been advised that people who are not in the UK and thus unable to access iPlayer can download the “Film On Television” Application on their iphone or ipad and tune in to BBC 2 and enjoy at the same time as everyone else.

      Otherwise go on to a Virtual Private Network such as Surfeasy and it should give you access to iPlayer so you can catch up on the first four programmes. In Kenya, where we are based, some people have had success with this VPN: https://hola.org/

      All the best and enjoy! Saba

  9. Wonderful to read all about you and your life in the Supplement of my Telegraph today!! I wish to e-mail you (do not do facebook etc!!)as I had the most wonderful experience in Amboseli in 1959!! Please would you have the time to receive an e-mail from an old bird??!!! Best wishes to you and your family

  10. “This Wild Life” is currently being re-run on BBC2 on British Tv (highly recommended and so much better viewing than the likes of Big Brother)
    What a wonderful programme…Elephant Hunters be damned…and oh so incredibly sad to see that young one whose trunk was resting upon it’s mother (at least it was saved & is doing well)
    Saba and your young family are wonderful and a real credit to the Human Race…My Best wishes.

    • Dear Christopher, thanks for your lovely message. And I’m delighted that you are enjoying the series. It’s actually premiering on British TV for the first time rather than being a re-run! So it’s pretty up-to-date in terms of our work in Samburu. Thanks for your vote of confidence and support. Best, Saba

      • Hello Saba, it is wonderful to receive feedback from you and to discover there are people such as yourself, your family and the lovely group of people you have there who are doing such difficult yet important and inspiring work…perhaps there is hope for our beautiful planet yet.
        Couldn’t help but smile as you said “i’ll kill those monkey’s” after discovering them stealing items from the vistor’s tents.
        I had not realised it was so up-to-date and a premiere (thank-you for this), i’m now very much looking forward to the remaining episodes.
        It is a truly a wonderful Planet we have been blessed with and it’s heartwarming to know others think so too.
        Thank You again Saba.

  11. Hi Saba

    Ive been so thrilled watching This Wild Life!. Ive always followed your programmes and have great admiration for you and what you do!. I have always wanted to come to Africa and i love animals especially Wild cats and Giraffes!. Im Giraffe mad!!. It made me cry at the elephant you watched all night and then made sure the calf was ok. Your a wonderful lady Saba, and your staff at the camp are lovely people. Bernard makes me laugh!!,,can you give him my best wishes?. What a caring man!. I love his tribal adornment,,so colourful!.
    Saba keep doing what your doing,,this world and animals need people like you so badly. It looks so beautiful out there and i hope i get to visit one day. All my warmest wishes are sent to you and your family and staff!!.

    Lots of Love from Rosemary Skinner

    • Torone means “shrill queen” in Greek. They were a family of extremely ferocious elephants that would charge every time he came across them. They once all attacked the vehicle at the same time and made liberal use of their tusks in transfixing the vehicle. Both my father and his ranger were unhurt.

      • Dear Saba,
        I misspelled Torone. How embarrassing. On a happier note, I finally found my copy of Among the Elephants — buried in a box since a move long ago — and there was your father’s explanation of the Torone name on page 64. Thanks for the correction.
        Wm. Thomas Howell

  12. Dear Saba, it gives me immense pleasure to watch your episodes, adventures, research and dedication to your project. Needless to say that only because there are very few, rare dedicated legends like you in this field, people become aware of importance of nature and environment. It would be the happiest moment for me if I get to talk to you for a few moments, receive correspondence from you and if I get to work with you even once in the lifetime…. my all best wishes to you for your career, personal life and best, warm regards to you, Saba. I’m feeling very happy and proud for getting to write this to you. I am working with Mahindra Group of Companies, who manufacture jungle vehicles often used for research work like you do. My personal email id is abhay.dhamanikar@gmail.com and mobile phone number is +91 9921772233. Thanks and best regards again, Abhay Dhamanikar – India.

  13. I have now watched all the programmes in the series and have been hugely interested in your work. A wonderful television series. I must come and visit you all very soon! Thank you for your inspirational work and wonderful television, which enables so many people to learn about protecting elephants. Good luck with everything you do in Kenya. Catherine Leahy

  14. Hello Saba, my husband & I watched all you 10 series’s at least twice. Absolutely amazing work you both do. I too am born in Kenya & feel closely connected to the landscape. We did Safari in 2004 with A&K & had the most amazing experience. We would love to come & see the work you do !
    Warmest Neeta.

  15. Dear Saba & Family
    What an amazing work you do. You seem very passionate about the Save the Elephant Project.
    Charles & I watched all your 10 series’s on BBC 2, just wonderful !
    Perhaps some day we can come & see the work you do.
    I too was born in Kenya & feel so connected to the landscape & the conservation work you do.

    Warmest Neeta.

  16. I finally caught up with the final two episodes of “This Wild Life” which has to be the BEST television programme so far this year…It informed, entertained and educated…if I could award it a BAFTA Award for this I would.

    It was interesting to see that the brilliant BBC decided they needed to add subtitles at times when then superb David spoke (he actually speaks English better than most here in the UK) and the way he informed those in power towards the end about the elephants plight was truly brilliant.

    I learned a great deal….That Elephants need to feed 18 hours of the day and that it takes up to 6 months for baby’s to use their trunks properly.
    MATT (the 40 y.o.) Elephant is magnificent and I hope the heroic Frank (I can’t believe how courageous both he and the team are) and this team can keep those poachers away from this incredible creature and all the rest….maybe the message will hit them finally one day.

    There is story I remember hearing…it stated that an elephant was mistreated for years within a zoo by a vistor and that many many years later it had remembered him and when he returned for a vist it swiped him with it’s trunk 🙂 I understand elephants have incredible memories?

    So, Saba, Frank and the kids first season in Samburu ends…and it looks like it was a huge success but I hope this doesn’t mean the BBC will not return for at least one more season as I’m sure there is more to be learned.

    I’m missing it already 😦

  17. Oh my god what can I say? what a perfect young family doing their best for wildlife? I’ve just turned 40 and am single with no children so if you ever need an extra helper then let me know!! I’m here and more than ready xxx

  18. Ohhh….How I was transported back in time when I watched your Wild Life programmes! My children grew up in Malawi.The youngest was born in a small outreach clinic.They ran barefoot and their friends were Malawian children.Elephants regularly walked through our garden and the hippos came out of the lake every afternoon.The two eldest didn’t go to formal school until they were eleven and eight.Now they are all grown up much the same age as you and they all run charities in Malawi and Nepal.Carry on the good work! Aggie

  19. Hi Saba, I was on the farm at Naivasha for a few months when you and Dudu were young! I don’t have much money but I do have some IT skills – I sat under a fever tree with the first ever computer printout to pay the workers on that farm! I flew over the farm with your mad dad to take pictures of the fields to work out where to spread extra fertiliser! When I had shot the whole roll of film he put the plane into a spin to lose altitude rapidly! My face was plastered backwards and out of the corner of my eye I could see the wings bending upwards from the G forces!!!! I am retired now (my aging accelerated from my time with your dad) but I am working on my memoirs http://www.wheresolly.com/david.html blog at the top of the page and a very cute, free ClustrMap at the bottom – would be good for your site too Please let me know if I can help!
    David Palmer’s Homepage

  20. Hi there,
    Really looking forward to This Wild Life! Wondered about having Julian Rhind-Tutt on the programme. How was this, given he is a pretty funny guy? I wondered, if you know is there an official fan base that he has, that you could direct a big fan to??
    With thanks and best wishes,

  21. hello I am trying to get in touch with Saba
    My name is Nell Gifford I am the daughter of Rick and Char Stroud who were friends of your parents in Oxford in the 1970s …..
    I run a circus in the Uk ( horses only)
    I wonder if this will reach you
    Best wishes

  22. Hello Saba! I watched you on Big cat diary and I want to know if you will be carrying on with your work. It would be amazing to come work with you as well

  23. Hello Saba (and family),

    You are such an inspiring woman, beautiful inside and out. I think the work you carry out is incredible. Please tell me is there anything I can do from the “wilds” of Essex in UK to help your charities? Also how can one help out in the reserves or stay and help (even as a holiday) in ne of the lodges or reserves. Hope to hear from you, Lynne Harrington.

  24. Hi Saba, my husband and I always watch your programmes. We think you and your family do great work. I see you are in various parts of the U.K. and though I’m from London, I have just moved to Norfolk and unfortunately you are not visiting any venues here. Is there any chance you might be?

  25. Hi Saba
    I have left a message for you on FB. I understand a friend of mine sent you two of my pictures taken at galana last week, of a quite remarkable Ellie we spent 8 hours with, in our camp. We are coming to Salisbury on the 22nd April, and I would love your take on his strange but wonderful behavior. I have some fantastic photos, it’s taken us 10 years to finally get to see something so truly magnificent.

    • Yes she did – I’ve had a look at them but can’t interpret with any precision what is going on. Can you give me any more details? Great news to hear you are coming to Salisbury. Hope we get to chat. Any help spreading the word would be great – it’s the most ENORMOUS venue!! Think it’ll be a lot of fun. best, Saba

      • Hi again. I’ve since had an email from Angela Sheldrick who has confirmed he is a DS orphan, probably explains why he was so comfortable with us, but a bit worrying. . .

  26. Hi Saba, I see that you are coming to Tunbridge Wells. Right on my doorstep. It’s been a while since we both last were in touch. Much stuff happened to prevent me keeping in touch with you but I keep up with all your adventures. Is there any chance we can meet up when you are in Tunbridge Wells? (I do note that you are not here for long!!) I would love to see you.

    • Hi there J – great to hear from you! Will you be coming to my talk? If so, we can probably have a quick drink afterwards or something. The interval always tends to be rather frenetic so not the best time of catching up. I’d also hugely appreciate some help spreading the word. We have an ENORMOUS venue to fill! Any local press or word of mouth networks you can think of who might be interested??
      x Saba

  27. Dear Saba I loved your programme you do such good work. I was wondering what time of year we can stay in your tents, and the cost please.

  28. Hello Saba ! I just watched your series on French tv, when you started your camp in Samburu till I realized who you were ( meeting Vigo the elephant with Oria your mum in Manyara) and till I realized who your father is ! I discovered his work in Manyara and Kenya when I made photo safaris in early ’75, ’76 and ’81, and also thru his book and Nat Geographic magazines of those years and the count of african elephant so drastically down at the time till the ban on elephant kill occurred when it was on annex 1 of Cites many many years ago. As it is dramatically now on the ridge of extinction with war wippons used. I loved Kenya so much and lived there the best moment of my life among wild animal. Since those days I have gathered a full library on the works of scientists who worked in East Africa Nat Parks in those days. Sadly many passed away since but left such a wonderful heritage of knowledge on African wildlife. I wish I could return to Kenya again, I miss it so much. I wish you all the best. You have a beautiful family. Best wishes and congratulations for all your work in the footstep of your father. You were rised with elephants. Martine fom Paris, France

  29. Dear Saba, firstly you are an amazing woman to have devoted your life to wildlife conservation. My husband and I had a fabulous safari holiday in Kenya some years ago we visited Samburu so keenly watch your to programmes.
    I also had the experience of bottle feeding a any elephant in a sanctuary in Sri Lanka, just magIcal
    We are looking forward to the evening with you in Taunton and know it will be a great evening for all.
    Once again bless you and all your family for being passionate about Elephant conservation.

  30. Hi Saba, did you get my March 27 long message here ? As there was a bug sending it, I did not want to mess up by posting it again.. Still following your series on French tv brings back so many fond memories of Kenya among wild animals. I am so fond of elephants, lions and all other creatures of the wild. I am so grateful to your parents for having devoted their lives to save East African wildlife and grateful to you and your husband to take over this wonderfull, immense and increasing difficult task to save the last wonders of nature. With best wishes, Martine from Paris,France

  31. SAba, Bassie’s Mum here — organised so many folk to buy tickets for Aberdeen I forgot to get for myself and sister – so we will just have to travel to Kenya to see you live in action! Will check Sharon & Mac Mackie taking you home with them that night. Patti

  32. Hi Saba, I may have mucked up my message to you – perhaps you could email me to firm up your visit to Aberdeen as I am up there on your date but guess what – tis all sold out ! Patti (mum of Bas )

  33. Dear Saba, My name is Moheb from Islamabad/Pakistan you are a great women working for wildlife i love your documentaries i am my self wildlife activist in Pakistan please can you tell that from where or how i can buy your books because they are not available in Pakistan and i would love to read interesting stories..

    • Saba I am very delighted to read your biography as an enthralling conservationist for the elephants i love so much, continue with the same spirit I would join you. I am studying biological science and I am ready to major in wildlife biology. i hate poaching of elephants and rhinos so much that is why i decided to study biology to come help conserve them.

  34. Dear Saba, My name is Moheb from Islamabad, Pakistan i am a student of grade 9th and really love wildlife i am a wildlife activist working with some organizations in my country to spread awareness but due to lack of awareness very few people supported me my dream is to visit Kenya and meet you. You are a great women with a passion for nature i saw all your documentaries but looking for books in Pakistan but they are not available here plz tell me a way to buy them…

    • Have a look on Amazon for Among the Elephants, and, Battle for the Elephants which were written by my parents Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton. Unfortunately I’ve not yet written anything myself. Great to hear how passionate you are about wildlife! S

  35. Dear Saba,

    I have been saddened to see the repetitive behaviour of animals in Bristol Zoo.
    For example I’ve seen this with Lion, Sand Cat, Sea Lion. The zoo keepers appear to be in denial when I politely challenge them on such. Like they’ve be trained to reply with a party line.

    It angers me.

    I am thinking of starting a campaign to close Bristol Zoo as we know it, to change it to conservation only – so any creature that does not need to be there, is not.

    Do you think this is a good idea?

    Do you think keeping animals to be viewed for the entertainment of people is OK? Animals that don’t need to be there but are there to bring the punters in, to get the money in, with the defence / the argument that the money goes to good causes – conservation etc..

    I.e. do you think it’s OK for us to enslave animals, driving them mad (repetitive behaviour) to make money to apparently (though I question how much is going directly to the right places rather than into human pockets) to pay for the conservation of other animals?


    • Ugh. The zoo question is SUCH a hard one. I loathe the idea of animals in cages and it breaks my hear to see the kind of behaviour you mention. Some are absolutely ghastly, but there are a few zoos that really do assist conservation. If they have a large enough space and a truly interesting natural environment then sometimes one has to accept that the animal is an ambassador for its species raising awareness and creating new champions to fight for its brethren in the wild. David Attenborough for example started his work through zoos, as did many other esteemed conservationists I know. But where there is cruel behaviour that neglects the animal’s welfare or well-being then either the facility should be closed down or made to change. The other thing is that animals should never be captured from the wild to repopulate zoos…

      • Bristol Zoo prides itself on it’s quality and will always say that the animals have enough space etc.. However the behaviour of some of these animals is there for all to see, anyone that spends long enough watching them rather than laughing and pointing, enjoying the entertainment, will see just how messed up these animals are.

        So if the behaviour of some animals at Bristol Zoo is a fact and it’s a fact that the staff appear to refuse to acknowledge this, let alone acknowledge that such a behaviour is a problem, shouldn’t one start a campaign?

        I don’t know where the Sea Lions come from but just because they were saved, if they were saved, or just because they weren’t bourn in the wild, if they weren’t bourn in the wild, logically does not therefore mean one has a right to condemn them forever to mind numbing boredom where they must endlessly and repetitively swim in precisely the same way, passing key markers almost second perfect again and again, who knows perhaps for the rest of their lives.

        I speak from my visit last year year but I just went online when writing this and with no effort looking, found a video clip from someone saying exactly this in 2011:

        So who knows, they could have been doing this for at least five years pretty much non stop.

        Surely the right thing for us to do is to reintroduce any animal that can be reintroduced and there should be a law against keeping any animal in any environment which causes it to behave like this – i.e. not enough space and not enough stimulation. Surely as the dominant species it is correct for us in 2016 to be taking this line, not saying ‘Well strictly speaking they were not wild so that means we can use them for entertainment in order to raise awareness.’ (Which I know you are not saying exactly, I’m deliberately trying to make a point.)

        Forgive me but I urge you with your influence to stand more clearly on one side of the fence. Do you think one should campaign to stop it?

      • It would be great if you could publicly and clearly state that: if animals are behaving in this repetitive way and the zoo is not acting then one should campaign to stop the zoo from causing this behaviour in animals.

        If high profile people such as yourself won’t clearly state such then how can one expect Zoos to change the way they treat such animals? And how can one expect the public to care more about them?

  36. Hello Saba
    Just listened to you on Radio 4 and its inspired me to book a ticket for May 3rd. Looking forward to learning more about elephants and your family life in Kenya.

  37. Hi Saba, thank you for your reply. Sadly, Season 1 of your series just ended on French tv ! It just carried me years ago back, when I first discovered Kenya. Luckily, I found out more on Bbc Youtube. Indeed I look forward to be able  to come over to your camp one day. (I’ll enquire to your headoffice for practical/admin venues). I had always wanted to discover northern Kenya, having done all the tourists itineraries in Kenya and Tanzania several times, a passion since childhood. Samburu is so rich for its specific fauna, nowhere else to be found. It is true that lion there are smaller than plain lion (Adamson’s Elsa was of that type, in Meru). Your camp seems so unique with these wonderful beasts around. One does not approach elephants so close in other places.  I wish to live again the magic of the african nights, the smell, the sounds, the shadows of little dikdik or buffalo coming in. All reminds me so much of memorable encounters with wild animals in the bush: Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Tarangire and so on..And all reminds me so much of Schaller, Kruuk, Van Lawick, Leakey, Scheldrick and so many,  such as your parents who devoted their lives to wild animals. I had Bodicea  framed in my office for many years in the ’80s. She was such a beautiful elephant and the symbol of an endangered specie.

    Again, congratulations for the works you, Frank and your father do with so much passion and devotion to try to preserve these gentle, sensitive, so intelligent giants. Poaching has become a major threat for most species all over the world. That terrible world of corruption, terrorism and wars we live in, where survival of the wild conflicts with human interests. I believe most species are doomed to extinction due to explosive demography,  destruction of migratory routes, natural habitats, exploitation of animals, poaching and traffics. Should we really want to see the last specimen in zoos or stuffed in Natural History Museums leaving no legacy for those who comes after, is there any more room for wild animals .. Some species have become extinct only recently on the scale of mankind.

    With best wishes for continued success to you and your team, Martine from Paris, France..(sorry for mistakes but I am French !)

  38. Hi Saba, I just caught the last bit on radio 4 yesterday morning, wonder if on your next tour of GB you could come to the Octagon theatre, Yeovil. Would love to see you and hear all about your work. Thanks Barbara

  39. Dear Saba, Just have to let you know how exited I was when, driving home, from a friends, heard on Radio Devon that you will be in Exeter. I stopped the car to listen to you talking to the disc jockey. I had to stop, because radio Devon falls away while driving, and I would miss part of it.

    When you told about all the Elephants you had as a child,I thought, I wonder if she can beat me in the amount. I have Elephants in all sizes, lots of soft toys as well. Every time I find a book about Elephants I buy it and often I find out when I get home that I already have the one I just bought.

    I am Dutch and 83 now, live In England and still have all my Elephants.

    In 1968 I worked at Mnarani Club than (belonging to African Tours and Hotels) Your Aunt and Uncle
    Lorenzo and Mirella where our neighbors and would often come for Sunday lunch with their 2 girls.

    I met your mother when we did an advertising film for Philips Radio, I was on the boat pretending to be interested in the radio and your Mother was on Water skies. After the boat we had a barbecue on Mirellla’s Lawn. Also later when Princes Lee Radzeville stayed with us.

    I just want to tell you one more thing. In 1970 I was transferred back to Kilaguni Lodge in Tsavo West.
    I observed 2 things things that I want to tell you about One was a Jackal. Kilaguni has a smaller round watering hole. That early evening Elephants where standing in a tight circle drinking, when a Jackal past. He walked up to the circle of Elephants and nipped one of them in the ankle, the Elephant shook is foot and went on drinking. But by the second bite he pulled out and chased the Jackal away, but as soon as he was drinking again the Jackal went back. It took a few chases before he gave up.

    Another early evening an Impala male with a big harem, had just got the ladies all together when a Jackal chased write through them and the Impalas where all over the place. The Male got them together again, but the Jackal did it a second time before leaving them alone.

    But the most interesting thing I saw was a Mother Elephant with 2 babies. One had already little tusks
    I don’t know how old he or she was. But the second one was very young. Mother Elephant was enjoying some salt, with the little Elephant next to her, at our salt lick, perhaps 8 meters from the Veranda. The Older animal kept on bothering her. The mother Elephant picked up a small stick lying there and hit the older Elephant with it until he wend behind her and stayed there. I just could not believe what I saw.

    I have been following your life on the telly, and remember when you went looking for Virgo and you could not find her. Can I be very honest, I have been so jealous of you being able to be with Elephants all the time.

    I was in Samburu National Park in 2011, but probably because it was the rainy season we only saw 1 Elephant. But we saw a lot pf animals and a beautiful leopard lying in a tree, and one that had just killed a buck and was lying in a dry riverbed and just started to eat it. We stopped for the night also at Kilaguni Lodge, but there was not an Elephant in sight, while in 1967 and 70 there where a lot. I remember lying in bed I just loved it when Elephants walked passed and their rumbling tummy would wake me up, or just listening to the Hyena’s at night.

    I hope I will be able to come to Kenya once more, I wish you and your Family success in keeping the Elephants for Future Generations. Sorry for the long article, but memories flooded back. Will try and be at your talk on the 18th in Exeter.

      • HI saba,
        Sorry for the delay in telling you that I managed to come to your talk in Exeter. Seeing the pictures and listening to your talk, made me long so much to be back in Kenya. Perhaps you remember I asked you if I could buy the large photo of the baby Elephant hanging behind the table.
        Will you be back in 2017? Could you let me know when? That would be great. I wish you and all the family a Merry Christmas and a healthy and very successful 2017. Louise Knight

  40. hello, regret very much can’t come to uk to attend lecture; can it be seen later on youtube or on your website?
    p.s. wish you good luck and a big audience

  41. Hello Saba and thank you. For those like me who cannot follow all BBC Earth wildlife series on their domestic tv and are following Saba’s & family’s work, I recommend YouTube where there are plenty of documents,  interviews and super films on elephant, lion and so on..Also,  some rare interviews and films of pioneers conservationists, ethologists,  scientists who studied in many places of East Africa. Really great,  awaiting to return to Kenya !

    And thank you again Saba, Frank and all the team for your fantastic work. How lucky you are to live in the bush. If one day, you happen to give a lecture to Paris, please let me know. W ith best wishes, Martine from Paris

  42. Hi Saba, loved your talk at Taunton last night – Inspiring.
    It would make a great TED talk for a global audience?
    All the best, Mark

  43. Thank you so much for the evening at Tunbridge Wells. It was nice to be able to say hello after commenting on Facebook for so long.
    I really enjoyed hearing all the stories I have read in your parents books and seen on TV from you in person. It was also good to hear all about your conservation work past and present.
    I love Samburu, and although not staying with you, am really looking forward to returning again for a week next month.
    Thank you again

  44. Hello Saba

    I have been following your (and others) wonderful work with wildlife for many years. The situation is encouraging … if a little depressing at times … but good for you and your family with ALL that you are doing.

    My family have all seen and heard you talk in Tunbridge Wells. They LOVED it. I live in Bristol and alas you have not been down our way though I happen to be in Scotland for a wedding this week and see that you are speaking in Aberdeen on Sunday night. I will happily drive the long distance over the mountains but dammit, you are Sold Out. If there is any chance of getting a ticket somehow, I would dearly love to come and hear you speak and continue to support you and your family in all you do in caring and protecting these amazing animals.

    Travel safely and keep up the good work.

    With every best wishes for today, tomorrow and for always …


    • Hi Sarah – apologies have only just seen your message! Sadly Aberdeen was absolutely chockablock. They even oversold and had to add an extra 20 seats! But am sure I’ll be back next year on another tour and will try to have Bristol or nearabouts in the Loop! Thanks for your support!

  45. Dear Saba,

    I hope this finds you well. I am a wildlife artist and writer on natural history here in Shropshire. I have been a great admirer of you and your work for many years now, and grew up watching Big Cat Diary. I saw you were in Shrewsbury a few days ago and was very sorry to miss you but was away; I hope the lecture went well.

    I have been lucky enough to travel to and around Africa several times in my life and indeed my wife and I have a small humanitarian and environmental charity out in Tanzania, run mostly by the wonderful Tanzanians themselves, with our head being a Masai of the Arusha area (Monduli). Anyway, I have been trying to use my artworks of late to raise funds for projects by wildlife charities such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund David Shepherd and Elephants for Africa in Botswana (Dr Kate Evans). Most recently I painted a couple of pieces for the DSWT at their event in London with Dame Daphne, which was another honour and helped raise over £5,000. Is there any chance I could help Save the Elephants in a similar vein? Your family’s name has been part of my association with Africa since before I can remember (Iain is one of my Mum’s heroes!) and it would be lovely to help your wonderful charity and of course the Elephants themselves.

    My FB page is: https://www.facebook.com/BenWaddamsWildlifeArtist and my website; http://benwaddams.com/

    Many, many thanks and good luck with the rest of your tour.

    • Mr. Waddams, you are truly a wonderful, generous, and kind man. I hope Saba takes you up on your offer of help, and that it raises scads of money for her cause and yours. You are a rarity in this day and age of heads down to phones, because you seem like a man who looks forward and returns smiles. Love you website. CM Traill, Lansing, Mich., USA

  46. Hi Saba

    If you havea newsletter, could you put me on your list please?

    Love your work, and hopeto be ableto vivsit one day. Keep up the good work, you and your team are doing a wonderful and worth while job, just amazing!!


  47. Hello Saba, I am V S Mani Iyer from Baroda, Gujarat, India. I have seen “The heart of a lion” several times. Incredible. I feel I am closer to God. Saw the episode again today. If U ever come to India Pl come to our home in Baroda and have lunch/dinner with me. I ve great love for people like U. My number 0919727746266.

  48. Dear Saba
    Today I watched the episode in which the lioness of Samburu adopted an oryx. It was really a touching and sensitive incident. I am very curious to know whether you spotted her again? Is she still alive?
    You are doing a great work. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Mitali (India)

  49. I saw you in person in Morecambe the other week, and was fascinated listening to your story. I wondered if you have ever written a book. Also I bought a signed poster that night, I wish now that I had got the charging elephant one. Is there anyway I can purchase one signed by you now.

    • Hi Janet – Yes we still have some copies of the Boadicea print left over. If you send me your email I will pass it on to my agent who can send you one from the office. The cost including postage is GBP 28.

  50. Hi Saba,
    Been seeing your programs for some time now.Great work. I got a dormant animal NGO of my own. I live in a remote area of Pakistani Salt Range. There are a few species of felines here,yet unrecognised -locally called Palra and Barida. A few sightings etc. by the locals but due to the difficult area no photographs yet. Anyways good work and keep it up.Regards.

  51. Hi Saba,
    I just finished watching Baby Elephant Rescue on a local station here in Chicago and was really impressed by what your doing for the elephants. Just recently Ringling Bro. Barnum & Baily Circus here in the States finally retired their elephants after pressure from animal lovers and they will no longer be part of the circus. Keep up the great work and maybe I could visit the Watch Camp one day. Sounds like a exciting time.

  52. Hello Saba
    Recently saw a series on BBC where you opened a safari camp
    Still open? and if so how do I go about making a booking?

  53. Hi Ma’am
    This is Arvinder Sodhi from India. I have studied English Literature throughout my life. And my ideal writer is Sir William Wordsworth, the greatest bard of Nature. I consider nature my closet friend. Nature and Literature are inseparable. I really love the way you and your dad are so much attached to the Nature and Wildlife. I just want to say that thank God people like you still exist in the cosmos. You are even very nice to local people too. I was just watching your documentry about Black Rhino in which you were surrounded by a lot of Black rhinos. It was so beutiful. They were really like butterflies of the night.
    I would like to write some poems for you but before that i would read and know more about you and your emotions towards nature. I would like to know more about your emotional attachment with nature and wildlife.

    And Ma’am one last thing, you are very beautiful and sweet mam. 🙂

    God Bless you and your family (Nature)
    Arvinder Sodhi
    (A humble fan of yours)

  54. Hello,

    I’m Qamar Wanjiku, in Nairobi Kenya. And I’ve just been browsing your Elephant Watch Portfolio . Its so beautiful, and marvelous . The story of how you met Virgo, is so touching, and your whole life in the wild. I’m honestly pretty jealous, and I wish I had been born in such a family. Wonder how awesome it would’ve been.

    Quite astonishing that I’ve never even known that we have so many private organizations taking care of our heritage, and I’m sure only like 2,000 of the rest of Kenya know this. With all the poaching of wildlife and encroachment of their habitat, increasing human – wildlife conflict, I think we, especially in Africa need to be the number one protectors of our wildlife. Its amazing how stupid human beings can be, in exchanging a healthy 60 year old Tusker for a few trinkets and idols.

    I’d like to applaud you for the good good job you and your family have done over the years.

    How possible is it also, that your documentaries are aired on local Tv programmes? And even a bit on how to co exist with wildlife like you guys do even in your camps.

    I’d also like to ask for permission before hand. Since 11th August is World Elephant Day, I’ll be sharing your photos on Twitter and Facebook just as part of my own private Anti-Poaching and Pro Elephant campaign. I am really an Elephant girl, though Ive never actually seen a live one in my entire life. I’m looking forward to visiting The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi and adopting a calf soon.

    Thanks and keep up.

  55. Thank you for making the world aware of the plight of the elephants. I have watched nearly everything you have made, including Big Cat Diary, and always love learning from you. I recently watched a program “The Mind of a Giant”, and saw a bull elephant who knew that humans would kill him for his tusks. So, when he saw a human, he would turn and hide his tusks in a bush. It just proves that they are aware of themselves as individuals. And, I have always wondered what they are doing when they stand, quietly, for long periods of time. And learned that it is believed they are thinking. What incredible creatures!! I hope you and yours, and your wonderful father, are blessed. Thanks again for sharing elephants with the world.

  56. Hello Sara,
    I first watched your show Lioness bonding with a baby Oryx calf . That episode made me to visit Samburu in 2011. I never miss watching any wildlife shows on NATGEO channels. I also watched your episodes in Samburu about Elephants and their social life. I am visiting Kenya in September for safari and wish I could meet you in Kenya :). Any chance you will be in Kenya during September 2016?

  57. Hi SABA,

    How did you get into this career? When i see your shows, I was hoping if i could be there too. Is that possible for someone with a BSc.Computer Science degree to get into these kinds of action? Because, I rather prefer to live in the real world than the virtual one.

    You are a tough lady, who loves the job you do. Can you help?


      • Madam, IJust saw ur documentary in animal planet ….idont have any words to express my deep feelings… mother lion and child calf live story really natures beautful story u people captured and showed us , it great thing and thank full to u and ur team…. at end,my eye wetted with tear …it is requested pls deleat last clips…
        Surya Prakash Rao

      • I’m afraid it’s impossible to change the film as it was edited over 10 years ago and tells the true story of Kamunyak the lioness and her adopted calf. It’s an extraordinary example of nature being turned on its head. I’m sorry that it made you cry, but that is the power of beauty, truth and tragedy in our world. Saba

  58. Hi Saba and all your family,
    Wishing you all the best for your future and the wonderful work you do with our beautiful animals of this world,
    I’ve worked with horses for 43 years and share the passion of a lifetime,

    Peter Salmon.

  59. Saba – this is a personal question. Did you ever photograph with David Attenboroug a lion which you guys called “Jason”?

  60. Saba,
    I am a retired oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and facial pain specialist, here in New York. The only wildlife I’ve ever experienced first-hand, outside of a zoo or nature preserve, has been working for many years in the vast wilds of Manhattan. So you can see how much I appreciate learning about all the wild animals of Africa from presenters like you, Simon, and Jonathan, on “Big Cat Diary”.

    I’m just writing to thank you for the wonderful job you always do on the show, which I watch five days a week. Your commentary is ever so sharp and insightful, warm and loving. Your affection for all the big cats, and your absolute devotion to their well being, is so very heartwarming, and so very contagious as well. Now that I’ve researched your background and your life, I see that you are also a wonderfully devoted daughter, wife, and Mommy. Being a Daddy to three lovely daughters, and Grandpa to eleven delicious kids, I appreciate that most of all.

    I just want to wish you much continued success with all your important animal preservation and public education work. May God grant you, Frank, and the kids many many years of life, love, and happiness together!

    With much warm admiration and respect,

    Norm Gold

    • Dear Norm – thanks for your lovely comment. It makes me very happy to hear how much you’ve been enjoying Big Cat Diary. Perhaps you should come to Kenya with some of your kids or grandchildren to experience it all for yourself. If you do we have a wonderful Camp in north Kenya where we specialise in all things elephant, and of course, all the other fascinating creatures that share their habitat. It’s called Elephant Watch Camp, and you can have a sneak peak of what we get up to on our website http://www.elephantwatchportfolio.com

      I’m hoping to come to the States sometime in the near future to do the National Geographic lecture circuit. Perhaps we might even get to say hello in person.



  61. I have, what seems, a silly idea but the conversation “may” spark a solution. Am just an animal lover, no formal study, this is simply an outline. Hire the poachers, pay them a bit more than the bad guys do. Their job description is care for the animals/habitat (that they use to destroy). I see the poachers as humans, who live in a limiting society and not many choices for survival. Turn. them to good, There are MANY well known, large resources Americans who am sure would participate. ..not to mention ALL the money that flows into the animal protection funds now that can be used to pay the “new” good guys!!! Hope Iain and/or Saba get this idea. If anyone can make it work they can!

    • This has been tried successfully in many places. Unfortunately, Africa is huge and the range of African elephants equally so. The scale of killing across the continent is massive. But small steps and working locally is how change begins.

  62. Hello Saba, I think we were on your camp, at least in the swimmingpool-area, in 2005. Staying with tents on a campsite next to the river near the lodge we were allowed to use the swimmingpool ! Just minutes ago saw you on TV over in NL, on Belgium 1. But it was nice to see, and bringing back fond memories !! Keep up the good work, Jan Pieper, NL.

  63. Dear Saba,
    I am a great fan of your work and find what you do and stand for truly inspirational. However I cannot help but think that with the ever growing human population in Africa the task of preserving nature and natural habitats will become more and more difficult. Would love to know your thoughts on that.
    Wishing you all the best and hope to see you in London in 2017!

  64. Hello Saba,
    I would like to thank you for the marvelous things you and your husband are doing out there.Keep up the good work, you and your team are doing a wonderful and worth while job!!
    I’m following your adventures on TV here in Belgium (Europe) I like all the animals it’s a pity that the human’s kill them.

  65. Hello Saba,
    I am not sure if you will remember me… Valerie the little french girl, it was about 30 years ago! You came to Nîmes and the next summer I join you and your family for 2 magic months in Kenya. I have no idear if this the best way to contact you… I just want to say that this summer I am coming back with my family to your beautiful country. If you were there and had some free time you could maybe catch up. I know you are probably super busy…I leave you my details below…. all the best to you and your lovely family! Valerie

  66. Hi Saba! I was just wondering why you left Big Cat Diary. I really miss the cast (human & animal) of the show but still watch the reruns on Animal Planet every morning! I wish you well on any & all of your projects! Sincerely, Gidget

  67. Hi Miss Douglas Hamilton
    You met my sister and my mother last year at you talk in Tunbridge Wells (you may remember my sister Samira) and your show and your work have had a massive influence on her! Since starting secondary school she’s looking into working in conservation and veterinary work when she’s older and this is down to you! I am posting this to say a) thank you for being a positive role model for my sister and b) would you mind answering some questions about your sixth form? I’m reapplying to UWC this year and noticed you were an alumni from Atlantic College, so I was wondering if you applied directly or went through the committee? Also what was AC like and was UWC worth it? And are you still in contact with your old classmates and the movement in general? Sorry if any of these are intrusive or personal, I’m a tiny bit obsessed with UWC…

  68. Dear Saba,

    We hope this message finds you and all your loved ones (animals and people alike) well and in good health.
    We are fascinated by wildlife with my wife. We’ve watched so many documentaries and among those we’ve started watching (almost binge watching) your TV show. It’s amazing what your parents started and just so wonderful that you’ve followed in their steps.
    My father was a vet and I’ve always loved and respected animals. It just took us two episodes to decide we want to go to your camp and contribute in at least some way to your campaign on wildlife conservation. It stunned me to know that between 2011 and 2014 100k elephants were killed by poachers.
    It really broke my heart because they are such wonderful animals, so intelligent and social. We’ve also seen how hard conservationists like yourself, and those who rescue abandoned and orphaned baby elephants, work against that heartless market.
    My wife is Chinese and I am from Colombia, we live in China and are planning on moving to Australia next year but would definitely like to save money so that we can go meet you, your Kenyan staff and your elephants to give you all a big hug full of thanks and blessings for the mission you took in your lives.
    It might take us a couple of years to save enough money to go visit (moving countries is no cheap enterprise as you might know), but we will definitely go. How can we get more details on how get a quotation so we can start filling up the piggy bank?

    My email address is camandresjl@hotmail.com and my wife’s is 649597931@qq.com (just signed her up for your newsletter).

    With much love and respect for you and your loved ones we pray G-d blesses you and keep you all.

    Sincerely yours,

    ManMan Lang and Camilo Andres Junca-Leon

  69. My name is Muriel Harrison and i live in Lanarkshire Scotland,originally from Perthshire Scotland.I have always loved elephants,takes my breath away everytime i watch them on tv.Have just watched programme on tv yet again of you and your family and the wonderful people you work with.Amazing from start to finish.It never ceases to amaze me and stirs my heart to watch the great work you all do to help the elephants and keep them safe.I love the gorgeous bracelets and neck decorations the people wear,so bright and colourful.Good luck in all you do and a great big thank you from a very grateful elephant lover.67 Year old Granny.ane animal lover. Takecare. Thank you.X

  70. Hello Saba,
    I’ve discovered your documentaries not long ago by chance and I really liked them. I’ve been going through a depression and seeing you with all that positive energy next to your family (of humans and of elephants) was the perfect distraction for me. You are such an inspiring person and it makes me really happy watching your adventures. Hopefully I will attend to one of your talks in the UK.

    Keep doing what you are doing because you are the best at it.

    All the best to you and your family,

  71. Hi Saba,
    I have followed your work and that of Save the Elephants for so many years and I’m madly frustrated to have to miss your 2017 UK Tour as I will be away for the entire time. Is there a chance you may extend the Tour with extra dates (hopefully) or will you plan to Tour again sometime soon? I’m based in South Wales and have been very fortunate to have experienced a number of safaris across Kenya and the Rift Valley after having worked with wild animals in the UK. Very best to you and your family.
    Pat Pecci

    • HI Patti – I’m sorry you’ll be missing my tour in Nov. The only solution I can think of immediately is coming to the Steppes Travel Beyond Festival in London where I’m speaking on Oct 1st in the morning at the Royal Geographical Society. I will definitely be coming back again at a later date for another tour, so will do my best to come to South Wales. I was at school near Llantwit Major during a very formative part of my life, so am a big Wales fan! S

  72. Hi Saba, We have never met but we do have a connection, sort of. I was living in Nanyuki in the 70’s and my neighbour was Sandy Field. One night Sandy’s store room caught fire. Inside the store were many written records of your father’s research. Poor Sandy was distraught. We all tried to get the fire under control but due to gas bottles also stored there we had to retreat. Very sorry we could not save more than we did.

  73. Dear Saba
    I have just watched your series on Eden TV here in the UK.
    Looking at your amazing place I was wondering if you ever need people to help?
    I have no qualifications other than a past Nursing career… but would love to take some time out and be apart of your team for a period of time.

    • HI Moira, thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately we aren’t able to take volunteers, as we have to give first option to Kenyan citizens. However nurses are always hugely helpful out in the bush so you never know! Am trying to set up a mobile clinic, but it’s a way off still. Best, S

  74. Dear Saba,
    I’m encouraged by your passion towards nature. This is the way to go if as human beings wish future generation to find earth worthy living in.
    Well, I’m a Kenyan whose professional background is in tourism/ conservation. I’ve worked for tour operators as a driver guide and conservation organization particularly African Wildlife foundation as a driver/field assistant.
    I would wish to work with you in an capacity that suites my qualification and passion. I kindly request you if you have some work that I do I’ll appreciate. My CV,certificates and testimonials are readily available on request.
    I wish you you well in your work.

    • Hi Felix – I’ve only just seen your comments now. So great to hear how passionate you are about wildlife. At the moment I’m afraid I don’t have any work opportunities available, but you can certainly send me your CV. Try to DM me on FB. S

  75. An eternal admirer ever since I first saw you on Big Cat Diary…so sorry I missed your birthday this year…My hobby had been feeding strays before I got my first kitteh. My cat is now over 6yrs of age…and is a unique tortie…with tortitude and her name is Tonka…we both wish you and your whole bunch of creatures all the best. 🐾🍰🌐 bless you ♌ T&V 😻👱

  76. Hi saba, I am from Pakistan. Me snd my husband have seen your documentaries about elephant and we loved the one where a lioness kept some other baby. We want to come and visit your camp. Thanks

  77. Happy New Year Saba, and keep up the good work. Impressive stuff. Mimi ni MKenya kama wewe tu Saba, and one of the things I really loved when watching one of your features, is the way you are bringing up your daughters just the way you yourself were brought up:-) I’ll continue to follow you & your work as much as I can both on social media & conventional media, Saba. In one of the features that I watched about you, you mentioned that you were not Facebook savvy, but that was a while back. I’m sure by now you are a guru on quite a number of social media platforms, not just Facebook. Have a great weekend & a great 2019, Saba:-)

    • Thank you Michael – what a LOVELY message to receive to start off 2019 from a fellow Kenyan! Much appreciated. Yes, I’m a bit better on FB now!!! Although it meant being dragged kicking and screaming into the C21st by my friend Bernard Lesirin. It was all so confusing at first but I’ve kinda got the hand of it now! Much prefer instagram to FB though. Are you in the UK or Kenya? If in the UK, am doing as series of lectures in April that might be a nice link to home. And a very happy new year to you too!

      • I’m based here at home in Kenya Saba, so I will not be able to catch up with your series of lectures in the UK this coming April. Not to worry though Saba, we will touch base here at home in Kenya one of these fine days, hopefully this year in 2019. We are of the same times Saba actually i.e. I am just one year older than you, though we grew up in different parts of Kenya. Didn’t we all?:-) Have a great weekend Saba, and I will make an effort to catch up with one of your series of lectures that you will conduct while here in Kenya. Is there a link and/or website where I can follow up on your Kenyan circuit of events/Kenyan programs, Saba?

  78. Good Morning,

    My name is Carlos Vicente Cordero, I am currently a student in the third year of Biology at the University of Navarra, Spain. I started my studies as a Biologist because of the passion and interest that nature arouses me.

    During the summer I try to do internships, because it is when I have more time available, to continue forming in what I like and what I want to dedicate in the near future. Documentaries of nature and photography is something that has always fascinated me and that to which I try to focus my professional life. I get in touch with you to make you reach my intentions to request practices for next summer and to communicate my interest in your work.

    I have been reading carefully your website and I find your work very interesting. I have no problem on mailing the curriculum or any other information require. Thank you very much in advance.


    Carlos Vicente Cordero

    • Good afternoon Saba, I was wondering if you had an appropriate official correspondence address to which I could write on behalf of St. Donats Nursery at Atlantic College in your capacity as an alumni of the college.

      Many thanks


  79. Jannita is interested in finding out about her great-grandfather Charlies Hamilton who lived and worked in Kenya and Somalia and Sudan for most of his life. Where might we find more biographical information in Kenya? We will visit one day.

  80. A fascinating life! I look forward to your appearance in Aylesbury with The Elephant Footprint. If anyone is able, could they please send me, or reply with, more details about The Elephant Footprint, for local media please?

  81. Hello Saba, Frank and kids, its 20 June 2022 and I’m watching this wild life on bbc earth, they are playing the series here in New Zealand. I am retired now and at some stage I hope to visit your camp to see Kenya up close. Your story is very compelling, an interesting life! Good luck and see you.

  82. Hi Sarah.
    My name is Leszek and I come from Poland. I have been watching you on Polish TV for years and I always think that you are lucky to live among African animals. This life and filming of African animals has been my dream since I was a child. But life has written a different script for me. I grew up in communist Poland where I couldn’t make my dreams come true. Now that I’m middle-aged, I decided to visit Kenya in July 2021. I fell in love with this country and Kenyan nature. It’s impossible to make a dream come true in a 2-3 day Safari, because I’ve always wanted to work with wild animals. Watching the films with your participation and with your father’s participation, I am impressed that this is the case in Kenya in the Samburu Reserve. Can I volunteer at the center run by you and your father? I would also like to meet you personally because for me you are the embodiment of my childhood dreams.

    • Hello Leszek, I’m glad to hear you made it to Kenya and fell in love with the country. It is a wonderful place. Very sadly we don’t have volunteer positions at Save The Elephants. There’s an intern-programme, but that applies mostly to science graduates who then twin with a Kenyan student.

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