About Me

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 DPhil. Virgo had a single right tusk and at eighteen years old hadn’t yet learnt to be afraid of man. Being both inquisitive and rather friendly it wasn’t long before she became habituated to the researchers and would walk over to greet them when they called her name.

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On Saba’s first meeting with Virgo, her mother, Oria, 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.

A year later Saba’s sister, Mara, was born. The children ran wild in the African bush learning bush-lore from the rangers and absorbing all there was to know about elephants. Kiswahili was their first language and they hardly ever 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 from which she graduated with a first class degree in Social Anthropology (MA).

Saba’s first job was with Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia, working in the hinterland of the Skeleton Coast on a Crafts for Conservation project.  She was then head hunted by the School for International Training to work as an academic director in Tanzania, and later did a stint as an anthropological consultant for the National Museums of Kenya.

In 1997 Saba joined her father’s charity Save the Elephants (STE) as Chief Operations Officer to help build up their research center in Samburu National Reserve, north Kenya.  It was here that she was talent-spotted by the BBC and began her life as a TV presenter and producer of wildlife documentaries.

Saba lives in Kenya with her husband, Frank Pope, and their three young children, and currently runs the family’s luxury tented eco-lodge, Elephant Watch Camp. A 10 part BBC series – This Wild Life – has just been made about their lives in Samburu, which is showing in the UK on BBC 2 at 7pm from 31st August 2015, every Monday and Tuesday throughout September.

JK_IMG_8201_Saba, Frank and Iain with the children by the Save the Elephants plane

162 thoughts on “About Me

  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

  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

  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!
    Brianna

  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.

      • 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

  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
    Scilla

  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. 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?

  19. 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. . .
        Annie

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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 )

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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?

    Sincerely
    James

    • 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?

  30. 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.

  31. 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 !)

  32. 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

  33. 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.

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

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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
    Jane

  38. 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 …

    Sarah

    • 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!

  39. 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.
    Ben
    (ben@benwaddams.com)

  40. 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!!

    Sam

  41. 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.

  42. 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)

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.
    Tim

  46. 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?

  47. 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)
    Thanks
    Arvinder Sodhi
    (A humble fan of yours)

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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?

  51. 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?

    Thanks,
    Vimal

      • 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…
        Regards
        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

  52. 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.

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

  54. 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.

      best,

      Saba

  55. 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

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