Dereck and Beverly Joubert
on Wildlife Conservation in Botswana
We want to be Dereck and Beverly Joubert when we grow up. Living and working side by side, these award-winning filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence and wildlife conservationists have been filming, researching and exploring Africa for over 30 years now.
Together the Jouberts have made 25 films for National Geographic, published 11 books and half a dozen scientific papers, and written many articles for the magazine. Their films have received international recognition, including 7 Emmy Awards, a Peabody and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival. They were also awarded a World Ecology Award alongside Prince Charles and Richard Leakey, and inducted into the American Academy of Achievement in 2009.
But what we admire most about the Jouberts is their passion and dedication to their mission to conserve Africa’s key wildlife species. Through their company, Great Plains Conservation, they continue to meld conservation and sustainable ecotourism by purchasing vital tracts of land (many of which were formerly used for hunting) to be protected and preserved for the benefit of local wildlife and the surrounding communities. Today that land totals about 1.8 million acres in Africa.
Having worked with the Jouberts to raise money for their Rhinos Without Borders project earlier this year, we were delighted to speak with them about their new film for Nature, “Soul of the Elephant.” The documentary, which finds the couple paddling from one end of a river to the other in Botswana’s Selinda Reserve (home to over 7,000 elephants), airs Wednesday, October 14 at 8PM on PBS.