WSC Stories | Wildlife Safari
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In the WSC Stories theatre, we want to inspire you with our savvy line-up of stories tellers who will encourage you to think about what you want from your next Wildlife – Safari – Conservation travel experience. From award winning wildlife photographers, conservationists, travel writers and travel guides, come listen to their astonishing animal encounters in the field, bush and polar regions. These talks are not to be missed!

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Saturday 29 September 2018

10:40 – 11:10  Details for this talk will be announced shortly.

11:20 – 11:50  What’s it like to work on the frontlines of wildlife conservation? Dr Niki Rust

Niki Rust is a wildlife conservationist and a journalist with a passion for big cats. Having spent most of the last decade in Africa researching into how best to conserve these charismatic species, she’s now back in the UK where she writes about wildlife for the BBC and New Scientist. Niki has worked for a multitude of conservation organisations in the past, including BirdLife, San Diego Zoo and Cheetah Conservation Fund. Most recently, she was WWF’s media spokesperson where she was regularly interviewed by Sky, ITV and the BBC about pressing conservation issues. She now trains conservationists in communication skills to help them inspire the general public into action to help protect the natural world.

12:00 – 12:30  Details for this talk will be announced shortly.

12:40 – 13:10  When the Last Lion Roars. Sara Evans

Sara Evans is an award-winning writer, specialising in travel and wildlife. Her work has featured in numerous publications, including the Sunday Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday, The Australian, The Boston Globe, BBC Wildlife Magazine and Africa Geographic. Sara will talk about her new book When The Last Lion Roars which considers how lions – that once roamed much of the earth – have been brought to the brink of extinction. She will also talk about what is being done to save this globally-iconic species and reverse the current crisis in lion conservation.

13:20 – 13:50 Big Cats, Rhinos and Wilderness. Simon King OBE.

Simon was born on 27th of December 1962 in Nairobi, Kenya. He began his career as a child actor at the age of ten, but soon moved into the field of natural history. Simon has contributed memorable footage to some off the BBC’s most prestigious wildlife series including Blue Planet, Life in the Freezer and Planet earth. Simon is involved with many wildlife charities – The Wildlife Trust, Tusk Trust, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and The Woodland Trust, to name but a few. He launched the Simon King Wildlife Project in 2014 which is a registered charity dedicated to land restoration, education and engagement in the natural world.

14:00 – 14:30 Why it’s time to remember and not just photograph wildlife. Margot Raggett

Wildlife photographer Margot Raggett shares how seeing a poached elephant in Kenya in 2014 changed her life and caused her to start the highly-acclaimed Remembering Wildlife charity book series. During the course of her talk she’ll share images from all three books – Remembering Elephants, Remembering Rhinos and Remembering Great Apes – and talk about the process of putting the books together, attracting the support of the likes of Art Wolfe, Steve Winter, Greg du Toit and Frans Lanting and how she managed to gain international attention and endorsement from the likes of Russell Crowe, Chris Martin and Ricky Gervais. Her talk will culminate in a book signing and a sneak preview of the forthcoming Remembering Great Apes.

14:40 – 15:10 My adventures as a wildlife photographer and why the Emperor is The Perfect Penguin. Sue Flood

Sue Flood is an award-winning wildlife photographer and former BBC Natural History Unit filmmaker, who worked on The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and the Disney movie Earth, before leaving the BBC to concentrate on her photography. Her adventures include swimming with humpback whales, diving under the Arctic ice with beluga whales, and camping in the Antarctic for 6 weeks to photograph her favourite subject – the Emperor penguin. When not on assignment, Sue regularly guides wildlife photography trips for clients to all seven continents. Come and find out why Sue says she has the best job in the world!

Sue will be signing copies of her new book “Emperor – the Perfect Penguin” after her talk. 

15:20 – 15:50  The Unexpected Truth About Animals. Lucy Cooke

Brilliant natural history, starring lovesick hippos, stoned sloths, exploding bats and frogs in taffeta trousers… History is full of strange animal stories invented by the brightest and most influential, from Aristotle to Disney. But when it comes to understanding animals, we’ve got a long way to go. In The Unexpected Truth About Animals, Zoologist Lucy Cooke, unravels many such myths – that eels are born from sand, that swallows hibernate under water, and that bears gave birth to formless lumps that are licked into shape by their mothers – to show that the stories we create reveal as much about us as they do about the animals. Astonishing, illuminating and laugh-out-loud funny.

16:00 – 16:30 Presenting Tusk Trust. Advancing Conservation Across Africa

Tusk’s projects provide greater protection for more than 40 different threatened species and many more that share the same landscapes. As well as protecting African elephant, rhino and lion, Tusk’s projects are playing a critical role in the survival of cheetah, chimpanzee, eastern lowland and Cross River gorilla, painted dog, Grevy’s zebra, giant sable, Cape vulture, Alaotran gentle lemur, hawksbill turtle, and many more, some of which are described further below. In keeping with Tusk’s overall philosophy these projects are often not solely focused on wildlife, instead they take an integrated approach to conservation working hand in hand with local communities and combining the protection of wildlife with the management and sustainable use of natural resources.

16:40 – 17:20 Tusk – Charity Auction

Charity Auction with amazing lots to bid on, sponsored by event partners, speakers and exhibitors. All proceeds raised from the auction will be donated to Tusk Trust.

For more details on the Tusk Charity Auction, please click here.

Sunday 30 September 2018

10:40 – 11:10  The Matriarch Adventure, elephants lead the way. Catherine Edsell

Catherine Edsell has 20 years experience in wildlife conservation through independent and collaborative expedition work around the world. Noticing that adventure in remote and extreme environments with other women has a powerful transformative effect, she designed The Matriarch Adventure, marrying conservation with personal development. This is a story of how ordinary women have an extraordinary adventure, re-discovering what it is to be confident, self-reliant and empowered, inspired by the natural world.

11:20 – 11:50  Costa Rica, ultimate jungle. Tim Martin

Tim Martin is a former BBC wildlife film maker who has been photographing and filming in Costa Rica for 30 years. He’s foraged with monkeys, joined a column of army ants, been bullied by a scarlet macaw and had snakes in his bedroom. He’s witnessed Costa Rica emerging as a global leader in conservation: over 25% of the land and 15% of the sea is protected, forest cover has doubled and hunting has been banned. There’s nowhere better to get close to spectacular tropical wildlife.

12:00 – 12:30  The Wildest Adventures! When and Where to Travel for Epic Wildlife Encounters. Catherine Capon for Hurtigruten.

Catherine is hugely passionate about inspiring others to travel to the untouched corners of our planet. Her aim is to promote wildlife adventures and re-engage people in the natural world. She believes that spending time with wild animals is the key to encouraging us to live more consciously on our planet. Prompted by her early fascination with the outdoors, Catherine went on to study Ecology and Zoology at Imperial College London. Her first expedition saw her studying bats in Honduras and it was during this time, separated from all of modern life’s ‘necessities’, that she became fiercely protective of the wildlife around her. Cat’s life since university has seen her working in wildlife film-making and sustainability communication.

Determined to encourage holiday makers to do something more adventurous with their time off work, Cat is currently embarking on a project to write about, film and photograph wildlife hotspots around the planet. Her adventures are documented on her vacation inspiration website

12:40 – 13:10 Wilderness, wildlife and our wildest dreams. The journey of Pinnon Lodges.

Lyndon Pinches is a former army officer. In 2014 Lyndon and his wife Ruth left their jobs in the UK to work in conservation. Following an initial stint working in Anti-poaching in Malawi they decided to get on a bus to Zambia to build a safari lodge. After a year of getting permissions and permits they finally completed building in Aug 2016, as filmed by the Channel 4 series Our Wildest Dreams. Two years on, despite fires, floods and numerous other challenges the lodge continues to grow and support conservation in the Kafue National park.

13:20 – 13:50 Heavy Metal Marine Biology. The Blowfish

A truly unique journey through the underwater denizens of this planet. As seen through the eyes of the world’s ONLY Heavy Metal Marine Biologist, Tom “The Blowfish” Hird will open your eyes to some of the most amazing, incredible, gruesome and disgusting facts found in the ocean. This 30 min talk is a must for those who love wildlife trivia or want to know more about the seas. Loud and dangerous (and that’s just The Blowfish) this is a talk you don’t want to miss.

14:00 – 14:30  Oceans Alive with Whales and Dolphins. Anna Bunney, ORCA

Anna Bunney is Education Coordinator at ORCA, one of the UK’s leading marine conservation charities. Anna manages an innovative nationwide outreach programme inspiring people on land and at sea about whales, dolphins and porpoises. ORCA has championed marine conservation for over 15 years and their mission is to give everyone who cares about whales and dolphins an active role in safeguarding their future. Anna will be talking about the unique partnership ORCA and Silversea Cruises launched earlier this year, and the incredible cruise to the west coast of the US she worked on in May 2018, sharing her knowledge of the rich diversity of marine life you can encounter on such a voyage.


14:40 – 15:10  How travelling in Africa inspired us to create a gin brand. Tessa & Robin Gerlach.

Tessa and Robin were inspired to create Elephant Gin following their own adventures in Africa. They strongly believe that this generation has a responsibility to support the African wildlife today, so others can continue to enjoy it in the future. In 2013, they developed the award-winning Elephant London Dry Gin (45%) that uses rare African botanicals and focuses on resolutely artisan production methods. Since December 2015, the company has complemented its portfolio with an aromatic Elephant Sloe Gin (35%) and in March 2017 introduced a full-bodied Elephant Strength (57%). For each full-size bottle sold, 15% of profits are donated to Big Life Foundation and Space for Elephants, while with each miniature bottle, Elephant Gin contributes 15% of profits to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. All of these organisations are devoted to the conservation of the African elephant.

15:20 – 16:00  Details for this talk will be announced shortly.

Please be aware the scheduled programme may be subject to change.