Beverly Joubert: Explorer in Residence

Beverly is an intuitive photographer rather than a technical one, a person who lives and breathes Africa and its wild open places filled with big cats and elephants, racing zebras or bubbling lava flows. National Geographic Explorer in Residence, just one of 14 people selected to represent this level of professionalism in the Society, she has specialized in African photography for nearly 30 years, with images in a dozen or more National Geographic Magazines, in 10 books, and thousands of articles around the world.



Some would say that she and husband Dereck Joubert, are among the most famous wildlife filmmakers in the world, and in this pursuit she co-producers with Dereck and records sound. An equally important passion for Beverly is that of creating an image that tells a complete story in one instant, one frame; a story that is both a celebration of the sheer beauty and wonder of wildlife and also a window into its future.

She is a child of Africa and that seems to make all the difference because deeply embedded in her work is a knowledge of her subjects; she seems to understand the leopard through the highlights on the eyes and what it will do next, because she has seen it thousands of times before. She feels the mist swirl around a male lion… and we as observers of the image she gives us, can also feel the roar that is about to come from its mouth, because she has heard those roars daily for decades.

The authenticity of her work has been recognized by institutions like the American Academy of Achievement, and in The World Ecology Award, let alone six Emmy Awards, a Peabody and endless other notable film awards that they have collected together. She is a founder of the Big Cats Initiative and sits on the board of WildAid in San Francisco, and regionally on Great Plains Conservation boards in Kenya and Botswana. Their TED talk (2010) has also been seen by thousands of people.

Her passion for wildlife is endless. Perhaps for Beverly, the most prestigious and valued accolade is the Presidential Order of Merit given to her by the president of Botswana His Excellency Ian Khama, for work done for the enhancement of the reputation of Botswana via her images.

But Beverly’s eye for light and recognizing a unique moment in wildlife comes from quite simply doing the time in places she loves, with someone she loves and with a healthy blend of outrage against what is happening to these wild places and the precious animals she knows so well.