ExplorersBio

Dereck and Beverly Joubert

Filmmakers/Conservationists

Explorers-in-Residence

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Photograph by Beverly Joubert

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are globally recognized, award-winning filmmakers, conservationists, and National Geographic explorers-in-residence based in Botswana. Their mission for more than 30 years has been the conservation of key wildlife species, with a focus on large predators. In 2009, National Geographic, along with the Jouberts, founded the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term effort to halt the decline of big cats in the wild and protect the ecosystems they inhabit.

The Jouberts have published 12 books, produced 30 films for National Geographic, and written half a dozen scientific papers as well as many articles for National Geographic magazine. Beverly is also an acclaimed photographer for National Geographic, and has had exhibitions displayed globally. They have received 8 Emmy Awards (and 22 Emmy nominations), a Peabody Award, a Grand Teton Award, multiple Golden Panda Awards, a World Ecology Award (along with Britain’s Prince Charles, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle, and paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey), and a Presidential Order of Merit awarded by Botswana’s president, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, for their conservation work.

The Jouberts’ films have received widespread attention. More than a billion people across 127 countries are estimated to have viewed one of their early films, Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas. Their 2011 documentary The Last Lions, filmed in Botswana, has become a powerful ambassador for lions in the wild, reaching over 350 million people globally. The Last Lions won Best Theatrical Film at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, among other awards.

The Jouberts are leading conservationists as spokespeople and change-makers. One example is their project Rhinos Without Borders to relocate 100 rhinos out of the highest poaching zones of South Africa to Botswana.

The Jouberts’ efforts—as filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers—have one aim: to save the wild places of Africa, and to protect the creatures that depend on them. Botswana President Ian Khama recently said it well: “Theirs is a lifelong passion; for each other, for big cats, for Africa…they are true ‘children of Africa.’”

Support My Project

  • Photo: African lion

    The Big Cats Initiative

    From lions in Kenya to snow leopards in the Himalaya, the big cats of the world need help. Lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, and other top felines are quickly disappearing, all victims of habitat loss and degradation as well as conflicts with humans.

  • Drawing: Lion in grass with flowers

    Write a Letter to a Lion

    Write letters to lions and the Jouberts will deliver them to African leaders to let them know how important lions are to kids everywhere.

Inside National Geographic Magazine

  • <p>Photo: A mother leopard and cub</p>

    Raising a Leopard

    Teaching a spirited cub to survive in the wilds of Botswana takes all the skill and patience a mother leopard can muster.

  • <p>Photo: Lions and buffalo</p>

    Killer Pride

    Dereck and Beverly Joubert discuss a wildlife relationship that could easily be thrown off balance.

  • cape-buffalo-475.jpg

    Joubert Field Notes

    Dereck and Beverly Joubert discuss their field work for National Geographic magazine's "Botswana's Lions" feature article.

  • lion-attacking-buffalo-615.jpg

    Protecting Predators

    Dereck and Beverly Joubert have devoted their lives to the belief that big cats matter. Here's why.

Movies

Books

  • joubert-book-leopard.jpg

    Books

    Experience the compelling stories the Jouberts encounter in the field.

In Their Words

We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats.

—Dereck Joubert

Big Cats Week 2012

Photos

  • Photo: A lone lioness reluctantly gives up her kill as a wall of African buffalo crowd in to protect it

    Photo: Killer Pride

    Rarely witnessed behavior marks the predator-prey relationship of a pride of lions and a herd of Cape buffalo.

Audio

Listen to Dereck and Beverly Joubert

Hear various interviews with the Jouberts on National Geographic Weekend.

  • One of the new threats facing southern Africa's big cats is also an old one. National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Dereck and Beverley Joubert, tells Boyd that the fashion industry is looking for an edgy new trend -- and they're returning to furs. Although Botswana has banned all hunting inside its borders, the Jouberts say that there are only 50,000 leopards left and that a few thousand are being poached yearly. They also chat about their new movie, The Unlikely Leopard, about a cat that may have become a bit too comfortable letting his mother provide for him.

  • National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert capture astounding images of African wildlife in their beautiful films. The Jouberts live in the African bush alongside the lions and other animals they profile. They explain to Boyd that, because big cats are in such danger, their work is now focused on conservation projects such as the Cause an Uproar program.

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