Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence and wildlife conservationists, who have been filming, researching and exploring in Africa for over 30 years. Their mission is the conservation and understanding of the large predators and other key wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa. They are the founders of the Big Cats Initiative with National Geographic, which currently funds 39 grants in 17 countries for the conservation of big cats.
The Jouberts have made 25 films for National Geographic, published 11 books, half a dozen scientific papers, and have written many articles for the National Geographic Magazine. Beverly Joubert is also an acclaimed photographer and her international exhibitions have further helped to raise awareness for the plight of big cats across the world.
Their films have received international recognition with major accolades including 7 Emmys, a Peabody, Wildscreen Panda Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival, to name but a few. The Jouberts were also awarded the World Ecology Award alongside Prince Charles and Richard Leakey, and in 2009, they were inducted into the American Academy of Achievement.
In 2011, Dereck and Beverly were honored with the Presidential Order of Meritorious Service by the President of Botswana for their work within the country. The Jouberts 2011 film, “The Last Lions,” was filmed in Botswana and has since become a powerful ambassador for wild lions globally, reaching over 350 million people and collecting an array of international awards in the process. ‘The Last Lions’ won Best Theatrical Film at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, 4 SAFTA Awards in South Africa and in May 2013, the film received 5 International Wildlife Flim Festival Awards. National Geographic has agreed to donate all profits from the film to the conservation of lions. Every win for ‘The Last Lions’, has been a win for Africa’s big cats.
In recent years, the Jouberts have expanded their conservation outreach through another business venture, ‘Great Plains Conservation’. Dereck is CEO of the company, and together with their business partners, they have found a way to bring together conservation, communities and conservation tourism to fund large tracts of land that can be protected for the local wildlife and the surrounding communities. Today that land totals about 1.8 million acres in Africa. Great Plains Conservation has won many awards including Best Safari Accommodation Group and Best Safari Properties in Africa at the 2013 Safari Awards and 4 Best Safari Destination Awards from The Robb Report, Relais & Chateaux, Forbes and Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report.
The Jouberts efforts, as filmmakers, with the Big Cats Initiative and with Great Plains Conservation, coincide with one aim: to save the wild places of Africa, and to protect the creatures that depend on them. The President of Botswana recently said it well: “Theirs is a life long passion; for each other, for big cats, for Africa…they are true “children of Africa.”
Welcome to the latest update of what they are doing.