Ian Michler is a safari operator, specialist wilderness guide, consultant and environmental photojournalist. He has lived and worked across Africa for the last 29 years. His feature articles, diaries and blogs documenting the major conservation challenges facing Africa, and especially those on predator breeding and trophy hunting are well known to readers of a number of award winning publications and magazines. He is an ecotourism consultant for both private and government sectors, and currently channels his conservation work through The Conservation Action Trust. Ian is also a member of the International League of Conservation Writers, and is author of seven natural History and travel books on various African countries. Prior to his life in the wilderness, Ian was a partner in one of South Africa’s leading stockbroking firms. He is a co-founder and owner of Invent Africa Safaris (www.inventafrica.com), a specialist safari company that runs trips to 15 countries across the continent, and is a Director of Eden to Addo (www.edentoaddo.co.za), a successful regional corridor conservation initiative. He is currently enrolled at Stellenbosch University where he is a part-time student for a Masters in Sustainable Development.
Pippa’s career in high-end eco-tourism across Southern Africa spanned more than 20 years. After working with a number of well-known large hotel chains, she soon discovered her interest lay in smaller, privately owned game lodges and hotels. Her company, Classic Portfolio, was responsible for the international positioning and branding of a select collection of high-end, privately owned properties across Southern Africa. For the next ten years following the sale of the business in 2001, she served as a Trustee on the boards of a number of conservation organisations in South Africa, whilst simultaneously supporting various environmental initiatives close to her heart. Eighteen months after her first visit to a captive breeding farm in 2011, Pippa founded Regulus Vision Pty Ltd to produce the feature documentary, Blood Lions®, which premiered in July 2015. She is now actively involved in the Blood Lions Campaign which was launched immediately after the film’s release, and which is aimed at creating global awareness and to help bring an end to captive predator breeding and ‘canned’ hunting in South Africa.
DIRECTOR AND MARKETING MANAGER
Nicola has worked in the travel and tourism industry for over 12 years and, with formal marketing honours qualifications, has found a niche in communicating the attractions of Southern Africa to a global audience. With a deep passion for Africa and its wildlife, she expanded her focus into the conservation sector where she works to raise awareness about this spectacular continent while also highlighting some of the major threats facing it’s great wilderness. Nicola joined the Blood Lions team in the post production stages of the documentary to manage the digital media marketing of the film and drive it’s global campaign.
Dr Louise de Waal
With an academic and research background in environmental management and a passion for Africa and wildlife conservation, Louise’s career focus has evolved over time. Starting her career in 1990 in academia, she later founded Baobab Travel in 2002, a tour operator fully dedicated to providing sustainable tourism services in Africa. Following the sale of the business 12 years later, she continued as a freelance sustainable tourism consultant with Green Girls in Africa assisting tourism businesses to travel the road to sustainability. During this time Louise spearheaded the #HandsOffOurWildlife campaign in response to the many unethical and often cruel captive wildlife encounters on offer in our South African tourism space. The campaign aimed to create greater awareness around these issues by educating the public and the tourism industry at large. During this time, she already started to work with the Blood Lions team. More recently, Louise became instrumental in the establishment of the Coalition “To Stop the Captive Breeding and Keeping of Lions and other Big Cats for Commercial Purposes”. She is the Coordinator and sits on its Steering Committee, lobbying with Governmental and other stakeholders involved in this space.
Cath is a Criminologist who recently completed her Masters research on rhino poachers in KwaZulu-Natal. Born and raised in Durban, she has an inherent love for wildlife and conservation having spent many family holidays at game reserves across South Africa. She is passionate about wildlife conservation, research and educating the youth about ethical conservation and wildlife crimes such as lion and rhino poaching. Cath fulfils the role of the Blood Lions and ‘YouthForLions’ campaign coordinator.
DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
Janelle was hands-on and fully involved in the initial launch of the Blood Lions Documentary back in 2015 whilst she was still completing her studies. She then went on to work for some renowned corporate companies in the marketing space and committed herself to climbing the corporate ladder. Although happy with her line of work, she missed the fulfillment of working in the conservation space. She has recently rejoined the team where she now runs the digital marketing for YouthForLions.