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 149 grants in 27 countries for the conservation of big cats.
The Jouberts have made over 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 8 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 with the likes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In the 2013 Jackson Hole Film Festival Dereck and Beverly won the Outstanding Achievement Award. 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. In 2014 Dereck and Beverly won the prestigious lifetime achievement award from the SAFTA's.
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 million acres in Africa.
Currently the Jouberts are working on a rhino conservation project called ‘Rhinos Without Borders’, an initiative in partnership with Great Plains Conservation and And Beyond which aims to move 100 rhinos from South Africa to Botswana to save them from the poaching crisis, whilst creating a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for rhino genes. They also recently canoed 120km down the Selinda Spillway researching and filming elephants for conservation. From this journey they made their most recent film ‘Soul of the Elephant’, which was released in 2015, premiering at the Elephant Summit in Jackson Hole, which also let to an interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
All of Dereck & Beverly’s work coincides with one aim: to save the wild places of Africa, and to protect the creatures that depend on them. The President of Botswana described them well when he said: “Theirs is a life long passion; for each other, for big cats, for Africa…they are true “children of Africa.”
Documentary filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert have worked to conserve wildlife for more than 35 years. As National Geographic Explorers in Residence, the couple influences public policy and perceptions.
For over three decades, conservationists Beverly and Dereck Joubert have celebrated nature and wildlife in documentaries, books, scientific journals, photographs and magazine articles. The couple’s arresting visual work which includes the widely viewed films Eternal Enemies, Eye of the Leopard, Last Lions, Reflections on Elephants - which has earned them seven Emmys and many other awards. The Jouberts, both National Geographic Explorers in Residence based in Botswana, are dedicated to understanding and preserving key species throughout the African continent. The couple is particularly interested in large predators, and lead the Big Cats Initiative, a campaign to stop dwindling populations and bolster public awareness.
What others say
“For the most part the lions are disappearing because of rising human-predator conflict over competition for the same resources, food and water. Observing and understanding this connectivity during decades of working in the African wilderness, the Jouberts came to realize that the solution for both cats and people lies in creating a symbiotic existence.”
— NatGeo Newswatch
60 Minutes went to Africa to meet world-famous wildlife photographers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. We figured the couple lived an adventurous life in the wilds of Botswana, but we didn't expect what we found on the first day of the shoot.
When Lara Logan stepped off the plane and reached out to shake Dereck's hand, it was red, swollen, and "slushy" from a snake bite.
"It's like having your hand in hot coals," he told Logan. "If it's a black mamba, then you've got 10 minutes. So, we've made the 10 minutes," he added nonchalantly.
Over decades living in the African bush, the Jouberts have made it through scorpion bites, several bouts of malaria, two plane crashes, daily encounters with deadly lions -- and of course, snake bites.
"Anything could go wrong at any moment," Dereck says. "It's probably best for us not to plan for old age." To hear more about this brave couple's life in the bush, watch the Overtime feature in the video player above.