For seventeen years I made
movies alongside the BBC crews in the Masai Mara of Kenya.
As we waited for the
cheetah or lion to hunt, we would sit side by side, in our
jeeps and talk about the state of the world.
My attitude was, the reason
I made wildlife movies, was to show the viewer the damage we
were inflicting on the Natural World.
In the last 6 minutes of
every movie, I would give my Gaian message to the viewer.
The BCC cameraman and
producers were of a different opinion. They believed that
a wildlife movie should show the natural beauty or the behaviour
of the animals without roads, cars and tourists etc.
In one heated conversation,
I suggested that the BBC were in fact deceiving the public into
thinking that all was right with the world.
Therefore it interesting
for me to see Sir David Attenborough in the twilight of his
career coming out so strongly on the destruction of Planet Earth
by human beings.
Indeed the BBC Natural
History Unit, are making whole series on the damage we are
wreaking on our planet, our only home.
Many of the conversations I
had with the BBC cameramen, were on the banks of the famous Mara
On one morning between 9am
and 4pm, I filmed no less than 80,000 zebra and 100,000
wildebeest crossing the Mara River.
As the animals crossed,
crocs attacked them in the water, lions ambushed them on the
bank and cheetah ran them down on the plains.
In one famous sequence, 22
gazelles came to cross the river and the crocs took 18 of them.
During this time, I made
the film “Troubled Waters”. The Gaian message in this film is
clear, you are abusing the Mara River. One day it will cease to
flow. I was labelled an alarmist. This could never happen
to the Mara River.
When I made Troubled
Waters, Kenya’s human population was 23 million (1990) and today
it is 52 million. The Mara River has indeed ceased to flow.
Another river that I have
been associated with is the Sand River, the life blood, of the
famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
At its source, exotic
forest sucks it dry. Then as it moves down into the old homeland
of Gazankulu, millions of people rely on it for their water.
Dams have been made to irrigate citrus schemes. Bad farming
practices in the Gazankulu homeland have overgrazed the land.
When it rains, the top soil is washed into the river. Massive
silt loads are deposited into the Sand River.
Where I used to catch fish
and where hippo and crocodiles were in abundance, the Sand River
runs inches deep, if it runs at all
The Gain prediction in the
film Troubled Water is this:
“The next world war
Will be fought over water”
As the human population
exceeds 8 billion people, this prediction may well come to
Tread Lightly on the Earth
The Mara River:
This is a plea to the BBC
Natural History Unit to make a documentary series on the Mara
River, its past, its present and its future.
The Mara River was the
backdrop to some of the most dramatic wild life scenes ever
captured on film.
I urge Sir David
Attenborough and the BBC to investigate thoroughly why this
great river is dry.
The Mara River brought joy
and amazement to millions of people.
Filmmakers, like myself
benefited greatly from the Mara River. The very least we can do
is expose the abuse of this great river.
Tread lightly on the Earth
A big male lion took a Masai cow. 60 Masai
warriors went after the lion with spears. This video/song tells
the story how a Masai warrior and a lion lost their lives. Let
me know what you think...
I invite you to join me on
a Campfire Safari. The emphasis is on deep ecology, music,
drumming, dancing and story telling.
One day we visit the Tiger
Band in their village and have a traditional meal and play
The band will show you
where they fetch their water from the Sabi River and where the
crocs attack them.
You too, can carry the drum
full of water back to their houses if you would like to!
If available, a helicopter
will take you to view the catchment of the Sand River and see
the impact of exotic forests on both the Sand and the Sabi
Tread Lightly on the Earth
The female cheetah Shashe,
has produced a litter of 4 cubs at Tiger Canyon. This is her
Shashe is an incredible
mother and hunter.
At the moment, she has them
in tall elephant grass but in 4 weeks time the cubs will start
to move with her and the photographic opportunities will be
Global Environmental Activist
To book tiger safaris, big cat safaris, JV the Campfire
Singer or the Tiger Band
082 892 4680; 083 651 1600