Ms. Saba Douglas-Hamilton
Saba Douglas-Hamilton is an award-winning wildlife filmmaker, TV host, and conservationist. As Chair of Future For Nature’s International Selection Committee, she believes passionately in promoting young conservation leaders and securing a future for the wild world. Her life in Africa, and work as a wildlife filmmaker, has led her to some of the remoter parts of the Planet where she has observed rare and endangered species in their natural habitats and experienced the frontline of conservation first hand.
More about Saba
Born in Kenya with lions, giraffes and warthogs in her back garden, and speaking Kiswahili as her first language, Saba became entranced with wildlife at an early age. Her childhood was spent bumping around in the back of an open Landrover between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda while her parents studied elephant behaviour then later battled to save them from the illegal ivory trade. At the age of thirteen, barefoot and unruly, Saba was sent off to the United Kingdom to be educated, and went on to study at the University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland, where she obtained a first class Masters degree in Social Anthropology. She started work in conservation immediately after graduating, initially for Save the Rhino Trust, Namibia, where she ran a community conservation project to protect the rare desert-adapted black rhino. She later joined Save the Elephants in Kenya as the first Chief Operations Officer, where she helped set up a research station in Samburu National Reserve that now monitors a population of over 900 elephants. For the last decade Saba has been a trustee of Save the Elephants and has lectured extensively to raise awareness about conservation issues. With ivory trade at an all time high, the charity is focussed on stopping the killing, thwarting the traffickers and reducing demand for ivory worldwide. In 2014 she stepped down from her role as a trustee to become the Chair of the Advisory Board and Head of Special Projects.
In 2000 Saba was talent-spotted by the BBC Natural History Unit and began her career as a wildlife filmmaker, hosting nine TV series including Secret Life of Elephants, Big Cat Diary and Unknown Africa, and over twenty-four wildlife documentaries. She directed two award-winning films for Animal Planet, Heart of a Lioness and Rhino Nights, which documented previously unknown behaviour for the first time. After her children were born, Saba took some time out to run the family’s luxury safari lodge, Elephant Watch Camp, in Samburu, and has only recently returned to filmmaking to work on a twelve part series for the BBC – This Wild Life – about life and conservation in the bush with her husband, Frank Pope, and three young children.