National Geographic Experts


A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.

St. John Anderson
Biologist, Naturalist

Biologist St. John (Jo) Anderson moved to East Africa in 1995 shortly after graduating from Oxford University. He has since conducted wildlife research throughout Eastern and Southern Africa, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro more than 50 times, and led countless safaris in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Jo is a founding partner in Carbon Tanzania, which recently became the first organization in Tanzania to develop a community-led forest-based carbon offset project, working with the hunter-gatherer Hadza people of Northern Tanzania. He has also worked on local ecotourism projects. He lives with his family in Arusha, Northern Tanzania.

Departure Dates
  • Sep 05 - 15, 2015

Steve Boyes
Biologist, Conservationist, Wildlife Ecologist

Conservationist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to preserving Africa’s wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. Steve lived in the Okavango Delta for five years doing fieldwork for his doctorate in zoology, and has studied this wilderness ever since. A native of South Africa, Steve's work takes him all over Africa, studying ecology and threats to biodiversity, fighting the wild-caught bird trade, and planting thousands of trees in forest restoration projects. He has travelled extensively in East Africa and has surveyed African parrot populations in Tanzania since 2009. He currently runs the Cape Parrot Project with support from the Society’s Conservation Trust, and is the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust.

Departure Dates
  • Oct 03 - 13, 2015

Laly Lichtenfeld
Conservationist, Wildlife Ecologist

Conservationist and National Geographic Explorer Laly Lichtenfeld began her work in East Africa as a Fulbright Scholar researching community-based conservation in 1996. She went on to co-found the African People & Wildlife Fund with her husband, and currently lives in Tanzania at their Noloholo Environmental Center on the Maasai Steppe. National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative supports Laly’s inspirational work to conserve lions, leopards, and cheetahs in partnership with rural people. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University, where she continues to act as a research affiliate.

Departure Dates
  • Jan 23 - Feb 02, 2016
  • Sep 03 - 13, 2016

Amy Dickman
Conservationist, Wildlife Ecologist

Zoologist Amy Dickman has worked in Africa for more than 13 years. She spent six years at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, conducted research on human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania, and holds the Kaplan Senior Research Fellowship in Wild Cat Conservation at Oxford University. National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative is supporting Amy’s current project, which focuses on large carnivore ecology in Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape and strives to minimize human-carnivore conflict on village land adjacent to Ruaha National Park.

Departure Dates
  • Feb 13 - 23, 2016

David Bygott

Biologist and artist David Bygott first came to Tanzania in 1969 to work on Jane Goodall's National Geographic-funded team studying wild chimpanzees. David spent four years as a lion biologist for the Serengeti Lion Project, researching lion behavior in northern Tanzania. He later taught zoology to future wildlife managers at the University of Dar es Salaam. David worked with Dian Fossey sketching gorillas, and has contributed illustrations to numerous East African guidebooks and to National Geographic magazine. David and his wife lived in Tanzania for more 25 than years.

Departure Dates
  • Jul 09 - 19, 2016
  • Jul 23 - Aug 02, 2016
  • Aug 06 - 16, 2016

Rosemary Groom

Conservation biologist and National Geographic grantee Rosemary Groom grew up in Zimbabwe before moving to the United Kingdom for secondary school and university. After graduating with a degree in zoology, Rosemary moved back to Africa and has since worked on a variety of wildlife conservation and research projects in eastern and southern Africa. National Geographic's Conservation Trust and its Big Cats Initiative have both funded Rosemary's work, and she was the scientific advisor for a National Geographic film on wild dogs. Rosemary currently works in southern Zimbabwe on a Society-sponsored conservation project protecting the endangered African wild dog, and she does ongoing work with African lions.

Departure Dates
  • Oct 01 - 11, 2016