Alan Root - Ivory, Apes & Peacocks
  • Alan Root

    Ivory, Apes & Peacocks: Animals, adventure and discovery in the wild places of Africa

    Alan Root is one of Africa's most bitten. In the course of his adventures he has been mauled by a leopard, a silverback gorilla and a hippo, and almost lost his life to a deadly puff adder, which claimed one of his fingers. Root's unmatched experience of East African wildlife and his appetite for risk have made him a world-class naturalist and film-maker. He's one of the great wildlife pioneers.

    In Ivory, Apes & Peacocks, Alan tells the story of his life's work, from his arrival in Kenya as a young boy (furious at having to leave behind Britain's birds) to the making of his game-changing films. Instead of sticking to the Big Five animals, these looked up close at whole ecosystems - baobab trees, termite mounds, natural springs - and involved firsts such as tracking the wildebeest migration from a balloon, then flying it over Kilimanjaro, filming inside a hornbill's nest and diving with hippos and crocodiles.

    Along the way we meet Sally the pet hippo and Emily the house-proud chimp, watch as Dian Fossey catches sight of her first mountain gorilla and have sundowners with George and Joy Adamson. And here, too, is Joan Root, Alan's wife and collaborator for over thirty years, who was brutally murdered in retaliation for her environmental campaigning.

    In this extraordinary memoir we look at Africa's wonders through the eyes of visionary alan root, live through hair-raising adventure and personal sorrow, and also bear witness to a natural world now largely lost from view.

    alan root

    Alan Root

    Alan Root (b. 12th May 1937, London) is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker who worked on nature documentary series' such as Survival.

    He was married to fellow filmmaker Joan Root, who was a Kenyan-born (to British parents) conservationist and ecological activist. The couple did National Geographic articles together from 1963-1971 on animals, Galapagos Islands, and mainly African wildlife.