Saba Douglas-Hamilton


Saba Douglas-HamiltonSaba Douglas-Hamilton (1970 - ) has recently (2004?) joined the ranks of BBC natural history presenters and considers her work in TV as a blessing, combined as it is with her role in conservation.

Saba, whose name means seven and was given to her by local African tribesmen, was born in Kenya at 7pm on 7 June 1970, the seventh grandchild of the family. Her father is respected zoologist Iain Douglas-Hamilton, co-author of Among the Elephants and Battle for the Elephants with her mother, Oria (author of The Elephant Family Book).


Growing up surrounded by elephants, Saba spent her early years running wild in the African bush. With her sister, Dudu, she would track elephants, climb waterfalls, catch snakes and scale the rooftops of the local farm buildings in the company of their adventurous wildlife expert father.

Saba went to school in the UK at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, and went on to take a degree in Anthropology at St Andrews University. She wrote her thesis on 'Love and Sexuality amongst the Bajuni of Kiwaiyu Island, Kenya'.

Her first job for the Natural History Unit was to spend several days living with a group of wild chimps taking nothing but the clothes on her back and a hammock. Along with Alastair Fothergill, Saba was utterly dependent on the chimps for finding food and water and it was a remarkable experience. Following this was a two-part documentary for the Wild strand, about the elephants which are so close to Saba's heart. She went back to revisit old haunts in Namibia for the filming of Namibia's Desert Giants. At the start of the year, she and Dudu filmed and produced The Miracle Lioness - a story about a most unusual lioness who adopted and loved a baby oryx.

In 2002, Saba joined Simon King and Jonathan Scott to present Big Cat Diary and made several other programmes for the Natural History Unit, such as Escape the Elephant. In 2003, Saba returned with several new searches for some of the world's best loved animals, before revisiting the Mara's big cats for Big Cat Week in 2004.

Committed to the conservation of Africa's wildlife and its indigenous peoples, Saba is passionate about her home country and the wonders it contains. She lives in Kenya and is a trustee of her father's charity, Save the Elephants.


From The Scotsman, 31st January 2008:

Yesterday, Saba Douglas-Hamilton, a member of one of Scotland's oldest noble families, launched herself into a new role, trying to stop Kenya, the country she loves, spiralling further into tribal violence.

With her mother, Oria, she organised a mass flower-laying ceremony to remember the dead. Standing out from the crowds in a simple white dress, she led a group of female human rights activists as they placed flowers at a quiet spot in Nairobi.

See also her own website


This page was last updated on 30 September 2021

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