KIM WOLHUTER (Famous Wildlife Filmmaker) - Life In The Wild
We were so honoured that Kim agreed to do our podcast - he has made so many immeasurably magical wildlife programs, all completely unique because Kim actually immerses himself into his subjects lives, gains their trust and thereby catches a lot of unseen footage of the species he is following. Man Cheetah Wild is one of the best cheetah programs we have ever seen.
"It’s about the lifestyle and cameras provide me with the challenge to bring home stunning images and footage to share with the world helping create an international awareness in Africa’s wildlife.
I spend years in the field following my film subjects allowing me to become very intimate with them until they behave in the most natural way and ignore my presence.
It goes beyond that too, when the animals grant me the absolute privilege of becoming a part of their lives. There is little, if anything, in life that can be more gratifying. It brings us back to the day when we too (man) used to roam the African plains living alongside these wild animals. A far more natural way of filming…
It would be very selfish of me to experience and live this special life without sharing it with the world.
So yes, maybe it is about the camera…
WHERE DID IT ALL START?
I had the good fortune of spending my early years growing up in the wilds of Africa: the Kruger National Park, South Africa, where my father, Henry Wolhuter, was the Head Ranger.
My grandfather, Harry Wolhuter, the very first ranger of the Kruger National Park, is a national legend being the only man ever to kill an adult male lion single handed with a knife after it had pulled him from his horse.
After my 2 years national service in the South African mounted infantry and a degree in Grassland Science I entered the wildlife arena managing a game farm in Botswana. Later I served as Senior Warden of Mlawula Nature Reserve in Swaziland before taking up the camera.
Today I find myself following the family tradition, although in a slightly different way, making documentaries on southern African Wildlife. Since 1988 I have made wildlife documentaries for National Geographic, BBC, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.
I have now developed a very different niche in the wildlife filmmaking market, where I spend at least 2yrs on a production, getting to bond and develop very intimate relationships with my film subjects, all wild African animals. In the past these have included Leopard, Hyaena, Cheetah and African Wild Dogs. Through these intimate alliances I am not only able to document the animal’s lives up close and personal, but people are seeing these animals in a way they’ve never seen them before and are able to engage more with the animal and almost feel what it’s like to be that animal. I walk, run, hunt and sleep with these animals so much so that they completely accept my presence so everything I document is totally natural behaviour. This intimacy also provides a new look into animal behaviour, which at times is new to science.
I have a very unique and natural affinity to develop these relationships with wild animals. Currently I live on Sango Wildlife Reserve in the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, where I’m out every day and often all night living alongside my film subjects. This is no job, but a true passion handed down through generations of our Wolhuter family.
Before retiring in 1948 after 44 years service in the Kruger National Park my grandfather Harry wrote: “My long experience has taught me that, thrilling the pleasures of shooting undoubtedly are, infinitely greater and far more lasting pleasure and interest can be obtained from the observation and study of wild animals, unafraid and uninterfered with, in their natural haunts; and I have never regretted my metamorphosis from hunter to guardian!”
I can only hope he would be proud of me today…"