Most of his school holidays and weekends were spent exploring some of the wilder parts of South Africa and Botswana with his family.
Following school, he completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology and Environmental Science, and then went on to complete his Honours and Master’s degrees in Environmental Science at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
Craig started his professional career working as an Ecologist and Team Leader for the Subtropical Thicket Restoration Project in the Greater Addo Elephant National Park, close to Port Elizabeth, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. He then worked as an Environmental Consultant, conducting ecological assessments and faunal monitoring projects at a number of reserves in South Africa and Mozambique.
Craig joined &Beyond in May 2017, and assumed responsibility for managing the research and monitoring teams on Phinda Private Game Reserve. This involves the co-ordination and collating of both internal and external research projects, and incorporating the findings from these projects into wildlife management decision making.
In addition, his duties include the reporting and recording of data, and the development and testing of new technologies used to track and protect animals. Some of the interesting projects Craig is currently involved in include the spotted hyena project, annual game counts, vegetation mapping, camera-trapping surveys, and the monitoring of priority species like black and white rhino, cheetah and pangolin.
Although working in conservation has numerous challenges, contributing towards protecting wild animals and wild places makes it one of the most rewarding professions. No two days are ever the same and new, exciting challenges are around every corner.