Hi, my name is Gina Poole, and I’m a photographer, adventure seeker, writer, and all around lover of travel. My husband Bob is an Emmy Award winning Cinematographer specializing in Natural History, Adventure and Science Documentaries around the world. Together we’re Royal Robbins’ newest travel ambassadors, and we’re happy to be aboard.
I’m writing this post from Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, where we’ve called home for the past two years. We’re about to embark on an overland road trip across southern and eastern Africa. Along the way we’ll share stories and photos of our journey. But first, here’s a little back-story.
Bob grew up in Kenya, where his father was the country director for the Peace Corp and later Director of African Wildlife Foundation. His upbringing led to a career shooting wildlife documentaries for National Geographic, PBS, Discovery and BBC.
I’m originally from Seattle, but my love of the mountains and winter sports brought me to Idaho where I met Bob, who also has a passion for skiing. Our home is in Ketchum, known for its world-class resort: Sun Valley. We try to spend as much time together as possible, given Bob’s unusual career, and lately we’ve been fortunate to work in the same place in Africa.
Since 2012, Bob has been here in Gorongosa National Park, working on a six-hour series for PBS and National Geographic International about the restoration of the Park. He’s the main character, as well as the Director of Photography and narrator for the series that will air in 2015. I love photography, and work in media for Gorongosa’s Restoration Project managing the Park’s archive of video and still images.
Gorongosa was once known as the Serengeti of Southern Africa, but during the long civil war over a million people died and the Park’s wildlife was decimated. The war ended in 1992 and in 2004, an American philanthropist, Greg Carr, formed a partnership with the Government of Mozambique to rehabilitate the Park.
For the final segment of the Series shoot, two biologists from Botswana came here, and an expedition was launched into a remote area of the Park to study Nile crocs. What they discovered is extraordinary. They think that Gorongosa may have the largest concentration of crocs in all of Africa. One night I joined the camera crew and scientists while they caught crocodiles using a long pole with a noose. Not your usual safari experience!
The filming for the series just wrapped this morning, and now we have to get two year’s worth of accumulated equipment organized and packed. Our next project is in Kenya filming elephants for National Geographic starting January, 2015 so we need to drive our Land Rover there. But before we leave Mozambique, we want to do a little exploring while we’re this far south on the continent.
The most direct route to Kenya is north from the Park, but we’ve decided to take a detour south and head to the beaches of the Bazaruto Archipelago, a marine sanctuary full of beautiful coral reefs. The humpbacks are migrating now and the passion for kite boarding is a huge draw. We’ll head to the kite board and diving mecca of Vilanculos first.
So follow along as we discover the beauty, culture and wild places in this part of Africa.