Q&A With ‘Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise’ Cinematographer Bob Poole

Baby Elephants
The disruption to elephant societies that comes from human poaching leaves lasting scars both physically in herd numbers and emotionally in the lives of surviving relatives. (Photo courtesy ElephantVoices)

Wildlife filmmaker Bob Poole has dedicated his career to documenting the recovery of a lost Eden—Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, a jewel of Africa’s parks system until civil war almost destroyed it. Poole’s six-part PBS/National Geographic series Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise chronicling the park’s journey premiered September 22. Poole is also gearing up for his National Geographic Live multi-city “Gorongosa Reborn” tour, where the Emmy Award winning cinematographer will share unforgettable stories and images from the field. With so much on the horizon, for both Poole and the park, he answered some questions about his career, inspirations, and the adversities Gorongosa is facing.

What inspired your work with Gorongosa National Park?

My first assignment in Gorongosa National Park was in 2008 for National Geographic, called Africa’s Lost Eden. I fell in love with the park and the restoration project, and later was asked to join the Board of Directors. I made several other films there including National Geographic’s War Elephants. During that time, I saw the park’s wildlife rebound and I realized how resilient nature is if given a chance to heal.

How did you and your sister, Joyce Poole, both develop a love for wildlife and find yourselves working together?

My sister, Joyce, and I grew up in Africa where my father worked in conservation. My mother and father both loved nature and we spent every chance we could camping among the wildlife that thrived there in the ‘60s and ‘70s. My career as a cameraman started in my twenties when I filmed Joyce’s discoveries about elephants. We’ve worked together ever since.

You’ve said, “Gorongosa is proof that what we’ve —> Read More