Who are we?

Les de Villiers grew up in a farming district in the Great Karoo region of South Africa where he learned to appreciate nature. Horse riding and hunting were rites of passage.

His hunting days came to an abrupt end in the seventies when he found his trigger finger trembling with a huge kudu bull in the sight. He fired a shot in the air, sold his rifles and bought a good camera. He has been shooting many meters of film before the advent of digital photography and now enjoys the luxury of picking through gigabytes of material gathered during safari trips.

Gorillas in the midst Rwanda

Two silverbacks in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda

After a diplomatic career that involved negotiations with decision makers and heads of state in Africa, Europe and the United States he moved to New York in the late seventies to become vice-chairman  of a management consulting firm and subsequently established his own company. He runs a publishing firm, specializing in Africa books, and a specialist safari operation.

He has a doctorate in economic history and has written more than a dozen of books on economics, politics, conservation and one on travel in South Africa (with golfer Gary Player and the late heart-transplant pioneer Dr Chris Barnard). AFRICA 2018, part of a series produced together with the prestigious Washington-based Corporate Council on Africa, is in its eighteenth edition. Still popular is THE THIRD EYE AND OTHER ANIMAL RIDDLES, a quiz book written a few years ago with his then eight year old son, Andries. He has also authored THE ULTIMATE SAFARI GUIDE. His latest is AFRICAN ANIMAL ALPHABET, an illustrated fun book with richly illustrated verses about Africa’s fascinating animals from Aardvark to Zebra. All these titles and his book about his daughter, LIFE WITH LAUREN: AN ODYSSEY INTO AUTISM, are available at amazon.com and www.businessbooksusa.com. 

A self-declared safari addict and enthusiastic conservationist, De Villiers travels to wildlife sanctuaries in Africa several times year for his fix while checking out properties. His Boston-born wife Ruth accompanies him whenever she can break away from her real estate business. They live in New Canaan, Connecticut. 

He has appeared on television  and has been a guest lecturer on several Marco Polo and Silversea East African cruises. He  speaks regularly before select audiences about   wildlife and the joys of an African safari.

For several years he has been arranging customized safaris for clients in the United States together with a team of carefully selected associates in Africa. It is his policy only to include destinations approved by himself on a first-hand basis in accordance with high standards developed through years of experience.

LesdeVilliers on Safari

Visiting with the gentle giants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe