More About the Author
"You'll go far, Roger." The words ring in my mind from when a teacher spoke to me at grade school many years ago in Zambia. Little did I know the literal meaning of what she said! I was raised in Africa, having emigrated from England in 1966. After Zambia, our family moved to Malawi, followed by Zaire (now the Congo) and eventually Nigeria. Into adulthood we went our separate ways. My parents returned to England, while my brother went to Australia and my sister went to Chile. Travel is in our genes, it seems!
In 1992, I came to the United States to study biology and then, through the twists and turns of fate, led natural history and photography tours mostly to the Amazon, but also to the Galapagos and Africa. I returned to Zambia and Malawi to show folks the wonders and beauty I had been lucky enough to experience as a child.
I turned to writing more or less by accident. I'd always been an avid reader, and enjoyed writing, but never considered it as a career, considering it too risky. So I had chosen biology as a career, but realized the world of academia was too constrained and formal to suit my wayward personality. Writing meshed with my interest in photography, as I'd been using a camera since my late teens. This led to my first (and now venerable) website Jungle Photos (junglephotos.com), which features hundreds of images and accompanying information on the exotic wildernesses I have travelled through.
In between tours in the 1990s I gathered together enough material to write a travel guide to the Amazon, since nothing like that existed at the time. In 1997, Bradt Travel Guides published the first edition of "The Amazon: The Bradt Travel Guide." It went through two more editions, with the third published in 2007. But when the thought of a fourth edition arose, I realized the world had changed, and conventional travel guides were being slowly made obsolete by the ubiquity of information online.
Bradt suggested a new approach, "Amazon Highlights," as the second of their new series, to help folks choose from the plethora of tours and tour operators, rather long lists hotels and tourist attractions. A year later as I write "Amazon Highlights" is at the printers. As part of the new publishing model, I created a dedicated companion website for the book: amazontravelbook.com It contains resources, wildlife checklists, and lots of juicy tidbits that just couldn't fit in the book. Please take a moment to visit the site and feel free to ask any questions about my travels, writing or just to get advice and info on how to explore our amazing world.