Saturday, November 04, 2006

BBC holiday show to feature Brunei attractions

By Ignatius Stephen

The "elephant woman" has come out of Africa to discover Borneo... Brunei, to be exact.

Thirty-six-year-old Saba Douglas-Hamilton, BBC's famous Holiday Programme presenter is said to have had a "whale" of a time while in the Sultanate although she did not find any elephants here. But the Borneo jungle was a place of particular interest.

She is to feature Brunei in BBC's longest running travel holiday programme which is expected to give a big boost in promoting tourism next year.

Brunei Tourism organised the BBC visit here with the support of Royal Brunei Airlines and Sunshine Tours.

The BBC crew also paid respects to His Majesty and members of the Royal Family during the festive season.

Saba Douglas-Hamilton was introduced to her first elephant when she was six weeks old, and thinks of elephants as part of the extended family. She considers her work as a natural history presenter with the BBC a blessing, combined as it is with her role in conservation.

Saba - which means "seven" in Kiswahili - was named by African tribesmen, born in Kenya at 7.00pm on 7 June 1970 as the seventh grandchild. Her father, respected zoologist Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton is founder of charity Save the Elephants and co-author of Among the Elephants and Battle for the Elephants with her mother, Oria, who runs Elephant Watch Safaris.

Growing up surrounded by animals, Saba spent her early years in the African bush. She and her sister, Dudu, would track elephants, climb waterfalls, catch snakes and scale the rooftops of buildings to "learn the art of balance" in the company of their adventurous wildlife expert father.

Saba went to the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales and took an MA degree in Social Anthropology at St Andrews University, Scotland. She wrote her thesis on 'Love and Sexuality amongst the Bajuni of Kiwaiyu Island, Kenya' and gained a first class degree. She lives in Kenya and is passionately dedicated to the wilderness of Africa, its people and wildlife.

Courtesy of: Borneo Bulletin Weekend

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