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Photographer’s Profile
Michael “Nick” Nichols
Photo: Michael 'Nick' Nichols, at left
Michael, Nathan, and their guide Daneil follow elephants in Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve by moonlight.

A National Geographic photographer tells stories with plots that unfold on the biggest stage of all: our planet. In Michael “Nick” Nichols’s stories, the protagonists are elephants, tigers, and chimps, with scientist-conservationists like Jane Goodall, J. Michael Fay, and Iain Douglas-Hamilton in featured roles.

Nichols is a wildlife journalist; his narratives are epics, as when he chronicled Fay’s 2,000-mile trek—or “Megatransect”—across the Congo and Gabon to document Africa’s last untouched wilderness. He came to the magazine with the legacy of a childhood spent in the woods of his native Alabama, reading Tarzan and John Carter of Mars adventures. He knows that the heart of wildness—whether in the redwood forests of California or the acacia plains of Kenya—must be nurtured and protected.

Sometimes photographs can change the world. Nichols’s work on the Megatransect was rewarded when Omar Bongo, Gabon’s president, set aside 11 percent of that country as protected land. His images show what we have to gain in caring for this magnificent planet. And what we have to lose.

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Some of Nichols’s stories from our archive

Photo: Land of the Surfing Hippos

August 2004

“Land of the Surfing Hippos”

Photo: Africa Megatransect

October 2000


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