Drs Chris and Anna Whitehouse are both British but have a long-standing involvement with and love of South Africa. They moved out here permanently in 2014 to live at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, Stanford, near Hermanus in the Western Cape, and set up Phillipskop Discovery Trails.
Chris Whitehouse has been enthusiastic about plants ever since a family holiday on a small Scottish island at a young age. He quickly became fascinated in growing the plants that he saw and read about, in particular South African bulbs. He has worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, participating in expeditions to Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. For his doctorate, he moved to Cape Town, where he spent over four years hiking the mountains of South Africa in search of Cape-roses (Cliffortia) and is now considered the world authority on the genus. Returning to the UK, he spent 10 years as the Keeper of the Herbarium for the Royal Horticultural Society. During this time, he continued his focus on South African plants, and has just completed writing a book on red-hot pokers (Kniphofia). While plants are clearly his main passion, he has an extensive knowledge of all natural history including birds, butterflies and geology. He particularly enjoys getting off-the-beaten-track to areas that tourists (and South Africans) often miss. He started up Phillipskop Discovery Trails with his wife because he believes God gave us a world to be enjoyed and explored, and he wants to help others to appreciate this too.
Anna Whitehouse has been interested in wildlife for as long as she can remember, and developed a passion for elephants at the age of 7. After graduating from university in the UK, she moved out to South Africa in 1996 to carry out research on the Addo elephants. Whilst there Anna put her faith in Jesus, a decision which has deeply affected her life ever since. In 2001 she was awarded her PhD in elephant conservation, and subsequently took up a post as Elephant Consultant for Southern Africa with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a role she continued until Chris and Anna returned to the UK in 2003. Anna is an experienced public speaker with a long history of teaching children of all ages and adults in a variety of settings, and she is currently home-schooling their 3 boys. She loves sharing her passions for wildlife, environmental issues, and faith with others in creative ways.