At Truly Wild we pride ourselves on being a small and personal tour operator. The company was founded by Spanish zoologist Cristina Garcia and her husband, American wildlife photographer Hal Brindley. Together they research, design, and lead every tour themselves, ensuring a one-of-a-kind and intimate wildlife experience for every guest.
Cristina Garcia has loved animals since she was a little girl growing up in Spain, where she lovingly rescued every bug from the local swimming pools. She received her zoology degree in Liverpool, England where she specialized in wolf and African Wild Dog behavior. She holds a masters degree in GIS from Edinburgh University. She has worked in the field with dolphins in Spain, wolves in Romania, jackals in Namibia and cheetahs in South Africa.
Cristina is a Certified South African Specialist by South Africa Tourism. She is currently learning Portuguese so she can add Mozambique to our tours!
Her favorite place is the Kalahari, a place that never ceases to amaze her.
Hal Brindley began photographing wildlife in 1999 and has since traveled the world in search of wild places and wild creatures. He has visited all seven continents, including five weeks of sailing in Antarctica, road-tripping around Australia, back country camping in Alaska, extensive tours of Central America, and multiple visits to Southern Africa. He spent several years volunteering for a wildlife rehabilitation center in North Carolina and has since volunteered for wildlife conservation projects around the world, from monitoring sea turtle nesting beaches in Costa Rica, to assisting with a swallow-tailed kite tracking study in the wilds of Brazil, as well as three months of cheetah and leopard monitoring in South Africa.
As a photographer he has worked on assignment for the Nature Conservancy Magazine in Panama, RARE Conservation in South Africa, and SEE Turtles in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. His photos and writing have appeared in magazines around the world including Asian Geographic, Getaway Magazine in South Africa, and Ranger Rick Jr in the United States. His video and photo work have appeared on television shows ranging from National Geographic Channel’s “Caught In the Act”, to 50/50 in South Africa, Q-Sama Quiz Show in Japan, and most recently a children’s show in Germany. He founded Dodo Films, a film production company dedicated to producing fun and educational environmental films such as the web series “The Enviro-mentals”. He also has the distinction of being the only person in history to have documented a leopard attacking a crocodile. The photo sequence of this event (which you can view on his website halbrindley.com) lead him to meet his future wife Cristina. (read how below…)
Cristina was working in Dublin Ireland when she saw the photo of a leopard attacking a crocodile in a local newspaper. She looked up the photographer’s name online and discovered Hal’s website. She sent him a short email and in the conversation that followed they soon discovered a mutual interest in returning to Africa. As complete strangers, they agreed to meet up in South Africa, buy a vehicle, and drive around the continent together for seven months. They maintained an online journal of the experience, each writing their own side of the story without looking at what the other was writing. (The journals have since been compiled into a book.) Together they volunteered at a game reserve in South Africa for three months and then road tripped through Mozambique, Botswana, and Namibia. They didn’t kill each other; in fact they fell in love. Cristina joined Hal in the United States where they got married on a boat in Crystal River surrounded by Manatees. Then they started Travel For Wildlife, a website dedicated to adventure wildlife travelers. Together they travel the world, photographing, filming, and writing about wildlife, and sharing their passion with others.