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Willem Daffue's picture

Willem Daffue ---

As a qualified veterinarian from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Willem Daffue is an adventurer, explorer and conservationist, who works for the Himalaya Wildlife Project, tracks bears in the Karakoram Mountains, documents and photographs endangered species on a global level, such as the Java Rhino and Sumatra Rhino. He is involved in the Giraffe Project of the University of the Free State, South Africa. Willem played provincial rugby and is an avid mountaineer as he has scaled mountains in the Himalayas, Russia, South America, Antarctica, etc. He is also interested in archaeology and the ancient origins of humankind, especially in lost tribes, whom he traces and occasionally lives with, when he is not crossing borders, pushing the limits, reaching summits and following his passion.


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Hemis Monastery / Gompa in Ladakh (©Willem Daffue)

The Hemis Monastery: Home of the Legends of Jesus and the Phantoms of the Himalayas

Mysterious, majestic and elusive, the phantoms of the Himalayas are so shy that many of the local people living in the Himalayas have never seen them. They know about these phantoms only because of...
Concordia, the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods

Seeking the Yeti in the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods

Between China and Russia and the Indian subcontinent lies a formidable mountain complex, sculptured by Asia’s six major mountain systems. Nowhere else on earth will one find such a treacherous and...
Samson and Delilah by Jose Etxenagusia (1887)

The Last Lions of Asia Almost Lost to Mankind

According to legend, about 3160 years ago, in the Levant, there was an enormously strong man, who tore the jaws of an adult male lion with his bare hands. Samson’ name was derived from the word semes...
The Borneo elephants are about 70% smaller than the Asian elephant, with a long tail hanging down to the ground and a relative short trunk. Their faces are baby-like with a cute appearance. (Image © Willem Daffue)

The Enigma of the Origins of the Borneo Elephants

Through history, at least 32 elephant species have existed on planet earth, some became extinct as early as the Miocene epoch (23.03 to 5.333 million years ago), but most species were exterminated by...
Nestled and sheltered by the mountain ranges, lies the hidden Hunza Valley, inspiration to the Shangri-La legend.

Was Alexander the Great Responsible for Creating Shangri-La in the Hunza Valley in Pakistan?

In his book Lost Horizon (1933) James Hilton created the legend of Shangri-La, a peaceful Himalayan valley of long-lived people. Where the northern border of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan...
The Ba’Aka pygmies are on the brink of extinction.

Hidden in History, Exposed to Modern Epidemics, the Lost Tribe of Ba’Aka Pygmies May Face Extinction

Deep in the rain forests of darkest Africa close to the Equator, in the Central African Republic, the Ba’Aka tribe – formerly known as pygmies - have lived for more than 40,000 years. Elusive, hiding...
Nazca mummies robbed of precious textiles

A Night with the Grave Robbers of Nazca

The Ica region on the southern coast of Peru, was once the homeland of the Nazca civilization, who thrived in the desert area from 2nd century BC to about 800 AD, due to their expertise in hydraulic...