The GP who wrote a wildlife book

When her wildlife photographer husband was asked to produce a coffee table book, GP Dr Natalie Burrard-Lucas agreed to write the text while she was on maternity leave.

Natalie Burrard-Lucas with husband Will and their daughter Primrose at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland
Natalie Burrard-Lucas with husband Will and their daughter Primrose at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

My husband, Will Burrard-Lucas, is a professional wildlife photographer. His ‘work’ involves travelling to spectacular corners of the globe to photograph wild animals. I, on the other hand, work as a salaried GP and spend most of my time sat in a consulting room seeing a never-ending stream of patients.

I love being a GP, but it isn’t an easy job. Words such as burnout and resilience are heard increasingly often these days. I have always had a love for travel and an interest in wildlife conservation. Accompanying Will on his wildlife adventures is one of my best burnout avoidance tactics.

Through his work, I have been fortunate enough to witness the great wildebeest migration in Tanzania, the Western Lowland Gorillas of the Congo and the unique creatures of the Galapagos Islands.

During GP training, I took an out of programme experience (OOPE), enabling Will and I to spend a year living and working in rural Zambia. I kept a blog during the year in Zambia, which is available here.

How the book came about

After Zambia and since completing GP training, I have been working as a salaried GP in Buckinghamshire. Just before I was due to go on maternity leave, Will was approached to do a coffee table book about his favourite wildlife sites around the world. He asked me if I wanted to take on the writing of this book as a maternity leave project.

Having accompanied him to a fair number of the destinations, I was well placed to write the text. Eight months into my first pregnancy, completely naïve to the work that would be involved when the baby arrived, I told him it sounded like a great idea. I think my exact words were ‘it’ll be good to have something to keep me busy’.

Writing the book

Our little girl arrived in February 2015. The book deadline was May 2015. Needless to say, getting it completed was a challenge. New mothers are often advised to sleep when baby sleeps. I was forced to modify this advice and wrote when baby slept. Somehow, we completed the book by the end of May, and Top Wildlife Sites of the World is now available in bookstores worldwide.

The book covers 32 of Will’s favourite wildlife hotspots, illustrated with his beautiful photographs. I feel so proud whenever I look at the book - it is definitely my second proudest achievement from my maternity leave. You can see a selection of photos from the book below.

Top Wildlife Sites of the World is available to purchase online through amazon.co.uk and can be found in bookstores such as Waterstones. For more information, visit www.topwildlifesites.com.


Elephants photographed with BeetleCam in Zambia


Giant panda, China


Ethiopian wolf, Bale Mountains, Ethiopia


Rockhopper penguins showering, Falkland Islands


Elk, Grand Teton National Park, USA

Photos: Will Burrard-Lucas/topwildlifesites.com

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