Zodiac Cruising in Antarctica

Mark Brazil

Expedition Leader & Ornithologist

Mark Brazil

Mark developed his fascination with the natural world, especially birds and mammals, during his boyhood in the landlocked English county of Worcestershire. He pursued academic interests in biology during studies in England and Scotland, while exploring the coasts and mountains of Britain in search of birds. Mark earned his PhD from Stirling University, Scotland, for his work on avian behavioral-ecology in Iceland and Scotland. Ornithological research, natural history consultancy for TV companies, and guiding naturalists and wildlife photographers, have taken him to all continents, but his particular passion is Asia in all its diversity. Fascinated by island biology, he is a leading authority on the natural history of Japan, where he worked as a professor of biodiversity and conservation at Rakuno Gakuen University, near Sapporo, until 2007. Mark is currently based in Hokkaido, Japan. In addition to being a field naturalist, he is a prolific writer. He is a columnist for The Japan Times newspaper (his column Wild Watch has appeared there since 1982 and is the longest running natural history column in the world) and writer-in-residence for JapanVisitor.com. Mark’s books include Wild Asia: Spirit of a Continent, The Birds of Japan (the definitive text of bird biology and distribution in the Japanese archipelago), the monograph The Whooper Swan, and most recently, A Field Guide to the Birds of East Asia. Mark juggles international travel with writing and enjoys spending as much time as possible exploring Hokkaido.


Mark's Blog Posts

Is an iPhone Really the Best Camera for Travel?

All in for Subtropical Asia

Whale Watching: Japan Style

Taking a "Green Shower" in Japan

The Way of Tea


What Was Your Favorite Wildlife Experience of 2016?


Mark's Upcoming Expeditions

  • Anavilhanas National Park, Brazil

    Brazil: Rivers of the Amazonian Rainforest

    September 19October 6, 2017

    Mark Brazil, expedition leader and ornithologist, helped create this brand-new itinerary, exploring some of Brazil’s lesser-traveled rivers and pristine Amazonian rainforest. Spend five days exploring the River of Doubt, search for unique wildlife in the Mamiraua Reserve, and explore the Anavilhanas Archipelago.

  • Kyoto, Japan

    Sacred Traditions: Japan Revealed

    October 13October 31, 2017

    This brand-new Japan adventure introduces you to everything from Honshu Island’s local residents to Kyoto’s noteworthy temples and Kanazawa’s famous gardens of Kenroku-en—it’s an off-the-beaten-path immersion with incredible personal connections made possible by Japan expert Mark Brazil. 

  • Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

    Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands

    January 4January 25, 2018

    Following in Sir Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps, explore the White Continent’s rugged landscape, meeting vast penguin colonies in South Georgia and the South Orkney Islands, greeting albatross in the Falkland Islands, and enjoying every long moment of daylight in the austral summer.

  • Snow Monkeys of Japan

    Snow Monkeys & Cranes of Japan

    January 31February 18, 2018

    Marvel at the sight of nearly 12,000 hooded and white-naped cranes, as they flock to Japan’s exquisite wintertime landscape, Arasaki, Kyushu—later, a boat trip to the tip of the Shiretoko Peninsula puts us up close and personal with Steller’s sea eagles.

  • Squirrel Monkeys, Wild Colombia

    Wild Colombia

    March 5March 18, 2018

    On our Colombian adventure, we’ll take in the country’s natural and cultural highlights, from its white-sand beaches and vibrant cities to pristine coral reefs, a coffee plantation, and artifacts of ancient pre-Hispanic cultures.

  • Elephants, Sri Lanka

    Natural Wonders of Sri Lanka

    March 21April 6, 2018

    Wildlife expert Mark Brazil leads this immersive exploration of the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” with its bird-watching haven, Sinharaja Nature Reserve; Yala National Park’s Sri Lankan elephants; and the World Heritage Site of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. 

  • Cape Verde

    Sea to Sahara: Cape Verde, Canary Islands & Morocco

    April 7April 22, 2018

    Join Zegrahm Cofounder, Mike Messick, on a brand-new itinerary showcasing far-flung islands and exotic port of call. Discover Cape Verde’s charming Portuguese villages; hike through the volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands; explore magical Marrakech; and experience the undulating Sahara Desert.

  • Hokkaido: Japan's Wild Island

    Hokkaido: Japan's Wild Island

    May 19June 3, 2018

    On this brand-new voyage through one of Japan's least-developed islands, you'll be surrounded by wildlife as you search for Japanese pygmy-woodpeckers, white-tailed eagles, Eurasian bullfinches, and iconic red-crowned cranes; and explore spectacular Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

  • Best of Brazil

    Best of Brazil: A Wildlife Adventure

    September 16October 4, 2018

    Search for Brazil’s iconic wildlife—caiman, giant anteaters, Brazilian tapirs, maned wolves, capybara, howler monkeys, marmosets, giant river otters, and our ultimate goal, the elusive jaguar—on this overland adventure with Mark Brazil.

  • Sacred Traditions: Japan Revealed

    Sacred Traditions: Japan Revealed

    October 12October 30, 2018

    This Japan adventure introduces you to everything from Honshu Island’s local residents to Kyoto’s noteworthy temples and Kanazawa’s famous gardens of Kenroku-en—it’s an off-the-beaten-path immersion with incredible personal connections made possible by Japan expert Mark Brazil. 

  • Asiatic Leopard

    Central India: A Wildlife Safari

    November 15November 30, 2018

    The original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Pench National Park, is just one of the stunning national parks visited on this Indian safari. Also explore Bandhavgarh National Park, formerly a maharajah’s private hunting preserve, as well as Satpura National Parka, a 202-square-mile national park and tiger reserve.