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

Mark's Upcoming Expeditions

  • Brazil's Pantanal: A Wildlife Adventure

    September 26October 14, 2016

    With its massive numbers of indigenous mammals, birds, and rare primates, Brazil’s Pantanal region is begging your discovery—come meet capybara, jaguars, ocelots, and tapirs in the planet’s largest seasonal wetland area.

  • The Culture of Japan

    Sacred Traditions: Japan Revealed

    October 21November 8, 2016

    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. 

  • Hawksbill Turtle

    Faces of Melanesia

    November 17December 3, 2016

    Introducing the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its fascinating people, our award-winning journey to these idyllic islands features incredible bird-watching opportunities, elaborate local traditions and ceremonies, snorkeling over pristine coral reefs, and the option to explore Papua New Guinea.

  • Bandipur National Park

    Wild Southern India

    January 8January 24, 2017

    Expedition Leader Mark Brazil, designed this itinerary that reveals southern India’s amazing wealth of birds and wildlife, plus a good dose of local culture. Explore three national parks where you’ll search for the Asiatic leopard, gaur, and sloth bear, and observe daily life as you cruise along Kerala’s backwaters.

  • Snow Monkeys

    Snow Monkeys & Cranes of Japan

    February 7February 25, 2017

    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.

  • Hundred Islands National Park, Philippines

    Asia's Subtropical Isles: Philippines, Taiwan & Japan

    March 11March 29, 2017

    Leave Asia’s skyscrapers and hectic pace behind for stunning beaches, fantastical caves, and primeval forests. The subtropical islands of the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan float like jewels upon the Pacific, offering precious treasures for adventurers to discover. 

  • Geographic Harbor, Katmai National Park, Alaska

    Wild Alaska

    July 6July 20, 2017

    This expedition takes advantage of the long mid-summer hours of daylight as you trace pristine shores, cross the Arctic Circle, and observe countless numbers of seabirds. You’ll visit remote Bering Sea and Pribilof Island communities, and search for whales, northern fur seals, Arctic foxes, and brown bears.

  • 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.