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Patricia Glyn

Patricia Glyn is a familiar face and voice to South African audiences, having been in broadcasting for the past 15 years. On radio she’s remembered best for “Patricia’s People” – a programme which profiled the great explorers, scientists, historians and eccentrics of the world. On TV, she’s hosted many different shows, among them the controversial documentary series ‘Point Blank’.

Documentaries have remained a passion throughout her career. She covered a lone horsewoman’s attempt to cross Africa from coast to coast; she spent three days with the dead in the Johannesburg mortuary and she begged at downtown traffic lights with a piece of cardboard and a hidden camera.

Once again, Patricia has been trekking through the African wilderness in pursuit of a ghost. In 2011 she set off for the Kalahari, to find traces of a long-dead Bushman by the name of Makai Kruiper – a legendary mystic, hunter and healer who roamed ‘The Thirst Land’ a century ago. And by her side was Makai’s grandson, Dawid, a man as legendary as his forebear. Dawid is 76 years old and is easily the most famous Bushman in South Africa, having featured in numerous films, documentaries, books and academic studies.

But Dawid is also renowned for the most celebrated human rights victory for the Bushmen of Southern Africa. In 1999, Dawid and his Khomani clan won a land claim against the former apartheid government that had robbed them of their ancestral home and turned it into what is now the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP). In the years since that great day, however, lack of transport into the KTP has hindered the community from accessing all but a small portion of it. So the old man asked Patricia if she could help him mount an expedition to the places of great historical and cultural significance, further into the National Park, which Dawid had not visited since his youth and which his children have never seen. So between April and June that is exactly what they did. In a deeply moving and poignant trek, the Kruiper family (spanning four generations) and Patricia’s team visited and documented mystical and sacred places; battle and hunting grounds; birth, death and burial sites.

Patricia’s new talk is about what she witnessed on this trip: the fragments that remain in the Kalahari sand of a long-gone life; the extraordinary memory and tracking skills that helped Dawid find his grand-father’s artifacts, some 100 years after they’d been buried; the secrets that have been handed down from son to son.

In 2002, Patricia and 13 of her listeners walked 500 kilometres from the lowest to the highest points of Zimbabwe at a rate of 50 kilometres per day. Their efforts raised much needed funds for the animals suffering horribly as a result of political turmoil in that country. She’s canoed sections of several of Africa’s great rivers, she’s climbed Kilimanjaro twice, and Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere) once – all but the last 300 metres when the team was beaten back by a killer storm. I am told that the experience was so terrifying that she ain’t going back for the rest!

In 2003, Patricia spent three months at Mount Everest, reporting on the Discovery team’s efforts to stand on top of the world. Her daily journal describing life on this great mountain was later published as a popular book called “Off Peak”.

More recently, in 2005, she walked from Durban to the Victoria Falls in the footsteps of two of her ancestors who got to the Falls shortly after David Livingstone. The two thousand kilometre journey took her along the old hunter/trader routes to the interior of Africa, often off-road and often in Big Five territory. It gave her unique insights into the life of people and animals on our stupendous continent and renewed passion for its preservation.
This journey was the basis of her next best-selling book, "Footing with Sir Richard's Ghost", comprising 328 full-colour pages and over 400 photographs from Patricia’s expedition, her ancestors’ and many others of the 19th century.

What our clients say ...

“If the man next to you closes his eyes during Patricia’s talk, call 911 because only the dead could nod off through such a vibrantly told journey of intellect and the senses. You will laugh and cry, become outraged and feel the pangs of guilt of our species, and smile at this most honest self-portrait by one of those strong women that this continent is so good at breeding. Patricia is a story-teller to rival van der Post and David Rattray in her genre.”
Derek & Beverly Joubert, Filmakers & National Geographic Explorers in Residence

“I have heard many speakers in different parts of the world but Patricia Glyn’s talk about following her ancestors’ trail is without doubt one of the best I have ever heard.”
Ian Player, Conservationist and Founder of The Wilderness Leadership School

“An excellent talk about a gutsy expedition. Patricia is a true African at heart and she demonstrates that throughout her presentations.”
Matimba Mbungela, Managing Executive – HR Management Services, Vodacom

“Patricia Glyn does madcap things like walk from Durban to Vic Falls for one good reason – so we don’t have to. All we have to do is sit back and relive her adventures, as she recounts the most thrilling, amusing, heart-warming, emotional, tragic and bizarre stories of the trip. She is a story-teller without peer.”
David O’Sullivan, Broadcaster, 702 Talk Radio

“An inspirational story, truly mind boggling”
Bess Rhirando Skosana, HR Director, Nampak Tissue

“Patricia’s presentation is humorous, thought provoking, educational and enlightening. Delivered in a most captivating manner that makes an hour of listening feel like 5 minutes! Highly recommended!
Dot Field, Chief Communications Officer, Vodacom Group

“In my 25 years with Mensa, this was the finest presentation I have attended – a sentiment shared by other members. Not only was the delivery itself extremely professional, but the story was fascinating and very thought provoking. The tough times were related with an unflinching honesty that was breathtaking. In fact, the most impressive aspect of the talk was Patricia’s candour, laying bare insights she gained along the hot, dusty trail.”
Neil Kennard-Davis, National Chairman, Mensa South Africa

"A thought-provoking talk which forces a person to look at oneself and evaluate out lifestyle."
Urshula Steinmann, Events Executive, Grant Thornton

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Patricia Glyn