The wildlife odyssey began at a very young age for Aziz Ahmed; a journey that was to become filled with passion, sacrifice, courage, and hope. From the age of four Aziz often used to accompany his father on hunting trips in the wild. Although born in Addis Ababa these explorer trips helped Aziz realize his passion for the countryside and wildlife of Ethiopia. At age 18 he landed his first job as a Rift Valley safari-hunting guide where he worked for some years.
Aziz then started his journey in videography & photography primarily from capturing moments and events of the wildlife of Ethiopia as he encountered them. He had soon gained unparalleled experience within the field of travel, as a tour guide and shooting bird photography across the country. His journeys and exploration have covered most of the country and along the way he has taken more than 64,000 bird photographs including 16 endemic birds, 420,000 photos depicting cultural events, historical sites and his particular passion of wildlife and their natural habitats.
Aziz has worked as a freelance photographer and filmmaker with Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS), Ethiopia Wildlife Conservation Authority, the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ethiopian Airlines, Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network, Addis Ababa University, UNESCO, UNEP, and most recently with National Geographic Africa.
After this experience, his passion for wildlife photography and filmmaking began to really take root. So much so that he sold his personal automobile in order to buy a state of the art camera. With this camera he started taking still photographs of birds and wildlife, which then evolved into filmmaking. Aziz shot and produced his first wildlife documentary film Ethiopian Wildlife voluntarily in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority. Next came ‘Dinkeye’, a wildlife music clip made in collaboration with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority. His third film was an Ethiopian Wildlife documentary film on the Simien and the Bale Mountains National Parks entitled ‘One Country –Many Worlds’. Ethiopia followed by A Bird watchers paradise with friend and partner Binyam Admasu – this was the first wildlife film to feature in London, at the International Bird Trade Fair in August 2014 representing Ethiopia. After travelling to the US, Aziz and Binyam began working on a film project highlighting all of the National Parks in Ethiopia. Tragically however, a couple of months into the project, Binyam passed away suddenly while caught up in a forest fire in the Bale Mountains. This was a very challenging time for Aziz, both personally and professionally. Sponsorships to fund the film project were also hard to come by with proposals to various organizations never materializing.
With the determination and passion to continue but without a field vehicle or the necessary funds to complete the project, Aziz was forced to sell his house to fund the film project as well as purchase a 4-wheel drive field vehicle (on credit) to be able to resume and complete the project. The film entitled ‘Discover Ethiopian National Parks’ is a documentary film highlighting 7 of the 14 National parks. Packed with useful information alongside unique and enticing scenery, landscapes and spectacularly diverse wildlife, this film provides an opportunity for viewers to discover the hidden gems of Ethiopia. The film includes stunning and never before seen seen footage of rare and endemic animals.
The film, which took a year in making, was launched in front of an audience of 190 attendees comprising of high-ranking government officials, wildlife conservation experts, and NGO representatives at the Sheraton Addis on December 5, 2015 and was deemed a great success for Aziz Ahmed. Aziz is now inspired to make the second volume of this film highlighting the remaining National Parks of Ethiopia. Upcoming projects also include a 1 hour documentary film for every National Park of Ethiopia, a 200 page photo book on all the National Parks, and a book on the Birds of Ethiopia. Aziz also plans to work on producing films on important issues such as poaching, trafficking, illegal hunting and climate change.
Aziz is indebted to the wildlife of Ethiopia. He knows the only way he can repay them is by aiding them in the protection of their habitats working with other respected local and international organizations to conserve them for the next generation. All his work is in honor of and respect for the incredible and diverse wildlife of Ethiopia.
Aziz is actively seeking Sponsorship for his future projects and is interested in arranging bookings for viewings of his film as a way to generate support as well as to highlight the magnificent natural beauty of his homeland.
Wildlife photography and filmmaking.