Andrew Muir

Executive Director. Wilderness Foundation. Environmentalist


Do you believe in destiny or do you create your own life?

A bit of both I guess. You create opportunities, but also need an element of luck or fate. But I think it is related to the energy you put out and how you behave in life. A positive attitude spreads and attracts all kinds of opportunity.Describe yourself at 10 years old?

Describe yourself at 10 years old?

Very individual, a loner. I have a very severe stutter, so as a child, I was teased mercilessly and realised very quickly that humour could diffuse most awkward and painful situations.

Describe yourself now?

I have overcome this handicap and now realise what a gift it has been. I have developed a heightened sense of intuition which has served me well. Having a stutter lessens the need for a business card! I use my stutter as an icebreaker and I make it work for me. It has become my friend.

Describe your last day on earth?

I take today as my last, so probably nothing different – I genuinely live for now and in the moment. I don’t put off joy and I take opportunities as if they are my last. Life throws many curve balls and there is no telling what could happen. I try and make everything I do worthwhile and meaningful.

What’s on your Tombstone?

“He walked his own walk”.

Describe your life in one word?


What do you dislike most?

Negativity – especially about this country. Getting stuck in the passivity. People who just moan and do nothing about it.

And yourself?

Not being as fit and healthy as I could be. I used to be an athlete but have let this go.

What do you love about women?

I embrace their femininity, their healing ability. The earth needs our women. They are more in touch with the earth. Some of our best volunteer guides are women.

What talent would you most like to have?

Ironically, the ability to communicate in written form.

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?

Our planet is in such decay. I would establish a wilderness leadership academy to which I would invite the top leaders in the world and together, we could work on a possible solution to our declining natural environment. I work on the sunshine theory – one person shines the light for many and reaching even one of these leaders could make a huge difference.

What do you friends say about you?

I have just had my 40th so that’s easy – my friends wrote that I am humourous, passionate, committed and that I bring people along with me.

Do you have mentors?

Yes, four. Firstly, my wife, Margot. She grounds me and is a true and equal partner of mine. I have her full support and she is a safe place for me to fall.
Mamphele Ramphele, who I met in 1989 when we spent 28 days on a wilderness trail together helped me overcome my fear of black people and was very instrumental in developing my social conscience. Ian Player continues to inspire me with his absolute immersion and passion for the natural world. He has really taught me about conservation. Laurens Van Der Post taught me how to understand humanity, and the link between nature and people. He was one of the worlds’ greatest writers and speakers and I continue to be inspired.

What saddens you?

Conflict, in both humanity and nature, where there is money and ego at stake.

What do you enemies say about you?

That I am too focused to see the woods from the trees; that I am ignorant and naïve and too idealistic.

Have you ever had a near death experience?

Yes, when a tree fell on my car. I thought it was thunder and my reaction was to stop, but a deeper instinct moved me forward and it missed me by a fraction. I realised that I didn’t fear death; that it happens when it happens, you go when you go.

What is your greatest fear?

A natural disaster on an unprecedented scale. The earth has been speaking, shouting to us, but we are not listening.

What advice would you give a broken hearted 18 year old?

Know when something is over. Don’t deny the pain - you must go through it and allow the emotions, no matter how deep and raw. At the same time, you have to move forward.

Sandy Coffey ~ Photographic Commissions

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