As a child Stuart received his first travel inspirations from weekly visits to his local zoo and the constant re-reading of the late, great Gerald Durrell's books about his animal collecting exploits in Corfu and beyond.
A few years later Stuart put the lizard hunting onto a back burner and took up surfing. A short and not very successful professional surfing career quickly evolved into the far more enjoyable task of surf exploration along some of the worlds most remote coastlines.
The results of these trips, which have seen him riding waves in places as diverse as the Arctic tundra in winter, the burning coastal deserts of Pakistan and Yemen in high summer, the rain soaked jungle beaches of Colombia and the shark infested reefs of eastern Africa, have appeared widely in the international surf and travel media.
His stories and photos from these trips have gained him a reputation for stumbling into minefields, getting his travel companions thrown into Third-World military prisons and becoming tangled up in all sorts of magical duals with passing sorcerers and ghosts.
His first guidebook work was all surfing based and included writing for the legendry Stormrider Guides as well as compiling his own Oceansurf Guidebooks to Portugal and Spain. Since joining Lonely Planet Stuart has worked on guides to Africa, France, Spain and Scandanavia, South Asia and the Middle East. He has also written about Africa South Asia and Arabia for other publishers and is the author of the Bradt guide to Benin.
Stuart lives beside the beautiful beaches of southwest France where the lack of a decent zoo is compensated for by the lizards and terrapins living in his garden.
His blog is http://stuartbutler-journalist.blogspot.com/