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About Freek

Freek Vonk

Biologist, scientist and adventurer

Freek, a professor at VU University Amsterdam and affiliated with Naturalis Biodiversity Center, among others, is Holland's best-known biologist.

With his indomitable curiosity for animals and nature, adventurer, presenter and biologist Freek Vonk, takes children and adults on an adventure. His mission is to make everyone aware of the beauty of nature and the fragility of the earth. And full of courage and determination, he travels the world in search of the most beautiful places and most extraordinary stories.


Freek graduated from Leiden University and specializes in the evolutionary biology of reptiles. For years, Freek has made several television programs in which he searches for the most extraordinary animals in the world. Freek also has his own monthly magazine "Wild van Freek", writes columns for among others Tros Kompas, VRIJ and Holland Herald, has published dozens of books, performs major live shows under the name Freek Vonk Live, is Chief Scout of Scouting Netherlands, a helicopter pilot, and is committed to the fight against poaching with his foundation "No Wildlife Crime".

Freek on TV

Who didn't grow up with it? Freeks Wilde Wereld has been one of the best watched children's television programs on Zapp for years.

In 2012, Freek is asked by the Dutch Public Broadcasting Company (NPO) to make a new television program: 'Freek op Safari' (Zapp/VPRO). This was followed by 'Freek in 't Wild' (2012/2013, Zapp/VPRO), 'Freeks Wilde Wereld' (from 2014 to present, Zapp/VPRO), 'Freek Vonk in Australia' (2014, BNNVARA), 'Freek Vonk in Latin America' (2015, BNN-VARA), 'Freek against the Poachers' (2016, BNNVARA), 'The Super Freek Show' (2016, BNN-VARA), 'Freek to the Sharks' (2017, BNNVARA), 'Freeks Jungle School' (2020 to present, Zapp/BNNVARA) and 'Freeks Saturday Night Safari' (2022, BNNVARA). 

He also becomes a regular expert on "De Wereld Draait Door. In December 2014, he gives a unique lecture for DWDD University on the topic of poison. The broadcast attracts over 1.5 million viewers. In 2016, this is followed up with a lecture for DWDD on "Evolution. And in 2017, Freek gives his final lecture for DWDD on 'Supersenses'.

Since 2022, Freek is the new voice of the EO nature series on NPO 1. EO nature gets a nice prominent place on the channel, starting with the series 'The Mating Game; how animals decorate'. Saturday eve will be the new time slot for nature series and it will feature unparalleled BBC series such as 'The Mating Game', 'Eden' and 'The Green Planet'.

Freeks Wild World

For his most famous program 'Freeks Wilde Wereld' Freek has been traveling around the world for over twelve years in search of the most special animals. Freek travels with huskies through snowy Norway, is unexpectedly visited by a tapir in Suriname, camps with Andean bears at high altitude in Peru and is fleeced by a friendly family of bear baboons. He also gives tips on how to survive in the most remote, rugged and inhospitable places in the world, where he goes.

Winner Gouden Stuiver, October 2015. Winner Zapp Award, 2018.


Golden Televizier-Ring Gala in October 2015 the Golden Penny: an audience award for the best children's program of the year. Freeks Wilde Wereld also won a Zapp Award for best Zapp program in 2018.

Freeks Jungle School

In Freeks Jungle School, Freek Vonk teaches about his favorite animals. The coolest animals he has encountered during his exciting adventures are spotlighted, such as the sloth, grizzly bears, lemurs and the black mamba. From his jungle cabin, Freek tells you everything you didn't already know about these animals and puts the most big, cute and dangerous animals under the microscope.


Freeks Saturday Night Safari

During his program Freeks Saturday Night Safari, Freek takes you, from the studio, on a voyage of discovery to the most beautiful and extraordinary places on earth. Besides fascinating lectures, spectacular images and stimulating questions about nature, two teams of Dutch celebrities compete against each other for the 'Golden Johan'. Each broadcast focuses on a different special place in the world.

The Super Freek Show

Do you already know everything about nature? Test it in The Super Freek Show! Freek Vonk and Evi Hanssen test the wildlife knowledge of an animal-loving family or group of friends against a team of Dutch celebrities.

Freek to the sharks

In the diptych "Freek to the Sharks," Freek shows us the wonderful world of these ocean kings. And we see the first images of the shark bite in which he was severely injured. Sharks are beautiful, but why are we so afraid of them? In addition, Freek follows the trail of the shark fin trade: from the battlefield at sea off Malaysia to the illegal trade in Hong Kong. 


Freek versus the Poachers

For the BNN program Freek Against Poachers, Freek travels to South Africa. In this four-part documentary series he highlights the illegal hunting of rhinos. Freek joins a patrol team that traces poachers at the risk of their lives. He shows how serious the threat to rhinos is and what means are used to prevent the extinction of these powerful animals.

Freek Spark in Latin America

Biologist Freek Vonk takes an off-road trip through the pristine regions of Latin America. From the extraordinary Galapagos Islands, straight through the jungles of Costa Rica, over the peaks of the Andes in Ecuador, through the rainforests of the Amazon to the vast swamps of the Pantanal in Brazil.

Freek Vonk in Australia

Freek makes an exploration of the farthest continent: Australia. Of all snakes worldwide, only 15 percent are venomous, but in Australia more than half are. He also encounters poisonous frogs, jellyfish, fish and sea snakes. 

Freek in the Wild

'Freek in the Wild' is a nature and adventure series set in the wilderness of South Africa, Zambia and the Surinamese rainforest. Among other things, Freek treks through the mangroves of Costa Rica in search of crocodiles, frogs and snakes.

Freek on Safari

Freek leads you around the wilderness and gives survival tips. What happens when an adventurous, hyperactive gife expert sets up camp in the African wilderness? The survival guide for kids who get lost in the wilderness in their imagination. 


Freek and the VU

Prof. Dr. Freek Vonk, professor at VU University Amsterdam.

The Executive Board of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is appointing biologist Freek Vonk as endowed professor of 'Evolutionary Biochemistry' as of February 1, 2020. This chair is made possible by Naturalis Biodiversity Center and focuses on the leads that natural toxins offer in the development of new medicines and on a new generation of antibodies for snake venoms. The special chair will be embedded in the Department of Chemistry & Pharmaceutical Sciences (S&F) of the Faculty of Science.

Freek and Naturalis

Freek is also affiliated with Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden.

Since 2012, Freek Vonk has been affiliated with the Naturalis Biodiversity Center as a researcher, where he is also the figurehead towards the public. In 2012, Freek was awarded the prestigious Eureka Prize by NWO and the KNAW for his outstanding ability to communicate his scientific research to a wide audience.

In 2016, he accompanied the tyrannosaurus 'Trix' to Naturalis for the exhibition 'T. rex in Town'. In 2017, Freek has his own exhibition Venom! Since 2019, after the opening of the new Naturalis, you can take a tour of Freek's favorites in the museum.

Chief Scout

Freek Vonk is Chief Scout of Scouting Netherlands

Scouting stands for adventure in nature, where children and young people develop their leadership skills and gain self-confidence. In this way, Scouting actively contributes to the development of youth in the Netherlands. Freek Vonk, as Chief Scout, can inspire everyone like no other to go on an adventure in nature and push his or her limits. The Chief scout is the face of Scouting Netherlands, the main ambassador who inspires children and youth, both scouts and non-scouts, to push their limits and experience challenging adventures.

Wild from Freek

Join Freek on an adventure

For 8 years Freek has had his own magazine, "Wild by Freek," a four-weekly publication for all boys and girls who love wild animals and Freek Vonk. In the magazine, the Netherlands' most famous biologist takes the children on an adventure. They hitch a ride in his backpack to unreachable places and stand face to face with the wild animals he encounters during his travels. The magazine gives a unique glimpse into Freek's life. In addition, the magazine is full of adventures, cool facts, funny comics, puzzles, quizzes, jokes and much more!

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