Combes was born in Shaftesbury, England, in 1940 and, at the
age of six, moved with his family to an 800-acre farm in Kenya's
Great Rift Valley. At the age of 19 he was drafted, serving
in the Kenya regiment. He then applied for and received a
commission in the King's African Rifles.
subsequent adventures and promotion to major at the age of
24, lead to perhaps a greater significance, the start of a
new hobby. During moments of inactivity in the northern desert,
Simon began to draw, and eventually paint the local nomadic
people and the landscape in which they lived.
1969, he was persuaded to stage an exhibition of his work
in Nairobi's New Stanley Art Gallery. The show was a near
sell-out and an idea about an alternative career began to
form in Combes' mind when someone made the suggestion that
he paint wildlife. The creative seed was sown, and in 1974
Combes said farewell to the army, bought a small house on
the outskirts of Nairobi and set up shop as a freelance artist.
the three decades since, he has achieved worldwide success,
countless commissions and many prestigious awards - including
the Society of Animal Artists' Award of Excellence. He was
chosen "Artist of the Year" for the 1994 Pacific
Rim Wildlife Art Show. The success of his work has aided Combes
as he seeks to raise awareness of wildlife conservation; he
has made contributions and served on the councils of several
is the author and artist of two critically acclaimed books,
Great Cats and
An African Experience.