John Varty attended Parktown Boys" High School in Johannesburg.
Varty is also leading a controversial project which aims to create a free-ranging, self-sustaining tiger population outside of Asia. As a child, John learned about hunting on the family game farm near the Kruger National Park. They renamed it Londolozi, which is the Zulu word for "protector of living things".
Since then it has become one of the top resorts in the world and was included in Travel and Leisure"s world"s best for 4 of the last 5 years.
John made several documentaries that were widely distributed: Living with Tigers, Shingalana, Jamu, the Orphaned Leopard. In 2011, John Varty starred in Leopard Queen, a documentary about a leopard he has filmed for 17 years.
He also wrote, produced and starred in Running Wild a feature film starring Brooke Shields. In 2000, John started a Bengal tiger re-wilding project near Philippolis in the Free State.
Starting with captive bred tigers, the aim is to establish a wild tiger population outside of Asia.
In 2003, the progress was documented in a The Discovery Channel production called Living with Tigers. In 2011, National Geographic made a second documentary called Tiger Manitoba of Africa. The project has received controversy after accusations by their investors and conservationists of manipulating the behaviour of the tigers for the purpose of a film production, Living with Tigers, with the tigers believed to be unable to hunt.
Quan and Bray subsequently established the Save China"s Tigers Laohu Valley Reserve, also near Philippolis.
Moreover, scientists have also established that the tigers are not genetically pure, which would imply that the project has no conservation value. On 29 March 2012 John Varty was critically injured when one of his tigers attacked him on his farm near Philippolis.
He suffered multiple injures and puncture wounds all over his body. He spent approximately one month in hospital.
In January 2014 KIA South Africa released a television commercial, Tiger in Africa, with John Varty"s footage shot at Tiger Canyons.