Chris and Linda Branham
Chris was born on the slopes of Kilimanjaro in the town of Moshi in Tanzania, East Africa where his father was a great white hunter and his mother a teacher and nurse. His first language was Swahili, spoken by his Masai nanny. He is fortunate that he was not sold by his parents as the local Masai had never seen a white baby and wanted to purchase young Christopher for the price of 50 cows. At the age of six Chris was sent to several English boarding schools and later on to Rhodesia, (before Independence when it became Zimbabwe) to attend Marendellas High School. After graduation from Marendellas and Tanganyika had become independent, it was arranged for Chris to come to the US and live with Dennis and Mildred Branham, and attend college at Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage, where he majored in art. After a few years Chris was adopted by the Branham’s and also gained his U.S. citizenship. At the age of 18 he was taught to fly, which became a lifelong passion; his expertise at flying single engine planes, whether on floats, large tundra wheels or ski/wheels, gained Chris more experience in all types of terrain than almost any pilot in Alaska. His skill levels and knowledge, plus years of experience, is hard to surpass. After helping his adoptive father, Dennis, and his Uncle Bud Branham start Rainy Pass Lodge, then on to help with Kokanok Falls Lodge, and later Hayes River Lodge, he gathered forces with his older brother Mike to help with Fox Bay Lodge and later on Chris and Linda’s formation of Royal Wolf Lodge and Big Ku Lodge in Southwest Alaska.
LINDA GRANT BRANHAM
Linda was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she attended school and later on continued her education at Greenbrier College for Women and then Stanford University. She was raised in a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian style home, which was partially built by her parents on time off from their busy schedule running a local CBS television station. After extensive travel throughout Europe, Linda settled in New York City where she held several jobs at once, including a stint with ABC News. After raising two children in Vermont, (where she also raised goats and was in the Scandinavian furniture business) she moved to Connecticut and eventually ended up in Boulder, Colorado where she expanded her interests in the culinary world. After her children were on their own she continued her desire to explore the unknown and landed a job as head chef at a fly-fishing lodge in Alaska. This is where she met Chris in 1989. They married in 1990 and started Royal Wolf Lodge soon after. Linda’s son Christopher and daughter-in-law, Olina, live in Colorado where they have two sons, Noa and Miles. Her daughter Alix and son-in-law Jason live in Anchorage, Alaska. Linda divides her time between running Royal Wolf Lodge, writing fiction, reading, and yearly trips to East Africa, where they have started a small tour business.