James was born and raised in Zimbabwe, Africa. As a youngster he was always outside with friends, exploring the bush around the area where he lived. School learning seemed like a waste of time to James – it took him away from his beloved sport in the vleis and quarries. His family had a small plot with every type of animal and the whole family was hands on around the farm.
When he was younger, James had the most fun motorbike racing or enduro riding. He also enjoyed water sports, skiing, powerboat racing and windsurfing. He was lucky enough to participate in game capture and relocation work at a local wildlife ranch while he was an apprentice. James got many close encounters with the game and describes it as “a great experience”. James always enjoyed going out to the game parks and camping out. He would often spend hours in hides near water holes, watching the animals go about their lives and capturing the moments with his camera. Such experiences gave him a different viewpoint on wildlife and conservation.
Since moving to Australia and taking up diving, James has seen another world open up. He has the same passion and interest in that realm as he did in the game reserves in Zimbabwe. James enjoys being able to travel and dive and views the chance to explore the unique underwater world as a privilege. He believes conservation and the maintenance of wildlife above and below the water is extremely important for the planet. “We all need to take a good look at what we do in our lives and see the impact it has on other species that have as much right to live on earth as man does.”
This is James's third Elysium Expedition.