Travel Specialist

James Gilpin


In joining Reef & Rainforest, James has come almost full circle, geographically speaking. He grew up in Galmpton, just downstream from Totnes on the River Dart and, after an adventurous life, has come home to his old Devon stomping ground.

James has always had a keen interest and abiding passion for the natural world. He attended Cardiff University to study zoology which provided ideal opportunities for travel and scientific research. One such highlight was his time in Borneo helping on a tarsier and slow loris project.

He has worked as a countryside ranger; a wildlife tour guide on boats off the west coast of Scotland; undertaken professional conservation placements in Malaysia and Costa Rica; and worked multiple seasons as a beach lifeguard for the RNLI on Devon’s beautiful coastline.

Long stints living abroad, first in Western Australia for two years, then Costa Rica/Mexico for eight months, have given him a deep appreciation of complete immersion in wilderness destinations. Other nature travel highlights include Peru, Bolivia, Canada, Bali and Spain.

After residing in Cornwall and running an ecological gardening business for the past few years, James decided on a big change of direction. He felt it was time to pursue a career which would combine his twin obsessions: travel and wildlife and we are delighted he chose to become one of the Reef & Rainforest team.

For enjoyment, James’ boyhood interest in whitewater kayaking on the River Dart eventually led him to join a challenging expedition on the Sun Khosi river in Nepal: he considers an unplanned, early exit from his kayak while negotiating Grade four rapids a near-death experience. Football (Arsenal), surfing, photography and padel are among his other hobbies.