John Bassi has dedicated most of his life to the plight of wildlife in Africa. Raised in north eastern Zimbabwe, he was inspired by a life of living and working in wilderness areas throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Learning about the cruel realities of war and human greed, he made a vow to devote his life to protecting nature. Fuelled by a passion for wilderness and aviation, John Bassi embarked on a challenging and fascinating journey through the birth, growth and change of South Africa's game capture industry. Translocation projects, wildlife research, and veterinary and breeding projects expose him to the shape, form and movement of African wildlife on a daily basis. John specialised in operating helicopters and has become one of the leading game capture pilots and conservationists in the country. John has stood at the forefront of the industry and has accumulated over sixteen thousand hours of flying throughout Southern Africa.
On the flip side, he has been witness to elements that hide commercial exploitation under the guise of conservation and he has seen the degradation of some of South Africa's pristine wilderness areas; an all too familiar sight echoing the ruin of his beloved Zimbabwe. John has incorporated his extensive knowledge and skill into providing a unique helicopter platform for wildlife research projects, large-scale anthrax vaccinating, aerial game censuses, radio tracking, ecological surveys, helicopter safaris, conservation education and everything else imaginable with regards to rotorcraft aviation. Inspiration gleaned from years of working hands-on with African wildlife is reflected in John's wild- life bronze sculptures, always in motion. John has written published articles on aviation, expeditions and conservation and, since February 2002, has been writing articles for the monthly aviation magazine SA Flyer. John Bassi's contribution to our natural heritage has been immeasurable, a legacy made all the more admirable considering how few possess the passion, expertise and empathy required to be an exceptional wildlife helicopter pilot.