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Wilderness photographer | journalist | guide

'Through my images, books, articles, safaris and workshops I hope to inspire others to fall in love with the African wilderness and become advocates for the conservation of this continents wild places.'

Jay Roode is widely recognized as one of the most influential female aerial photographers working today. With an unquenchable thirst to explore off-the-beaten-track destinations and the continent's most out-of-the-way national parks and safari hotspots, she has spent over a decade photographing some of the most remote and spectacular wilderness areas from above.


She isn’t just limited to the African skies however, and has an impressive collection of international travel, landscape, wildlife and cultural photography, all taken with her feet firmly on the ground.


Her critically acclaimed photographs and articles of Africa’s grand wilderness spaces have been featured in press all over the world including GEO, National Geographic Travel, BBC Wildlife, CNN, Travel Africa, The Royal Photographic and United Nations publications to name a few.

With an instantly recognisable style, Jay’s work has sold around the world and been utilised to raise vital funding and raise awareness for a variety of charitable organisations including the Endangered Wildlife Fund, UNEP, The David Shepperd Foundation, Elephant Havens and the NamibRand Foundation. Jay is represented in galleries locally and abroad, and her fine art prints feature in private collections internationally.

She is the photographer and author of Aerial Art; a large format coffee table book featuring images from the southern African region and writes consistently for a variety of photographic and wildlife magazines.

Jay, along with her pilot husband Jan, own Aerial-Africa; a bespoke safari company offering aerial photographic safaris, workshops and guided self-fly experiences.


With an honours degree in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, she is passionate about writing, photographing and promoting sustainable travel destinations in Africa that provide unique opportunities for the traveller to delve deeper, make holidays more meaningful, contribute and connect in far reaching ways to the people, animals and communities supported by tourism.

Her focus is on pioneering conservation practices, philanthropy, innovation, creativity and big picture thinking… all of which bring lasting positive change and support for Africa’s great wilderness spaces.


Photography that challenges  perspectives

Photographing intimate, uninterrupted moments in time. Capturing the ephemeral nature of shifting sands and flowing water, alongside the bedrock certainty of desert places that have remained unchanged for thousands of years...




It all started with one crazy idea….

Back in the 1990’s when these two first met Jan was an ambitious chartered accountant with aspirations on acquiring a Ferrari and Jay a newly qualified environmentalist, with a healthy passion for botany and frogs. An unlikely pair indeed.

Fast forward a decade or so through some impressive business accomplishments, including Jan listing his property development company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Jay immersing herself in a variety of travel photography and conservation education projects, the two found themselves at a crossroads. Some may call it an early mid-life crisis, others a unique blend between courage and stupidity, but they decided to leave it all behind and embark on a remarkable adventure.

After acquiring a pilot’s licence and a light aircraft, the two decided to head off into those big blue African skies to explore and photograph Africa’s wilderness spaces from above. What started as a combination between adventure, creativity and philanthropy turned into a passion that has not just changed their lives but the countless guests they have taken on safari.

More than 15 years after that first unforgettable flight, Jan and Jay’s photography and conservation stories have graced the pages of publications such as National Geographic Travel, GEO, The Royal Photographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Smithsonian, and on online platforms such as CNN and MSN. They have been published in a variety of books, including their own large scale coffee table book entitled Aerial Art; a visual banquet of aerial images of southern Africa that will leave you speechless with its grandeur and scale. 


Having spent the better part of two decades exploring southern and east Africa from the seat of their aircraft and on the ground, they have discovered locations, lodges, experiences and formed beautiful relationships, all offering a unique take on what Africa has to offer. Honing their philosophy of luxury, exploration, conservation and community their decision to leave behind the corporate world has grown into a premier photographic safari company which takes guests across Africa to explore and photograph her most miraculous natural wonders. 


As avid philanthropists and conservationists Jan and Jay gift their images to a variety of conservation organizations to support their efforts to conserve both habitat and species such as The Endangered Wildlife Trust, The United Nations Environmental Program, The David Shepherd Foundation, The Namibrand Foundation and to non-profits involved in rewilding such as Elephant Havens and WorthWild. They also support the fantastic initiative of Wild Shots Outreach; educating young adults in the joys of photography and conservation.

With their Prints with Purpose initiative, a percentage of the sale of each of their limited-edition fine art prints gets donated directly to a conservation cause in the country in which it was taken.





Hear the incredible s​tory of international award-winning aerial and wilderness photographers Jan and Jay Roode and their personal undertaking to photograph southern Africa's wildest places from the seat of their specially modified light aircraft.


It offers audiences insight into the passion, commitment, dedication and reverence for the natural world it takes to leave behind the stability of their corporate jobs in search of a dream.


Inspiring, humorous, thought provoking, delving deep into their adventures and misadventures, and accompanied by breath-taking beautiful images, this presentation of their 15-year journey, with all the highs and lows will keep you spellbound.

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Photographing southern Africa's most beautiful wilderness spaces for above...

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Aerial Art is a spectacular collection of photographs that record the astounding beauty, scale, and diversity of the vast wilderness spaces of southern Africa.

"This book is visual celebration of Africa from the unique bird's-eye view from the seat of a light aircraft"

Flying thousands of hours in their specially modified aircraft, internationally recognized aerial photographers Jay and Jan Roode have spent more than a decade photographing some of the most remote and spectacular wilderness areas from above, revealing the beauty of wildlife in their natural habitats.


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