With a safari career spent guiding at the highest level in the industry, Andrew is one of our most experienced professional safari guides. Having grown up in South Africa and spent years guiding and training for the leading companies in the industry, Andrew joins the YZ team with a wealth of experience.
Andrew’s adult life has been devoted to sharing Africa’s wild spaces through lodge-based guiding in South Africa, as well as multi-destination privately guided expeditions across South and East Africa. Aside from guiding, Andrew lived in East Africa training safari guides to deliver extraordinary guest experiences across Tanzania and Kenya’s most iconic wilderness areas.
South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya
Recent travel experience
Andrew recently went on a solo self-drive expedition across the northernmost reaches of the Serengeti National Park and its adjoining protected areas. This adventure meandered around Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania’s last remaining active volcano) and Lake Natron (an alkaline lake set in the harshest of landscapes). Next Andrew navigated the Great Rift Valley, and eventually he witnessed the famed Mara river crossings of the Serengeti’s great wildebeest migration.
Andrew's most memorable experience
“You’ll never forget the moment you open your eyes and take in the view from the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. It’s initially a shock of everything at once, and then your eyes journey through the details of the changing topography, habitats, and textures. Another ingrained memory would be waking up to the monotonous ’gnu’ chant of being surrounded by hundreds upon thousands of wildebeest of the great migration. The feeling of being drenched by the thundering mist of Victoria Falls, whilst looking in all directions at different rainbows, is tough to forget.
The new, old, beginning, or end are characteristics that impact our biggest memories. On safari this means firsts, rarities, babies, old/storied individuals, and at times death have the most profound impacts on what we remember – and through years of living inside the wildest parts of Africa, I have memories of all of these, and can’t wait for more.”
It was Andrew’s grandfather who introduced him to the natural world at a young age, encouraging him to peer through a pair of binoculars to admire a little nondescript bird. This moment of awe developed into a passion for all things untamed and ultimately led Andrew into a career of guiding and guide training. As is the way of any safari, Andrew took a meandering route to becoming a guide, after navigating a Marketing/Creative degree in Cape Town, South Africa.
Andrew guided for several years in the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, with a penchant for walking safaris and mentoring other guides. It didn’t take long for him to acquire the necessary national qualifications (FGASA & in-house) and experience to become a full-time guide trainer. Andrew moved to &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to focus on guide training, and leading specialist safaris across Southern and East Africa.
East Africa eventually became Andrew’s homebase. Dividing his time between Tanzania and Kenya, Andrew enjoyed an enviable lifestyle in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maasai Mara, Zanzibar, and various other wilderness areas in ‘the home of safari’. With ample time in the field, Andrew was able to pursue his interests in wildlife photography, extensive walking adventures, trail running, scuba diving, and any other activity that would bring him closer to the natural world.
Across nearly 15 years in the realm of guiding safaris and training people, it was leading privately guided expeditions across a number of wild destinations where Andrew was able to fully understand the spectrum of feelings one goes through when they’re able to explore Africa.
Andrew did bring his binoculars and lunchbox into the office on his first day at Yellow Zebra – youthful enthusiasm still exists after a long lived and loved passion.
"Yellow Zebra are genuine specialists; they know the African bush like the back of their hand."
Brian Jackman, safari expert for The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Condé Nast, and the BBC
'Europe's Leading Safari Tour Operator' at the World Travel Awards
8 years in a row, since 2015
"Wies Van der Meer was very patient and answered all of our questions"
"Yellow Zebra excels at understanding our needs and proposing a fantastic itinerary. They take the uncertainty and confusion out of planning. They're super nice, easy to work with, and the trip we arranged them to Southern Africa in 2018 was flawless. We've now planned a 2024 trip through Yellow Z..."
"I haved worked with YZ 2 years in the past and am planning another trip for 2024. Emma has been responsible and flexible as needed. She provides good information and advice based on her travel experiences."
"Olivia was great at listening to my specific requests. It truly is a designed for your wants and needs tour.
The follow-up information regarding travel insurance, visas etc was top notch. You feel very prepared for your trip!"
"I have been delighted with the planning process of our Yellow Zebra African Safari in Botswana. Our travel specialist, Wies Van Der Meer, East Africa manager, was enthusiastic, helpful and informative. His vast knowledge of Africa provided valuable information and perspective about the areas bes..."