Ellie leads as Director of Brand Experience, with over 12 years of travel experience in the safari industry.
Ellie’s passion for Africa started early. She has South African family and she spent multiple holidays there during her childhood. During her 20’s she travelled independently across Southern and East Africa, before joining a safari specialist in 2006. Since then she has been to Africa 25 times and she has accumulated over 12 years’ experience in the safari industry.
Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia.
Recent travel experience
Ellie has enjoyed a two-week trip around Zambia’s lesser-visited Kafue National Park, followed by a family trip to Ruaha National Park in Tanzania to do what she loves best – a walking safari.
Ellie's most memorable safari experience
"I have always loved walking safaris, and so it is no wonder that my most memorable safari experience was whilst I was on foot. I was staying at Kichaka Camp in Ruaha National Park and being guided by the renowned Moli, known for getting people up close to elephants. We had seen two young bulls from a distance and with the wind in our favour approached them on foot. With no more than 10 metres between us and them, they suddenly caught our scent and turned with heads raised. Moli’s upstretched hand said it all: ‘Do not move!!’ What felt like minutes later, after a trumpet and a forward lurch in our direction, the two bulls moved away, leaving us with our hearts in our mouths."
As a child, Ellie would go to South Africa to visit family every summer. She fondly remembers spending time in her grandparents’ garden chasing lizards and chongololos, swimming in the sea near their house, and going on camping safaris to Pilanesberg National Park. But it was a family holiday to the Okavango Delta when she was a teenager that started Ellie’s passion for safari.
A few years later, during her year before university, Ellie boarded a plane bound for Dar es Salaam. A three-month conservation research placement on Pemba Island followed by a six-month backpacking adventure down to Cape Town took Ellie through most of Southern and East Africa. As if that were not enough, she returned to the continent after university for a short stint of volunteer work at an orphanage in Kisumu – a small town on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya – and then again took to the road to travel through the areas she had missed out the first time.
On her return to the UK in 2006, Ellie started working for an esteemed UK safari specialist, moving up the ranks from Safari Specialist to General Manager by the time she left. During her career there she helped to set up the Northern Tanzania and Kenya programme, was a contributing author to the Rough Guide to Kenya and the Zambia Bradt Travel Guide, and helped the company grow to three times the size it had been when she started. She joined Yellow Zebra at the end of 2018.
"Yellow Zebra Safaris created a fabulous three location trip for our honeymoon in Tanzania. Their expertise from on-the-ground experience shone throughout the booking process, and during the trip itself... Truly cannot recommend YZ enough. Fabulous company, and thank you especially to Ellie : ) Look forward to travelling with you again!"
"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..."