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.