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James Sales Travel Director

James is our Sales Director, overseeing our fastest-growing department. He is a leading specialist for East and Southern Africa and is integral to our operations in Tanzania and Zambia in particular.

A snapshot

Over the last fifteen years, James has gained a wealth of travel experience across the entire continent. His career within the industry started in Zambia, where he ran some of Africa’s finest walking safari camps.

Expert destinations

Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe.

Recent travel experience

James is one of our most well-travelled members of staff. Over the last nine years, he has taken ten extensive trips to East and Southern Africa and he has visited all the countries where we design safaris. Most recently James ticked Namibia off his travel list, going quad biking, sky diving, and fat biking, and climbing up Sossusvlei’s Big Daddy sand dune!

James' most memorable experience

“A very tough decision! Diving with whale sharks off Mafia Island, walking with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, fly camping in remote safari parks, the Luangwa… it’s almost impossible to say. The most memorable cultural experience was without doubt visiting the home of voodoo in Benin; nothing has come close to how unique this experience was. But for wildlife it simply has to be the gorillas in Rwanda – the size of those silverbacks has to be seen to be believed.

“Another memorable experience happened while I was working as a camp manager at Robin Pope’s Nkwali. I was just sitting by myself, looking down the road waiting to see the lights of the car that was returning from its night drive. I then hear a rustle, and out steps a leopard right in front of me! It stops in the middle of the road and stares at me. After a long three seconds, it continues into the bush on the other side of the road. The leopard is shortly followed by a hyena, no doubt hoping to steal a potential kill from the big cat – it is very common to see the two animals travelling close to each other in the South Luangwa. I quickly decided that I should go back to the bar, to wait for the guests.”

James's biography

James’s African travel experience is the most diverse of anyone at Yellow Zebra. From an early age, his father’s role as the head of African operations for a shipping company saw the family explore the majority of West and North Africa. James travelled in Senegal, Gambia, Benin, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia during his teenage years, fueling a passion for Africa as a whole. Specific highlights include visiting the home of voodoo at Ouidah in Benin and seeing Africa’s largest floating village, Ganvie, on Lake Nokoue. However, it was trips to truly remote safari parks such as Pendjari National Park and Guembeul Natural Reserve that ignited his enthusiasm for safari itself.

James studied Geography at Leeds University in the UK, where he focused on tourism and urban growth in African cities. His case study was Nigeria’s major city, Lagos.

After university, James and his partner were offered the opportunity to run Robin Pope’s famous Nkwali Camp in Zambia’s South Luangwa. Subsequently, their passion for remote locations inspired them to move deeper into the bush and run the walking-focused Tena Tena, one of Africa’s most famous walking camps. Their final management position was at the exclusive Luangwa Safari House, with a brief stint also at Robin Pope’s private house, Robin’s House.

Whilst working in Zambia, James travelled to Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Kenya. He then returned to the UK and came in for an interview at Yellow Zebra. He was immediately hired as the first member of the team. He is a unique safari specialist due to his knowledge of both sides of the industry and his broad travel experience across the continent.

Client reviews

“James found us the perfect camps in Botswana which ticked all the boxes from our wish list (including our desire to see a honey badger!). Covid interfered and the postponement team dealt with our twice delayed holiday brilliantly... The whole team at Yellow Zebra are therefore wholeheartedly recommended to provide you with a perfect safari experience."
“I am so happy with Yellow Zebra Safaris. James and the group were flawless in making sure I did what I needed to properly to have a great trip. Helpful, responsive, and friendly. I can't wait to book another Safari with them!!!”
“Words cannot describe how happy we are with Yellow Zebra! Thank you from the bottom of hearts to James S... We went to the Serengeti, Ruaha, and Zanzibar and everytime we walked into a new accomodation, totally awe-struck, we'd go "Thank you, James!"... I first used Yellow Zebra solo on 2019 this is my second time using it. I cannot wait to book a third trip with YZ!”

James's Top Lodges

Blog Posts by James

Why Trust Yellow Zebra with your African Safari?

"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

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