James Shortt

Director of Sales

James S is our leading specialist for East Africa and Zambia, 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.

Recent Travel Experience

James is one of our most well travelled members of staff. Over the last four years he has taken six extensive trips to East Africa, two trips to Botswana and Zambia and one trip to South Africa. He has visited all the countries where we design safaris, apart from Namibia.

Expert Destinations

Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Zanzibar, Zambia and Rwanda.

African countries visited

Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zanzibar, Benin, Gambia, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal and Morocco.

James' 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, fuelling a passion for Africa as a whole. Specific highlights include visiting the home of voodoo at Ouidah in Benin and Africa’s largest floating village, Ganvie, on Lake Nokoue. However, it was trips to truly remote safari parks such as Penjari National Park and Guembeul National Reserve that ignited his enthusiasm for safari itself.

James studied Geography at Leeds University in the UK, where he focussed 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-focussed 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. We immediately hired him as the first member of our 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.

James is integral to the way we operate at Yellow Zebra. He ensures the quality of our safaris across the continent and works closely with our operations department to make sure our clients trips are flawless whilst they are in Africa.

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 was while I was working as a camp manager at Robin Pope. 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.

"We are on our way home from the best trip I personally, and my family has ever taken!!! We have a girl 13, and a 16 year old boy and the bar is set SUPER HIGH now!!! Thank you James Short! I think I mentioned your name every day we were away and raving about you to the family. I basically interviewed 14 different companies and agents that specialized in African Safaris and James is the Man! Finding the right agent is like a blind date and he and Yellow Zebra are the only company I would recommend."
"James Shortt organized an incredible trip and Safari for us. Every facet from the first call, planning details and the excellent pre trip suggestions provided by him and the fantastic staff were superb... Yellow Zebra totally exceeded our expectations and is truly the “Best of the Best”. Thanks for a Bucket List trip of a lifetime and I hope to return again some day. I can highly recommend James and everyone at Yellow Zebra to anyone planning an Africa Safari."
"James Shortt at Yellow Zebra Safaris did a wonderful job of helping us, two-independent minded and healthy 60+-year-olds, decide what we wanted to see and when. Those questions were answered via a number of emails back and forth in which James showed an extraordinary amount of patience with our numerous "What ifs?" When we began our trip planning, we were uncertain of many things, but the end result, created by James, was spectacular."

James' top lodges

Blog posts by James

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