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James S

Sales Director

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Award-winning safari company, World Travel Awards
James Sales Travel Director

James S 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.

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!

Expert destinations

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

African countries visited

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

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.

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.”

Client reviews

"James and the rest of the team at Yellow Zebra took on the challenge of constructing us a Tanzania safari itinerary during the pandemic. We specified the length of our trip and our objectives and James and co. did the rest. This kind of service stood out to us because many other companies were only willing to offer us pre-set itineraries that did not fit our needs. We were offered superior accommodations and all transfers and logistics between locations worked seamlessly. The small touches and attention to detail were also impeccable--for example, it was our anniversary on the trip and our camp was notified and provided us something special. Finally, communication from YZ during the planning process and lead-up to the trip was excellent, which helped our preparation and led to a seamless travel experience. The safari was pricey but it was worth it. Can't recommend Yellow Zebra highly enough."
“My husband and I have just returned from our first ever Safari which we did with our daughter and son-in-law... The attention to detail was impeccable. Yellow Zebra will definitely be planning our next safari and we can't wait."
“We came across Yellow Zebra Safaris when we were looking into our very first safari trip. The website looked exciting – we gave them a ring and never looked back! Very professional and friendly, James Shortt answered our 1000 newbie questions, guided us to countries, camps and transfers, and put together a fantastic holiday to remember!”

James's Top Lodges

Blog Posts by James

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Brian Jackman, safari expert for The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Condé Nast, and the BBC

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