James Shortt

Head of Africa

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 and Zambia.

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.

James' top lodges

Blog posts by James

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