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Southern Africa Manager

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Award-winning safari company, World Travel Awards

Kelly guided across Safari Africa for the best part of five years. Her time guiding means she has a firm grasp of all the destinations where we operate safaris. Her expert areas at YZ are Namibia, Victoria Falls, Botswana, South Africa, and Tanzania.

A snapshot

Kelly worked as a professional guide across the entirety of Safari Africa before moving back to the UK and joining one of the country’s leading luxury travel companies. Determined to work as a specialist, Kelly started her career at YZ in 2016. Her knowledge of Southern Africa is especially strong.

Recent travel experience

Kelly's most recent trip to Africa was in late 2019 where she travelled to Tanzania, following the famed 'northern circuit'. During her educational trip, she spent an adventurous night under the stars at Alex Walker's Serian fly camp in the Serengeti. And having safari'd extensively now in both East and Southern Africa, Kelly compared the two in a guide for first-timer goers, giving prospective clients a starting point on whether Tanzania or South Africa is the right place for them

Expert destinations

Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Victoria Falls.

African countries visited

Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Kelly's biography

Kelly’s passion for travel and wildlife started at age 18, when a six-month trip to Asia and Australia turned into a seven-year adventure! During this time, she completed her university degree in Business and Tourism in Sydney and travelled widely in between work and study. Returning to London, she worked in the City within the financial sector, as an international events organiser.

In 2010, the change came! A last-minute safari to East Africa led to Kelly’s falling in love with the African continent. Deciding that she needed to explore more, she left London and got a job as an overland tour leader. Five fantastic years followed, during which Kelly led long-haul camping trips through nine different African countries, from South Africa all the way up to Uganda, enjoying numerous personal jaunts on the side!

Kelly joined YZ in 2016 and has fast become an expert member of our team. Her knowledge of all the destinations where we operate safaris is very good. However, it is her recent trips to Southern Africa that have seen her come to specialise in South Africa as well as Namibia and Botswana. Her knowledge of Namibia is encyclopaedic.

Kelly’s travel highlights include Namibia’s breathtakingly beautiful Namib-Naukluft National Park, Botswana’s Okavango Delta for being one of the most uniquely diverse and stunning places on Earth, having the privilege of meeting Uganda’s beautiful mountain gorillas (Kelly cried…), and Cape Town, a city with so much to offer.

Most memorable experience

“Just like most of the team here, I find picking one memorable moment is a tough ask! For me it has to be one of those times that you witness something truly special when you least expect it. For example, very early one morning during a camping trip in north-eastern Botswana, I was preparing breakfast for my clients who were sleepily starting to emerge from their tents – we had stayed up very late the night before in the hope of catching a glimpse of the area’s wild dogs, but to no avail. All of a sudden dogs started to emerge from the bush around us – they ran through our camp chattering excitedly and congregated by a nearby waterhole, sharing out the spoils of a kill they had obviously just made. I shall never forget standing in stunned silence in the middle of the bush, randomly clutching a box of tea as dogs passed by me so closely I could have reached out and touched them. Absolutely magical!”

Client reviews

“Everything was terrific. Kelly Mattin, our Safari Specialist, was great. Attentive and thorough with our many questions. A first-time safari is a daunting experience to plan. YZ made it easy. From picking the right itinerary, guest houses, and lodge to ensuring all transfers went flawlessly while in South Africa, the entire experience was a breeze. And an AMAZING trip of a lifetime! Thank you.”
"Marianne and I have just returned from a trip to Namibia and Botswana organized by Yellow Zebra. Kelly Mattin, the Yellow Zebra point of contact was superb. Her advice on lodges in both Namibia and Botswana was perfect. We have travelled extensively and I must say that Yellow Zebra did an outstanding job. They contracted with Wilderness Safari in Namibia (plane flights and lodges) and Mack Air and Independent lodges in Botswana. The flights were perfect and the lodges outstanding. I can recommend Yellow Zebra to anybody wanting to plan a vacation in Africa. Five star without a doubt."
"I always felt comfortable with what was going to happen next and was very well taken care of! Kelly was professional and succinct which I appreciated and we did everything with one phone call and just a few e-mails! I look forward to planning a Kenya/ Tanzania safari very soon! Thanks Yellow Zebra and Kelly!"

Kelly's Top Lodges

Blog Posts by Kelly

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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

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