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Safari Specialist

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Malcolm, Staff Profile, Africa Expert BW

Meet Malcolm, a safari expert at Yellow Zebra. He is a professional pilot, and has extensive knowledge of the parks, landscapes, and skies of Namibia and Botswana.

A snapshot

Previously a pilot for Wilderness Safaris, Malcolm’s experience in the travel industry spans over a decade. After four years of flying to some of Botswana’s greatest destinations, Malcolm swapped the watery floodplains of the Okavango Delta for the sandy, desert dunes of Namibia. Joining Yellow Zebra in 2021, Malcolm now works as a Southern Africa specialist with a focus on Botswana and Namibia, having stayed in many camps across the countries.

Recent travel experience

Malcolm likes to return to Botswana, often taking friends and family on exciting self-drive camping adventures. His most recent trip was in February 2020. On this visit, he went to one of his favourite camping spots in the game-rich Khwai area on the edge of the Okavango Delta and then explored the Moremi Game Reserve on his way back to his former hometown of Maun. He also ventured down to the Makgadikgadi Salt pans in the Kalahari, where he got to spend time with a clan of meerkats.

Expert Destinations

Botswana, Namibia, Victoria Falls.

African countries visited

Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Malcolm’s biography

Originally hailing from the west coast of Scotland, Malcolm studied Geography at the University of St Andrews before going on to train as a commercial pilot. After some time with a private jet company, he packed a tent in 2011, printed some CVs, and headed for Botswana in search of work. His commitment was rewarded with a job as pilot for Wilderness Air and also saw him become one of the ‘rookie’ stars of the TV series Bush Pilots. Malcolm was thrilled at having the privilege to share the pristine environments of the Okavango Delta, the Chobe River, and the Kalahari with his passengers, and he loved that every day was filled with new adventures.

After flying in Botswana for four years, a chance meeting resulted in Malcolm being offered the opportunity to fly in the neighbouring country of Namibia. The thought of flying in a land of such dramatic scenery was too good to miss, so Malcolm moved to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. From there, he would set out into the epic desert, mountain, and coastal landscapes of Sossusvlei, Damaraland, the Skeleton Coast, the Koakoveld and Etosha, often only returning to Windhoek on his days off.

In 2017, Malcolm decided to head closer to home, so he returned to Europe to work for two airlines in the Channel Islands before going on to work for the British Antarctic Survey. However, when the opportunity to join Yellow Zebra came up in Summer 2021, he couldn't resist the temptation to reconnect with Africa and share his love for the continent once more.

When working as a pilot in Africa, Malcolm found it a thrill to be part of his passengers’ safari journey and now, as part of the Yellow Zebra herd, he loves to inspire and create many more exceptional African journeys.

Most memorable experience

Malcolm has lots of incredible experiences from living and flying in Southern Africa, from doing low passes over runways in Botswana to clear elephants, lions, and wild dogs to soaring over Victoria Falls and the dramatic dunes of the Namib Desert. 

He always loves spending time with researchers, and one mission that was particularly memorable was when he helped with the relocation of nine orphaned wild dog puppies from the Kalahari, to be rehomed in the Okavango Delta. He spent the first night sleeping in a tent next to the enclosure that was housing the puppies to protect them from lions before flying them to an airstrip in the Delta the following morning. Malcolm got to witness the first four being released with a surrogate wild dog pack, who welcomed them in as if they were family, a heart-warming moment, which galvanised Malcolm’s deep admiration for wild dogs and their social bonds.

Malcolm's Top Lodges

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 7 years in a row

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