Wies Van der Meer

Safari Specialist

Wies (pronounced Veece!) has lived and worked in East and Southern Africa for over twenty years. He is a true adventurer whose first ever job was working in Tanzania's Serengeti.

A snapshot

Raised in Kenya and with a career as a professional safari guide and Tanzanian safari camp manager, Wies is one of our leading East Africa specialists. He is our leading Uganda and Rwanda expert, whilst his knowledge of Zimbabwe and South Africa's 'Cape' is also superb. Having spent 15 years living and working in Tanzania his knowledge of Tanzania is exceptional.   

Recent Travel Experience

Wies' father lives on Zanzibar so every year sees him return to Tanzania. Aside from this Wies visited Tanzania's Katavi (where he used to work) and Mahale, Zimbabwe and South Africa for YZ in 2016, whilst 2017 saw Wies take an extensive safari to Rwanda and Uganda, as well as Kenya's Maasai Mara.

Expert destinations

Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda

African countries visitied

Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Egypt, Swaziland and Mozambique

Wies' biography

Born in the Netherlands, Wies moved to Kenya when he was seven. His family then moved to South Africa before he returned to East Africa, settling down in Tanzania in 2000.

Wies first ever job was working in a tented camp in Tanzania’s Serengeti! His fifteen years within the safari industry however have seen him run a number of safari camps across Tanzania, obtain his South African ‘FGASA’ level two guiding qualification and finally becoming a walking guide in Tanzania’s outstanding Katavi National Park – an accolade many guides dream of.

With a good understanding of all the destinations we operate trips, it is his sheer level of experience within Tanzania that sees Wies as a key member of our team. Tapping into his depth of knowledge is something that your itinerary will only ever benefit from; what he knows goes way beyond the vast majority of safari experts in the industry.

Wies excels when he is asked to do complicated Tanzanian trips that go beyond the ‘norm’. Over the years spent working in Tanzania he has travelled the entire country by road and also by air. Getting off the tourist track is what Wies is most passionate about. His latest passion however was fuelled by his latest YZ trip to Uganda and Rwanda...ape met ape!

 

Most memorable experience

Seeing elephants is always special – both the group dynamic within herds and the feeling that they recognise you as an individual once you have been in a specific area for a longer period of time are constantly extraordinary to me. However, one elephant experience in particular stands out. Whilst on game drive in Katavi National Park I took a calculated risk by driving down to Lake Katavi, a seasonal lake that is absolutely heaving with wild- and bird life during the rainy season yet is potentially almost devoid of game during the dry months. It was during the drier period that I took my clients there. On coming out of the forest, I saw what in my mind could only be one of the HUGE herds of buffalo that Katavi is famous for. Fortunately I was very pleasantly mistaken – as we got closer and the shapes became more distinctive, I realised we were witnessing something truly spectacular. In front of us, as far as we could see, were congregated elephants in their thousands, something I don’t believe many people have ever seen – and something I doubt I will ever see again.

"We just returned from a 9 day safari in Kenya. We worked with Wies and the rest of the Yellow Zebra team. Our trip was fantastic, I can't recommend going to Kenya highly enough and you definitely should use Yellow Zebra. We had some more difficult requests for Yellow Zebra; reserving for the holiday season only a few months in advance, having a last minute cancellation for one of my kids, and they were super responsive. It is the little things (helping us leave a bag in Nairobi while we were on safari) that made a big difference."
"Excellently planned, spot on recommendations, faultless pre-trip organisation, help when requested from an airstrip deep in the bush, all- round superb support. Well done Wies and the admin team. We wouldn't go anywhere else for future safaris."
"Your agent Wies made every effort to work out what our priorities were, and suggested the camps which would suit our needs and our budget... This was a fantastic trip and I would definitely recommend Yellow Zebra to anybody looking for a tailor made safari in Tanzania."

Wies' top lodges

Blog posts by Wies

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