A South Africa expert at Yellow Zebra, Dewald also knows Botswana and Namibia very well, as he lived in Botswana and was schooled in Namibia. We’re pleased to welcome him to the YZ herd!
Born in South Africa, Dewald was introduced to safaris by his family, from visiting Kruger National Park to overlanding and camping in Botswana. He studied conservation, after which he worked as a safari guide at Phinda Private Game Reserve.
South Africa, Botswana, Namibia.
Recent travel experience
Dewald travels back to South Africa and Botswana a few times every year to visit family. His most recent trip was to the Garden Route and Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, where he got engaged!
Most memorable experience
“Having spent so much time in the bush and on safari, it is so difficult to think of the ‘most memorable’ experience. Any time spent in Africa is something to write about!
“But my thoughts always jump to the height of the pandemic, when I had the privilege to stay on in Phinda to help manage everything while there were no guests. As luck had it, pangolins were being reintroduced into the area after they went extinct almost 70 years ago.
“I ended up joining the conservation team for a while (they needed a guide with a rifle for safety) during the reintroduction of a few pangolins. After only ever hearing of pangolins and how insanely difficult it is to see these scaly critters, I ended up seeing one almost every day for a month! Other memorable experiences included conservation work with elephants, black and white rhino, and cheetah. That says a lot about the pangolin experience.”
Born in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa to a lawyer and stay-at-home mom, Dewald and his two siblings were first introduced to the bush by their grandparents, who helped raise them.
When Dewald was a little older, long road trips all the way from Joburg up to the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana became a family favourite. Here everyone would camp in the unfenced camping grounds that are scattered far and wide. Often, lions and hyenas roamed around the tents at night. It was here that Dewald fell in love with conservation and safari.
When Dewald was about to go to secondary school, his parents decided to pack it all up in Joburg and move to Central Botswana to give their kids a better life. And what a great move it was! It just cemented the love for the natural world in their son. Dewald ended up in a small Namibian boarding school, commuting across the border every weekend. After school, he studied conservation back in South Africa.
Once his studies were over, Dewald joined the famous &Beyond selection course to become a guide. Here he was placed at Phinda Private Game Reserve, where he guided at all the different lodges. Phinda, being on the forefront of conservation work, gave Dewald the opportunity to be part of rhino, cheetah, elephant, and pangolin conservation projects. These inspired memories he will forever carry with him. Since then, Dewald has moved to the UK to be with his partner, and he joined the YZ herd soon after.
"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' at the World Travel Awards
8 years in a row, since 2015
"This is our second time booking with Yellow Zebra.The first trip was fantastic just what we wanted.So we were confident booking again. Wies special thanks to you.Full of great ideas and extremely knowledgeable ."
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Extremely knowledgeable and accommodating regarding my requests and needs
Provide an itinerary that is perfect for me"
Elaine Parker Brown
"My experience planning my trip was Sebastian was excellent. He was patient with all my questions and provided perspective to help me decide."
"James was very quick in responding to me and was good about changing locations or activities as we went along and built the trip. Wonderful that we were able to build our own individual itinerary."