Maddie Higton

Sales & Marketing Assistant

Maddie is a sales & marketing assistant at Yellow Zebra Safaris.

A Snapshot

Maddie joins the Yellow Zebra team intent on working within safaris and Africa. She is both passionate and highly knowledgeable about the genre and the geographic location. Fresh from completing a degree in Zoology, she has studied African animals and experienced safaris from the perspective of a customer, as well as working behind the scenes in conservation.

RECENT TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

In 2017, Maddie participated in a work placement on Curieuse Island in the Seychelles, performing both terrestrial and marine conservation work. On days off from performing surveys, she hopped between islands and got to experience different parts of the tropical paradise.

AFRICAN COUNTRIES VISITED

Seychelles, Kenya, South Africa

MADDIE’S BIOGRAPHY

From an early age, Maddie has been passionate about wildlife. Safari experiences in Kenya as a child allowed her to witness interactions between animals, capturing her imagination and eventually inspiring her to pursue a degree in wildlife and conservation.

Maddie’s studies at the University of Reading enabled her to learn about and observe many animal species. Her work included a dissertation thesis on the behaviour of South African predators. Her degree also gave Maddie the opportunity to travel to South Africa to work and run surveys within a small game reserve, taking part in activities such as tracking white rhino on foot, catching shark pups with a handheld dip net at night, tracking African wild dogs, tagging nesting hawksbill turtles, and even learning how to identify species of rhino from its droppings… a useful skill to have when living in the UK!

After university, Maddie headed out to work on a conservation project in the Seychelles. This involved the monitoring and protection of numerous species, including hawksbill turtles, lemon sharks, and Aldabra giant tortoises. She also indulged in a bit of island hopping on her days off, enjoying everything that the islands had to offer.

MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE

I am privileged to have had many amazing wildlife encounters and African experiences, and it is difficult to choose a favourite. However, if pushed, I’d go for working at a white rhino survey in South Africa. A group of us tracked a trio of rhinos on foot, all the while moving with the wind to avoid detection. We came to a standstill in an open area and were observing the rhinos grazing from a distance, but the wind changed and the rhinos, with their incredible sense of smell, were quickly running in our direction. Having been told to ‘never run in the bush’, we simply stood, frozen. Thankfully, our guide used his years of experience and scared them off. Being so close to rhinos was such a unique and memorable experience, even if it was not necessarily intentional! This experience also brought home how fantastic it is to work with such skilled and knowledgeable guides when on safari.

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