Meet Malcolm, a safari expert at Yellow Zebra. He is was a professional pilot, and has extensive knowledge of the parks, landscapes, and skies of Namibia and Botswana.
Previously a pilot for Wilderness Air, 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 dunes of the Namib desert. 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 both countries.
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe.
Recent travel experience
In May 2023, Malcolm went on an adventurous safari in Zimbabwe and then visited some luxurious lodges in South Africa. In Zimbabwe, he checked out southern Hwange and explored Mana Pools from east to west. Malcolm particularly enjoys the intimate style of safari that Zimbabwe offers and the extremely high quality of guiding. Professional Zimbabwean guides are renowned for their skill at safely getting up close with big game on thrilling walking safaris, which is one of Malcolm's favourite things to do in Zimbabwe. In South Africa, Malcolm took things a bit easier in more luxurious lodges and was impressed by how prolific the Big 5 were, especially white rhinos and leopards.
Malcolm's most memorable experience
"I have 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.
Choosing my most memorable experience is tough, but I always love spending time with researchers, and one mission that was particularly memorable was when I helped with the relocation of nine orphaned wild dog puppies from the Kalahari, to be rehomed in the Okavango Delta. We 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. I 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 galvanized my deep admiration for wild dogs and their incredible social bonds."
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, in 2011 he packed a tent, 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. Malcolm knew that he had a special job when he realized that it was an unusual day at work for him if he did not see elephants.
After flying in Botswana for four years, a chance meeting resulted in Malcolm being offered the opportunity to fly in the neighboring 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.
"Just returned from our first trip with Yellow Zebra and our fourth safari overall. This time we wanted to experience Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Malcolm advised us on possible camps and also hotels in Vic Falls after listening to our ideas and wishes and then put together the most wonderful trip. All transfers both by air and road worked seamlessly and the camp and hotel were first class. And we saw the elusive leopard at all three camps too, icing on the cake for us. Thanks Malcolm and the team. Thoroughly recommend YZ"
David - Botswana, July 2023
"We have had the opportunity to work with Malcolm and have had a wonderful experience so far. He has been patient with all the questions, bookings. And when our plans changed and my sister in law decided to join us after the fact he did a wonderful job of getting her itinerary to match ours."
Lynn - Botswana, May 2022
"Malcolm was very knowledgeable of our destination, pleasant to work with and accommodating to our changing desires with our trip."
Dan - Botswana and Victoria Falls, April 2022
"We approached Yellow Zebra to help us plan a special anniversary safari in Botswana, encouraged by positive reviews and ratings, and excellent information on their website... Malcolm worked patiently with us through misunderstandings and options, and inspired us with his first-hand experience and knowledge."
"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 ."
"Very personable and friendly, but also professional staff
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."