Olivia joins YZ with half a decade of experience in designing tailor-made safaris to Africa. Her expertise lie in East Africa, specifically Kenya and Tanzania, and Botswana.
With a degree in Environmental Science, years of conservation placements across the globe, and a career that has included working for one of the UK’s leading Africa safari specialists, Olivia joined the Yellow Zebra team in 2021 already an expert on Kenya and Tanzania. Her specialist knowledge is some of the very best you’ll find of any consultant on the topic.
Olivia's most recent Africa travel was on safari through Botswana's superb national parks and private concessions, moving east to west from Chobe National Park to the stunning Okavango Delta. She then spent time exploring Cape Town and its surrounding regions, an ideal change of pace from an extensive safari.
Olivia's most memorable experience
“Any African and/or safari experience can throw up some really magical memories, so narrowing this down is certainly not easy! Elephants are my favourite animal so any of the very intimate, peaceful and private encounters in Damaraland would be up there. Some whole nights in Damaraland were spent awake on rhino poaching watch, sitting up listening to the sounds of the night, watching stars shoot across the hugely expansive sky, with elephants quietly coming to investigate the group’s vehicles nearby – a very quiet, atmospheric memory, but quite unforgettable.”
Olivia grew up in the south of England, but her family frequently embarked on holidays, which fuelled her love of travel from an early age. Their trip to Kenya in her early teens was a game-changer and she knew that she wanted to return to Africa as soon as possible.
At the University of Leeds, Olivia completed an Environmental Science degree where her primary interests were in sustainable development and wildlife conservation, while her dissertation investigated the impacts of climate change on crop production in Ghana.
She spent the next couple of years volunteering in Australia and Malaysian Borneo, mixing in a couple of winters working in The Alps, and joining conservation projects in Namibia and South Africa.
Olivia spent a number of months living in Damaraland, volunteering for a project that aimed to reduce instances of human–wildlife conflict between farmers and villages with the desert elephants that roamed this part of the country. This experience included sleeping on a mat and cooking over the fire, and days were spent in the bush working and monitoring the herds – a simple yet extremely rewarding adventure.
In South Africa, Olivia was based at Kariega Game Reserve on the Eastern Cape as part of their volunteer program, which helped manage the reserve’s biodiversity and predator monitoring. Time off was spent galloping along the beaches and enjoying the wildlife on her doorstep – she was often not able to get into the volunteer house as there’d be a bull elephant in the way!
On return to the UK, working in the African travel industry seemed like an obvious choice at this stage. Olivia spent five years working for a London-based safari specialist, where she enjoyed numerous research and personal trips to Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar. It is this first-hand knowledge of East Africa that has enabled her to create tailored itineraries, a skill which she has now expanded to include Southern Africa with Yellow Zebra.
"I just came back from a 3 week safari trip to Uganda and Tanzania arranged by YZ... It was flawless. YZ exceeded my expectations in every regard and I would highly recommend them to anyone planning a safari. Special shout out to Olivia... who worked with me for months on putting together the perfect safari vacation."
Dilys - Uganda and Tanzania, July 2022
"Olivia listened to my very vague description -- once in a lifetime, luxury but authentic safari experience and HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK!... Every camp and resort had special touches for us that YZ helped organize. My husband and I can not say enough great things about Olivia and Yellow Zebra Safaris -- we also can't wait to book another trip with them!"
Amanda - Kenya and Zanzibar, June 2022
"My husband and I just got back from the most amazing honeymoon trip in Tanzania booked with Yellow Zebra! We really had no idea what we were doing planning this trip and Olivia made it all so easy. We knew we wanted the trip to be part safari part beach. Olivia asked us about our interests and designed us the perfect itinerary to fit exactly what we hoped to experience on the trip."
"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
"Very helpful. Gave us so much excellent information and showed great patience while we made up our minds and finally made a decision. Wonderful attention to detail has given us lots of confidence. We are now looking forward with great excitement to a safari which we feel ticks all the right bo..."
"Yellow zebra handled everything in setting up an amazing safari experience. From selecting a great variety of lodges and camps, setting up outstanding guides, coordinating all rides and flights, and even letting camps know about dietary restrictions, we could not have imagined a better experienc..."
"My partner and I just returned from our trip to Tanzania, where we were on safari for 9 days and then scuba diving in Mafia Island for 10 days. Never having been to Tanzania before, I had no idea where to book or what to expect. Matt at Yellow Zebra was simply amazing. Having been to all of the p..."
"J'ai eu le plaisir de faire affaire avec Yellow Zebra, notamment avec Wies, et je suis enchantée du service reçu. Leurs vastes connaissances sur le terrain, dans tous les différents pays offrant des safaris, m'ont aidé à finaliser mon choix. L'approche exhaustive et très professionnelle de Yell..."
"My wife and In-Laws had a fantastic experience on our Safari in Africa.
I cannot say enough about Yellow Zebra, and the support offered from Wies, Angela, and the entire Operations Team. The trip was originally planned for February of 2021, and was delayed twice because of COVID, until Octobe..."