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Senior Safari Specialist

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Award-winning safari company, World Travel Awards
olivia profile meet the team

Olivia joins YZ with half a decade of experience in designing tailor-made safaris to Africa. Her expertise lies in East Africa, specifically Kenya and Tanzania.

A snapshot

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. Unique in the team for being solely focused on East Africa, her specialist knowledge is some of the very best you’ll find of any consultant on the topic.

Recent travel experience

Olivia’s most recent Africa travel was an epic month returning to Kenya and Tanzania in October/November 2019. She combined classic safaris in Amboseli and the Maasai Mara with the beautiful beaches of the Kenya coast, then went to explore the bush in Tanzania in the Selous, Ruaha, and even far-flung Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria.

Expert destinations

Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zanzibar.

African countries visited

Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania.

Olivia’s biography

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 programme, 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 she looks forward to expanding to include Southern Africa in the future.

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's Top Lodges

Why Trust Yellow Zebra with your African Safari?

"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 7 years in a row

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