Sebastian is a cross-country specialist with a body of expertise ranging from East to Southern Africa. His passion and knowledge stem in large part from his years living and working as a guide in the bush.
Inspired by a love of wildlife, Sebastian spent his early twenties guiding throughout Southern Africa, growing ever more enamoured with the sub-continent. Following years of working as a tour operator based back in London, Sebastian joins the YZ herd ready for his next adventure.
Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Victoria Falls, Zambia.
Recent travel experience
Sebastian was lucky enough to experience a magnificent three week trip back to his old stomping grounds of Malawi and Zambia for the first time since before the pandemic. After making himself at home again in Liwonde National Park, he headed over to Zambia's South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks for some walking-focused, off-the-beaten-track safaris. Highlights included numerous leopard and African wild dog sightings, unbeatable standards of guiding, mesmerising bush walks from South Luangwa's remote Tafika and Chikoko Tree Camps, and the pristine tranquility sundowners along the Zambezi River.
Sebastian's most memorable experience
“As with everybody else on the team, it’s pretty tough to narrow it down. I’m a sucker for the smell of the earth immediately after the first rains, or the excitement in hearing the first returning cuckoos of the season, but perhaps one of the most elating moments was when an elephant gave birth in the camp in which I was working. Understandably, we all awoke to a bit of a mess the next morning. I was tasked with tracking her on foot to get some photos of the newborn; and to my surprise, they had managed to wander a fair distance. The dense green season foliage didn’t help my chances, but that evening I finally managed to catch a glimpse of the protective mother and her precious youngster – umbilical cord and all!”
A traveler from the get-go, Sebastian was born into a family of documentarians and travel writers, in London. After finishing school and finding mixed success as a session musician, he was given the opportunity to volunteer at one of Malawi’s most revered safari camps. Having been obsessed with flora and fauna since before he could remember, he decided this was not a chance to be passed up.
The ensuing few years saw Sebastian training up as a guide on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls and working primarily for Wilderness Safaris in Malawi. Based mainly at Mvuu Camp & Lodge in Liwonde National Park, he was fortunate enough to later be posted in the largely overlooked but undeniably spectacular Nyika National Park. His new home served as a springboard from which to explore much of the wider region, leading to stints as a trails guide in the remote north of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, as well as a roving guide taking him over the Malawian border into Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.
Eventually searching for something more familiar and well-trodden, Sebastian returned to London in 2016 to begin using his broad knowledge of safaris as a tour operator, both independently and for larger organizations. During this time, he was able to explore East Africa in much more depth whilst keeping his familiarity of Southern Africa strong with frequent visits – for educational trips and private guiding tours alike.
With an aptitude for spreading his infectious love of the bush, Sebastian joins us at Yellow Zebra to help people in pursuit of their own African escapades.
"Everyone at Yellow Zebra were so helpful... But special thanks to Sebastian for all of his knowledge, advice and help. He put together a perfect holiday and an amazing experience for our first safari."
Dan - Zambia, April 2022
"Sebastian was exceptionally helpful and accommodating when planning our honeymoon. We feel in very safe hands and are so grateful for the wealth of knowledge and experience Yellow Zebra have."
Camilla - Kenya and Zanzibar, March 2022
"I was so pleased with Sebastian's help in planning our trip. Sebastian was so patient and responsive with all my queries and I really valued the feedback I got, the guidance and the different options and suggestions he put forward for us to choose from, with differing price options and itineraries."
"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
"Wies Van der Meer was very patient and answered all of our questions"
"Yellow Zebra excels at understanding our needs and proposing a fantastic itinerary. They take the uncertainty and confusion out of planning. They're super nice, easy to work with, and the trip we arranged them to Southern Africa in 2018 was flawless. We've now planned a 2024 trip through Yellow Z..."
"I haved worked with YZ 2 years in the past and am planning another trip for 2024. Emma has been responsible and flexible as needed. She provides good information and advice based on her travel experiences."
"Olivia was great at listening to my specific requests. It truly is a designed for your wants and needs tour.
The follow-up information regarding travel insurance, visas etc was top notch. You feel very prepared for your trip!"
"I have been delighted with the planning process of our Yellow Zebra African Safari in Botswana. Our travel specialist, Wies Van Der Meer, East Africa manager, was enthusiastic, helpful and informative. His vast knowledge of Africa provided valuable information and perspective about the areas bes..."