Albee Yeend's intense love of Africa was ignited on her first trip: a 5 day canoeing expedition down the Lower Zambezi and an elephant-back safari through the flood plains in the Okavango Delta. Bitten by the Africa bug, Albee managed Jack's & San Camp in Botswana and Tongabezi & Sausage Tree Camp in Zambia before returning to manage the Africa department of Steppes Travel for thirteen years. This was followed by setting up the Africa department at Red Savannah for 4 1/2 years, before moving to The Explorations Company.
Albee spends approximately two months of every year in Africa and is recognised for her pioneering exploration of new safari destinations as part of her role managing the Africa and Indian Islands department for The Explorations Company. Albee brings her operational experience and broad experience of all types of safari lodges and camps to the judging team.
The Explorations Company
The Explorations Company was first established in 1988. Our core business then was creating highly individual safaris to Africa, reflecting the origins of the founders and hence the company’s original name; African Explorations. In time we were lucky enough to attract key individuals to our business and added India and surrounding areas such as Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma), to our portfolio and latterly also Latin America and The Polar Regions. The business was finally rebranded as 'The Explorations Company' in 2012.
Our original ethos holds firm to this day; we are totally dedicated to creating utterly personal and highly exclusive safaris, holidays for the most discerning travellers. Each itinerary we create is unique and in 28 years, no two itineraries have been repeated; each holiday experience aims to be ‘the journey of a lifetime’.
The success of our company is down to our people. The founder of the business was brought up in Africa (but born in India) and we are lucky to have probably the most experienced and knowledgeable specialists anywhere. We are unique; our Africa specialists come from Africa or have lived in Africa and intrinsically know the continent, its cultures and its wildlife. It is all about that crucial understanding of the places one is discussing and of course, being able to then translate that into the right holiday for each and every client.
We spend huge resource each year revisiting all the countries that we promote. Each place that we recommend has been thoroughly tested by us – the beds have been slept in, the rooms compared, the best views noted and the food sampled! We seek out the finest guides and the very best camps and lodges which give our clients the very best experiences.
Whilst the relevance of all the above is self-evident, our main driving force is passion for what we do; it is in our blood. Our enthusiasm and love for Africa, India and Latin America, their wildlife and their people, continues as a thread through each safari or holiday, whether focused on “luxury” or something more down to earth and perhaps highly specialised, that we hand-craft for all of our clients. We also are deeply involved in charitable projects – both humanitarian- and conservation-oriented – which clients are welcome to experience.
We have been chosen by the Financial Times on several occasions to arrange specialist group safaris for their readers. We were also chosen by Selfridges in London to arrange exclusive African safaris for their customers. Our owner, Nicola Shepherd, is also a judge for The Safari Guild