Wilderness Kenya Project Manager

Jesse Mathews grew up in the travel industry. Following his passion for impactful tourism, he joined the Wilderness family in 2022. Jesse is excited to take on the challenge of growing the Kenya Travel Shop, and working alongside the team to make a real difference.

Jesse grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, and is the third generation of his family involved in the Kenyan tourism industry. He attended the Hillcrest International Schools in Nairobi from 2002-2015. After finishing school, Jesse moved to Botswana and attended the African Guide Training Academy (originally Okavango Guiding School), where he obtained his Nature and Trails guiding qualifications.

It was straight to work for Jesse, when he took on the role of Camp Manager, walking and head guide at Offbeat Mara Camp in September, 2016. He remained here for two, almost 3 years, responsible for all camp logistics, and hosting and guiding guests, and is grateful for the valuable experience he gained.

2018 saw Jesse broadening his horizons and travelling to the United Kingdom. Here he worked in a hotel for six months before joining the Wilderness family at Yellow Zebra. He took on the position of Safari Expert, selling tailor-made Kenyan journeys. But home was calling, and Jesse moved back to Kenya, joining Wilderness Safaris for an exciting new opportunity in March 2022, to establish its Kenya Travel Shop, an important facet of the company’s DMC (Destination Management) offering. He is thrilled about his new challenge, and his goal is to work hard to set up the best DMC in East Africa.

Jesse feels very fortunate to have experienced these career opportunities, and values his exposure to the safari industry. Fond highlights include walking safaris in the Mara; sitting in a leadwood tree on the edge of a mopane forest in the Okavango, watching hundreds of elephants; spending time with the Abu Herd; and taking a mokoro through the Delta channels in high-water season.

“I love being a part of the Wilderness family. I am passionate about the company’s culture and the role, but most importantly what we are doing together to conserve the wilderness around us”, concludes Jesse.