About your private

We plan complex, aspirational trips to select destinations worldwide and deliver a high-touch client experience. Our clients range from busy professionals to families, friends, and the no-limits traveler. Some trips are understated, and some are luxurious and highly personalized. Behind each and every budget and itinerary, is a customized trip, based on specific goals, preferences, and style. We handle the details; all you need to do is show up.

Nick Bay

Founder & Safari Designer

"Passionate about wild places, I’m drawn to Africa time and time again."

Nick's passion for travel began as a child when his parents moved the family from California to France for three years. In the years that followed, Nick continued to explore the world and spent extensive amounts of time in Africa, Europe and the Americas. Passionate about wild places, Nick was drawn to Africa time and time again, leading him to become a safari guide in South Africa in 2003. Nick spent most of 2004 to 2006 living, working and studying in East and South Africa including a whole term of University studying community based wildlife conservation in Tanzania where he learned conversational Swahili and stayed in a Maasai manyatta located near Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Nick eventually moved home and started using his extensive knowledge of Africa, through both personal experience and a degree in environmental studies and African politics, to plan African safaris professionally.

Nick has been involved in the travel industry for over a decade, having worked for several adventure travel and luxury tour operators before founding YPA with his wife and business partner, Ashley. However, Africa is not the only continent Nick is passionate about and thus the evolution of YPA now includes select destinations worldwide. Nick has visited six continents already and is eagerly anticipating visiting Antarctica.

Ashley Bay

Founder & Director of Operations

"It’s about connections. We see how travel connects us, to ourselves, to the natural world, and that’s meaningful.”

Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Ashley comes to YPA with a personal background in finance and small business management. In 2010, as the financial industry was attempting to repair, Ashley changed course from the world of finance to the world of fitness. Ashley developed a passion for communication and connection through a decade spent teaching and practicing yoga, amongst other modalities.

She believes travel and movement have many parallels, primarily both set out to create connection with yourself or the world in which you exist. Going somewhere out of your comfort zone gives you insights to who you truly are because when we step outside our routines, magic happens. Aside from managing operations, Ashley personally works with YPA clients to ensure everyone arrives feeling prepared and excited for their adventure.

Briarley Bekker

Operations Manager

"Passionate about travel and making magic happen for our clients."

Briarley is the Operations Manager based in South Africa who works with Nick and Ashley to assist with business operations and guest experience. She is passionate about the tourism industry and believes in working together as a team to make magic happen. She loves YPA's motto to “always be in search of a YES'', and she values the integrity, transparency, and commitment of the team.

Having worked in several sectors of the leisure tourism industry for the past 16 years, Briarley has a well-rounded skill set which makes her a huge asset to the company. She has had the privilege of travelling the 7 continents of the world while working as part of an expedition team on a luxury adventure cruise liner, and has experienced a multitude of different cultures. A fun fact: Briarley started her career in the South African Navy where she spent three years at Simonsberg Naval Base in Cape Town. Her love for running was born here and she enjoys spending time on the road or trails. Her bucket list trip is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and summit Uhuru Peak.

Fatima Salim

Operations Support Specialist

"Ensuring our travelers’ safari experience is seamless from arrival to departure."

Fatima has worked for some of the top safari and conservation companies in Kenya. With over 25 years of experience in logistics planning, her greatest satisfaction is when guests have a seamless, memorable safari from arrival to departure.

Her interests include meeting new people, camping, geology, wildlife and wildlife conservation. After school, Fatima joined a Tourism Management college in Nairobi and that's where her journey in safari logistics started. She always loved nature and animals and enjoyed visiting the different National Parks so she knew that meeting new people and working with nature/wildlife was what she wanted to do. After her studies Fatima joined a Kenyan tour operator as an intern and that is where she began her career in hospitality.

Based in Kenya Fatima provides operations and reservations support to the day to day running of YPA.

Laila Cassiem

Operation Support Specialist

"Thriving on making our client dreams a reality."

Born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia, with a family deeply rooted in hospitality, Laila's journey into tourism was inevitable. Passionate about showcasing Africa's natural beauty, her teenage travels through Namibia ignited this desire. After studying tourism in Cape Town, she spent 18 years consulting, including stints with Kuoni Destination Management and Singita. Now part of the YPA team, she thrives on crafting unforgettable experiences and making dreams a reality. Beyond work, Laila is a self-taught seamstress and avid traveler, with the Serengeti holding a special place in her heart for its unparalleled wildlife encounters.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Laila provides operations and reservations support to the day to day running of YPA.

Janalyn Theodosiou

Communications Director

"Through travel we have the opportunity to empower people and protect wilderness."

Janalyn is a seasoned professional in the luxury travel marketing industry. She began her career in Cape Town, South Africa, at the Cape Grace Hotel, and later moved on to New York City to work with numerous well-known and loved US and European boutique hotels and resorts. She then returned to Cape Town to work with some of the most iconic brands in Africa for over a decade.

As an American born in Zimbabwe – having lived, studied, and worked between the United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Spain and China – Janalyn has gained a deep understanding of the ever-changing and intricate travel industry. Today she loves sharing her passion for the transformative power of travel on the African continent through directing Your Private Africa’s digital stories and communications. A true citizen of the world, her favorite work-from-home locations are Victoria Falls, Kommetjie (in South Africa) and Seattle.

Kate Pickard

Digital Marketing Associate

"Excited to showcase Africa's raw beauty, vibrant cultures, & rich traditions."

Kate is our new vibrant and passionate marketing associate based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Growing up in Gauteng, Kate was fortunate enough to frequently venture into the bush, just a short four-hour drive away. This early exposure instilled in her a deep appreciation for the safari lifestyle and ignited a love for African wildlife.

She is extremely enthusiastic about exploring, as is an avid traveller. Her journeys have equipped her with a diverse skill set and a keen eye for promoting the beauty and richness of different regions.

Thrilled to share her passion for Africa with the world, Kate aims to showcase it’s raw beauty, vibrant cultures, rich traditions, growing small businesses, and unique wildlife to a global audience. Joining the YPA marketing team in promoting the unlimited opportunities that await in Africa, inviting others to embark on their own unforgettable adventures across this extraordinary continent, Africa.

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