Wild Rainbow African Safaris began in 2004 as the direct result of Jody Cole’s unbridled passion for Africa. We live by one simple philosophy—ensure every traveler has the time of their life. Jody has traveled to Africa over 100 times. Because of her depth of experience and connection with the continent, we are able to showcase the wonders and beauty of Africa like no other travel company.
Like the shifting sands of the Namib desert, every trip is unique in its beauty because we never offer the same safari twice! Each safari has its own special fingerprint because it is customized especially for the group. This incredible level of detail is possible because Jody accompanies her guests on every safari and shares her expansive knowledge of Africa.
The Experience to Provide Unforgettable Adventures
Jody has over two decades of travel experience to Africa and 15 years of operating Wild Rainbow African Safaris. Her passion for nature and the world around her have allowed her to refine her skills and expand her knowledge.
Jody has trained with the Kenyan Professional Guides Association, holds Kenya and South Africa Trail Guide Certifications, and has completed advanced rifle handling. She is also an Adventure Travel Specialist and a Master Kenya Travel Specialist (KATS). In addition, she has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice, once in 1998 and again in 2011.
Because Jody personally leads and guides all trips, gracious hospitality is a part of every safari. She prides herself on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere at the end of the day, whether it includes relaxing at a luxurious lodge or star-gazing in mobile tented camps. Africa’s wildlife, ecology, and culture hold a special place in Jody’s heart. For this reason, all Wild Rainbow African Safaris are lower impact and offer the chance to give back or engage with African culture.
Speaking and Coaching at Local Events
Conventions, conferences, schools and business associations are just a few of the places Jody has presented. Topics include: “Guess What’s for Dinner” focusing on Africa’s predator/prey relationships, “Leadership Skills Learned From the Wild: What Can We Learn From Animal Instincts and Behavior?”, “Africa isn’t so scary!” designed for early education groups, “Boggled by Bird Beaks” presentation on avian beak adaptations, shapes and uses, “LGBT Travel in Africa-Is it Safe?”, and so many more. House parties are specifically designed for past guests to host friends and family for a light hearted evening of Africa stories supported with a visual presentation. House parties are meant to introduce guests and friends of the host to Wild Rainbow African Safaris. Jody explains what a Wild Rainbow safari is all about. Don’t want to go to Africa? That’s cool, come anyway and still enjoy the stories.
A Life Well-Spent: Volunteering and Advocating
Jody’s enthusiasm for Africa has led her to participate in numerous animal research projects including South Africa’s brown hyenas projects with Drs. Dawn Scott and Richard Yarnell and the South African Transboundary Project with Michelle Henley. She is an active supporter of the Save the Elephants Foundation in South Africa and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust of Nairobi, Kenya. While stateside, Jody serves as an advocate for human rights and animal welfare. She has received numerous awards for work within the community and spent eight years volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands. She has also served on the board of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
Meet Our Staff
While Jody personally guides every trip at Wild Rainbow, she has a talented team behind her working to ensure every guest has an incredible journey. Together, they serve you with more than 50 years of guiding, travel, and logistics expertise.
Lyndell Luyt, Journey Specialist
Lyndell is based on the ground in South Africa. With over 9 years of tour consulting experience, she is determined that your trip to Africa runs smoothly so that you can focus on your own personal journey of discovery. Lyndell’s adventurous spirit and perpetual state of wanderlust have led her on both local and international travels, but Africa will always be her home, and she looks forward to sharing a part of that with you.
When Lyndell is not at her desk, she is the logistics manager of 4 busy daughters, being creative or dreaming of the ocean. Contact her at Lyndell@wildrainbowsafaris.com
Airline and Insurance Specialist
Alison is founder and owner of our sister company, Over the Rainbow Travel. She specializes in finding the best flights and the most appropriate travel and trip insurance. Alison has over 25 years of experience in the travel business. She was with us on our first safari when Wild Rainbow African Safaris was formed. Alison is the past president of the Northern California Chapter of the Association For The Promotion Of Tourism To Africa. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Priest, Bookkeeper
Anna’s passion for finances and love for the outdoors makes her a perfect fit for Wild Rainbow Safaris. Prior to joining our staff, she served as the Science Museum Director at the Asheville Museum of Science and as an Environmental Scientist at Anchor QEA (formerly Altamont Environmental). Anna also serves as a financial coach at Mountain BizWorks specializing in non-profits and small businesses.
Graphic Design and Website
Andrew is a freelance graphic designer and web developer based on the Big Island of Hawaii. He has been helping Jody with updates to her site for years and designed and built the latest version of the website. Originally from Asheville, NC – Andrew also worked in D.C. and has done projects for many small businesses and larger groups like the Smithsonian, Google, IBM, GE, and Keck Observatory. If you need help with a design, web, or video project – feel free to reach out at kinneardesign.com
“Words are not adequate to convey my deep appreciation for Jody and how attentive she was through out my trip. Because of Jody my dream vacation went “beyond my wildest dreams.”
Monica G., Asheville, NC