Jessica Macdonald

  • Jessica lives in South Africa's Eastern Cape province and has been TripSavvy's Africa Expert since 2016. 
  • Before that, she worked as a travel writer and PADI scuba instructor, diving with sharks at Aliwal Shoal near Durban.
  • Jessica is the two-time winner of The Telegraph's Just Back travel writing competition. 

Experience

Jessica was born and raised in England, but fell in love with Africa after accompanying her family on a three-week safari to Botswana and Zimbabwe in 2001. Her adult affair with the continent began in 2010 when she traveled to Mozambique to work as a volunteer on a whale shark research project.

A keen scuba diver and conservationist, Jessica subsequently moved to South Africa to pursue a career as a dive instructor. Fate intervened in the form of an opportunity to write about her experiences for U.S. dive magazine Scuba Diver Life, and so writing gradually took over from diving as Jessica's first passion. 

In the years since, Jessica has honed her skills as a freelance writer specializing in travel, scuba diving, and wildlife conservation. She is the two-time winner of The Telegraph's Just Back travel writing competition and has written extensively for a variety of magazines, travel agencies, websites, and PR companies. She began writing for TripSavvy in 2016. 

Jessica's African adventures include sleeping under the stars while tracking wild dogs in Zimbabwe, making friends with a tiger shark named Penelope in South Africa, and surviving a car-jacking in Tanzania. She relocated to South Africa in 2013, married a South African in 2015, and now spends her weekends introducing her baby daughter to the game reserves that captured her heart when she was a child. 

Education

Jessica completed an undergraduate course in Classical Studies at King's College London, graduating with a first class degree in 2012. She spent a year studying abroad at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In 2013, she qualified as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.  

About TripSavvy and Dotdash

TripSavvy writers are on-the-ground experts — they speak the local language, know how to catch their city’s tram, train or bus, and definitely have tabs on the best of everything in town, from cocktail to kids’ menu. And since the world changes every day, your travel guide should, too. Our dedicated team of editors is regularly reviewing our library to perform updates on thousands of articles per month. If you see something that doesn’t seem up to date, please let us know by emailing us at contact@tripsavvy.com.

TripSavvy is part of the Dotdash publishing family. For more than 20 years, Dotdash brands have been helping people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired. We are one of the top-20 largest content publishers on the Internet according to comScore, a leading Internet measurement company, and reach more than 30% of the U.S. population every month. Our brands collectively have won more than 20 industry awards in the last year alone and, most recently, Dotdash was named Publisher of the Year by Digiday, a leading industry publication.

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