Melissa Shales

  • Award-winning freelance travel writer, editor, author, and photographer
  • Grew up in Zimbabwe and traveled widely in Africa throughout her life
  • Author of over 30 guidebooks, including six covering African locales


Melissa Shales is a former writer for TripSavvy for eight months. She grew up in Zimbabwe and has traveled widely across Africa throughout her life. She has written over 30 guidebooks, including six on various parts of Africa, and edited many more. She writes for a wide range of magazines, newspapers, and websites. She has served two terms as chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers, the professional association for travel writers in the U.K., Melissa is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Society of Authors.


Melissa Shales studied at Marymount College in Zimbabwe and Exeter University in the U.K, gaining an Honors B.A. in history and archaeology.

Awards and Publications
  • Melissa was named  Best Online Writer 2010 by the British Guild of Travel Writers.
  • She was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship which has allowed her to travel across Africa by train Cairo to Cape Town by train, researching for a book on the history of the railways in Africa.
  • She has contributed 42 reviews on national parks and game reserves in Africa to

Her guidebooks to Africa include:

  • South Africa (AA Explorer)
  • Kenya (Travellers Thomas Cook)
  • Marrakech (Michelin in Your Pocket)

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

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.

Read more from Melissa Shales