Sam McManus • Founder

Sam grew up in the countryside of Kent in the UK until he walked out one midsummer morning into a lifetime of travel and adventure. Travel and books: these two passions have fuelled journeys to over 60 countries whilst living on four continents, and led to the founding of YellowWood Adventures.

He has always favoured the road less travelled. Whilst living in Japan he took his tent and surfboard and spent three months island-hopping down the 1100km of Ryukyu archipelago, camping on deserted beaches and talking to crabs. In the Amazon rainforest he spent two weeks with an Indian guide carrying only a machete, fishhooks, salt, sugar and cocoa leaves learning to live off the land. He got bitten quite a lot.

It is always in mountainous regions that he has most enjoyed following his feet. Be it the Himalayas, Alps, Andes, the highest plateau in Africa, ice-climbing in the Tian Shan Mountains or exploring the lost assassins’ castles in the Alborz of Iran. A veritable mountain of banana sandwiches, history books, novels, travel writings and biographies always accompany these adventures, and wherever possible a horse or two.

As strong as this spirit of adventure and inquisitiveness is, there is also an equally strong desire to share these unique experiences with others. Sam and the team at YellowWood have put together original itineraries in Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Lebanon, Japan, Mongolia, Romania, Northern Spain & Ladakh, with plans for many more. All with the winning combination of culture, nature, responsible interactions, adventure and that off-the-beaten-track wildness that means when you get home, you feel that you have really been somewhere.

listen to this podcast

Head of Operations

Cathy has been in the Travel Industry for over 12 years, joining YellowWood Adventures in 2018. She has an eye for detail, loves the individual contact with our travellers and in country partners, and is always excited by the fact that no 2 days are the same.  She is fundamental to the smooth running of our often complex operations.

Never travels without: an excel spreadsheet 

Head of Marketing

Pru has over 25 years of experience working in the adventure travel sector in senior management positions. She has an in depth understanding of, and a great passion for the industry, as well as many international contacts in travel and media. You finding us was probably thanks to her!

Never travels without: a G&T (obvs)

International Mountain Leader

Caroline is an international mountain leader with a huge amount of international guiding experience. In 2013 she was part of the first ever team to climb the 6,046m peak of Cha Ri in Ladakh, Northern India, setting out on the two week expedition from the town of Leh.

Never travels without: trail mix 

Ben Walker, YWA guide

International Mountain Leader

Ben is based in the English Lake District & works as a professional trek leader. Having led overseas expeditions since 2004 he has trekked extensively in the Himalayas & North Africa, & led cycling trips throughout SE Asia.

Never travels without: a dry bag

International Mountain Leader

A masters in geology and a career travelling the world fixing landslides has honed a high mountain focus and a passion for the world’s remote places. He has travelled widely, and sometimes deeply, in Africa, Asia and South America, seeking out less-travelled roads in six continents.

Never travels without: a pair of binoculars

Summer Mountain Leader

Katia has a background in anthropology and has always loved exploring new places and getting a feel for how people live. There is nothing she likes more than heading for the hills and exploring. She has a number of other interests including saving the planet, human wellbeing and getting kids outdoors.

Never travels without: spare snacks 


International Mountain Leader

As a child Harry was always wondering what lay behind the next hill, and this spirit of adventure has never left him: His adventuring has taken him on major expeditions in Bhutan and Nepal, and leading treks throughout the Himalayas, Africa and Central Asia.

Never travels without: Patience and a sense of humour

International Mountain Leader

Based in Somerset, Graham has spent the last 15 years introducing fellow adventurers to the high mountains of Europe and beyond. A veteran of various high altitude expeditions in Asia, Africa and South America, he is also a keen road cyclist and lover of all kinds of music.

Never travels without: profound optimism!

Professional Mountain Guide

Ayuba was born in the heart of the Bale Mountains, growing up to work with the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme for three years as a wolf monitor and guide. He received his diploma in Tourism Management and has been a professional guide for seven years.

Never travels without: his ukulele

Professional Mountain Guide

Gebre grew up in the Gheralta Mountains. Receiving his diploma in Tourism in Addis Ababa, upon returning home he was one of the first members to join the newly created Gheralta Mountains Guiding Association, and has been a professional guide in the region for eight years.

Never travels without: calling Sam fat (Sam calls him Kenyan)

Professional Tour Guide

Mona has organised hundreds of trips in Mongolia and has travelled the length and breadth of this spectacular country. At the time of writing, her latest expedition is to the very far north near the Siberian border to meet the Dukha: Mongolia’s last reindeer people.

Never travels without: a yak

Professional Mountain Guide

Maks is a certified professional mountain guide with over 12 years of experience guiding trekking and mountain climbing in Kyrgyzstan and the surrounding region. He was born in Karakol town in the Tian Shan Mountains and works with many tourism organisations across the country.

Never travels without: pointing enthusiastically at mountains

“Stunning campsites with beautiful backdrop will make this a trip to remember.  Our guide Gebre made it really special, always with a smile and encouraging us along the way. Impromptu fireside parties, local popstars and being feed injera whilst sipping tallah in a traditional family home were highlights.”

Lauren Douglas, Dubai
click here to view all adventures