ABCF Female Guides Program: Developing female talent

Our Female Guides program aims to develop female safari guides through skills training, mentorship, job shadowing, and rotations at African Bush Camps.

The launch of our first cohort in November 2021 was the start of our goal to have 25 female guides in the safari industry by 2025. Previously, more than 90% of the safari guides in the region were male and less than 5% of women receive regular training and development to become safari guides.

Our Female Guides program is a two-year program that offers theory, practical, and on-the-job training at ABC camps to become a safari guide. Participants undergo four weeks of theory and four weeks of practical safari training with the African Guiding Academy and one week of Mokoro training before they start as trainee guides at African Bush Camps.

The program provides professional experience in travel and tourism, as well as related fields such as hospitality. Through mentorship and personal relationships, we aim to boost their confidence and build a competent group of female safari guides.

We launched our second cohort of female guides in Botswana with a new intake of 3 guides in July 2022. Over the past few months, our female guides have been learning the ins and outs of the guiding industry and are becoming experts in critical skills in wildlife, conservation, safe practices, photography, natural history, tracking, communication and the mokoro.

We are excited to have launched the third cohort of female guides in Zambia and the fourth cohort in Botswana later this year. The growth and expansion of the program to Zambia represent a significant step towards developing female talent in a largely male-dominated industry. We have partnered with Butterfield & Robinson who will be sponsoring two female guides for the next three years and Steppes Travel who are sponsoring two female guides for 2023.

We are hoping to see the launch of female guides in Zimbabwe in the coming years. This will complete our foundation’s vision to have female guides in all three regions in which we operate and develop more female talent in our business and the safari industry as a whole.