Women from communities in Botswana do not have access to the same career opportunities as safari guides, compared to their male counterparts. This career is still largely a male-dominated one, with little active investment, training, or skills development in female guides that would empower them to pursue their dreams and provide for their families. Linked to this dynamic, job opportunities are scarce currently available for female guides in camps in the area.
- More than 90 % of the safari guides in the region are male.
- Less than 5% of females are currently receiving regular training, mentorship, and development.
In November 2021, we launched a female safari guide project that is targeted at creating job opportunities for local women as safari guides. This project aims to develop female safari guides through skills training, mentorship, job shadowing, and rotations at African Bush Camps.
We received an overwhelming response from over 300 women in Botswana indicating that they were interested in being part of this project. We have selected five women for the first cohort.
This program is a two-year program that will provide theory, practical and on-the-job training at ABC camps as a safari guide. The women selected for the program will undergo four weeks of theory and four weeks of practical safari training with African Guiding Academy before they will commence as trainee guides at ABC.
They will spend a week in the following departments in the camps: housekeeping, waiter department, maintenance, and the kitchen to get an understanding and appreciation for each department’s role within the camp. After the time spent in each department, their focus will shift 100% to guiding. They will rotate between camps, so they understand and know the different areas we operate in.
The community’s eagerness to get involved is a clear indication of the appetite and demand that exist, highlighting the need for more resources, funding, and partnerships within this sphere.
The outcomes of this project for the first cohort are safari guides training and a professional guiding license at the end of the program.
The women on the program will acquire new skills that include guiding, mokoro guiding (dugout canoe), and walk guiding.
This program will allow them to gain valuable work experience in this and industry, develop personal and mentorship relationships, which will increase confidence and competency as a guide.
This project will play a vital role in creating a seat at the table for women in an industry and career path that has historically been male-dominated. We are contributing towards addressing gender inequality in the safari guide’s sector by creating access and opportunity for women who are interested in pursuing a career in this field. Our goal is to develop 25 female guides in this community by 2025. We have great expectations for this project, hoping that it will be a catalyst for other safari companies in the area to invest in female talent, opening doors for more female guides to access work opportunities in various regions in Africa.