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Next Generation Girl Guides

2 min read

Updated 01 March 2022

Women training as guides Image credit: African Bush Camps
Picture of Chris McIntyre

By Chris McIntyre

Managing Director

*A version of this article originally appeared in the March 2022 Bush Telegraph newsletter. You can read our recent newsletters and sign-up to receive these in your inbox on our Bush Telegraph newsletter page.

Across Africa, safari guiding remains a heavily male-dominated profession. Male guides outnumber their female counterparts by 9 to 1. The reality is that most women in local communities simply do not have the same professional opportunities as men. Myriad historic and social reasons account for this and there is still very limited investment in women to help them pursue aspirations to work as guides while having families. It can be a challenging career choice.

A trailblazing new project is addressing the imbalance. In November 2021, African Bush Camps (ABC) launched a dedicated Female Safari Guide Project in Botswana, aiming to increase female job opportunities in safari guiding and closely linked fields. Teaching wildlife conservation through a combination of classroom, practical, and on-the-job mentorship, with rotations at different African Bush Camps properties, the two-year training programme should enable these women to earn a professional guiding licence and significantly broaden their career prospects.

There is certainly appetite for the scheme: the project launch attracted applications from 300 women from across Botswana. Following interviews, five women have now embarked on their guide-training journey, and ABC aim to train 25 local, female guides by 2025.

With such obvious demand, it would be wonderful to see more operators commit energy and resources into making the path into guiding a real possibility for even more women, and we share ABC’s hope that these scheme acts a catalyst to do just that.

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