Female Guides Make Indelible Mark

| April 13, 2015

Chobe Game Lodge general manager, Mr Johane Bruwer has nothing but praise for the all-female guides employed within their business.

The 16 female tour guides, who have been christened Chobe angels, work in a male dominated field.

Mr Bruwer noted that in 2005, Botswana had about four or five women tour guides. He said the lodge enquired with Botswana Wildlife Training Institution (BWTI) in Maun why there were no women applying for the profession.

He said they also found out that placement for those who had graduated was a challenge. “With a revelation that placement was the cause of the insignificant number of women pursuing tour guiding, we vowed to absorb them,” adds Mr Bruwer.

He also highlighted that working with women has had a positive outcome for the lodge’s clientele and the lodge itself. “Women are much more patient, they have better communication skills and take better care of the equipment that they use in their day to day activities,” he said.

Furthermore, he said guests were often surprised by the female guides, as most of their competitors had males as tour guides. He said although women were undermined in terms of equipment handling and animal encounters, it all lies in the technique not the strength that one possesses.

The lodge’s tour guide, Ms Tshepiso Diphupu explained that she manages to tackle the distrust and assumptions that comes with being a woman in the trade. “I have encountered clients that did not have confidence in my abilities, but I have been trained how to handle clients in such situations.”

Ms Diphupu has upgraded from being an assistant guide to a professional guide since she started in 2013. Another Chobe angel, Ms Lynn Tebalo said that there were some male tour guides who undermined their abilities, but that they were experienced and confident in their work.

“I have toured the Chobe, Savuti and Kalahari and encountered rivers, sand ridges and the toughest terrain and succeeded,” she boasted. A travel agent, Ms Sadra Petrowitz said seeing women working in a male dominated career was commendable.

“It is a unique initiative and the service is above par,” she said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

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