Girl Guides: Pioneering Women on Safari
It’s no longer a man’s world. Here are just some of the inspiring women forging a career for themselves as guides and rangers in the African bush.
When Jennifer Denton started applying for guiding jobs after completing her Anthropology and Environmental Science degree, the response wasn’t entirely positive: “I got a lot of doubtful responses, especially from older men, stating that guiding wasn’t a job for women and warning me that I was entering a man’s world,” Jen recalls. “Some even went so far as to tell me I would not be doing it for very long and should start thinking of other things to do with my life.
“Luckily I am a ‘I’ll prove you wrong’ kind of girl and this is what I strive to do: show the world that I can follow my passion and as difficult as it is, I can break into ‘a man’s world’ – and not only do this, but succeed at it too.”
Fast-forward a year or so and 23-year-old Jen has done just this: she currently works at Mwiba Lodge in Tanzania as their Guide Trainer and Anthropologist.
“I do think that the safari industry is becoming more receptive to women guides. However, I think that you still have to work really hard for it; you have to prove yourself and earn respect from your male counterparts,” Jen says.