African women have made great strides in shaping and driving Africa’s tourism and travel industry. Every year, millions of travellers visit Africa to experience its incredible safaris and culture-filled cities. Women-run organizations are leading in transforming travel across the continent by advocating for sustainable tourism practices and providing more opportunities for women in their local communities.
These remarkable groups have successfully shaped African travel into what it is today. From roaming the African savannah to working in metropolitan vacation hubs, women are paving the way for a thriving African tourism industry. Let’s examine how female entrepreneurs and leaders have set an example of success within this sector.
Table of Contents
What Are The Gender Issues In Tourism?
Gender issues in the African tourism sector are multifaceted. It is important to note that much of the existing research has focused on gender issues in the informal tourism sector. For example, women are at risk of exploitation due to their lack of economic bargaining power and reliance on low-skilled employment.
Even though women take up two-thirds of jobs in hotels, catering and tourism, they often earn less than their male counterparts and occupy fewer managerial positions. The industry is further complicated for female workers due to its informal nature, fragmentation, and irregular working hours.
Why Is Gender Equality Important In Tourism?
To succeed in sustainability for tourism, decent work and gender equality must take precedence. By reducing gender inequalities in the workplace, we can create an environment where everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources. Gender equality is also integral for improving work productivity and fostering a more inclusive workplace culture. It also has the potential to benefit local communities as it can increase job quality and wages while also providing more economic opportunities.
As the globe marks the International Women’s Day 2023, See Africa Today celebrates the feminine energy in the following tourism sectors across Africa.
Nestled in the heart of Central Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Dunia Camp is a sublime base for a safari vacation entirely run by women. Dunia Camp became an all-female enterprise in 2016, with over 20 women working there. Their roles vary from maintaining the safari tents to taking guests around on guided game drives.
The existence of Dunia Camp confirms that women are making waves in the African travel industry, also helping to narrow the gender gap. In Tanzanian culture, it is rare to find women employed in safari parks moreso managing lodges. Yet this transition towards an all-female staff at Dunia Camp was natural, demonstrating just how determined local female community members were to work instead of remaining home.
The Chobe Angels Guide Team
In 2005, the Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana made history by recruiting its first all-female safari guide team of 14 women – aptly named The Chobe Angels. By blazing a path for other female guides to follow, these remarkable ladies now exclusively guide travellers through the Okavango Delta with their mobile unit as part of Chobe Explorations.
At least 65% of its staff are female, and the lodge is committed to increasing the number of certified female tour guides across Botswana by providing an all-female safari guide team. Enjoy a luxurious stay and take game drives with knowledgeable women drivers in electric vehicles when you book your next vacation through Enchanting Travels. Discover why this incredible venue stands out from other destinations – it’s worth the visit.
The Black Mamba Anti-poaching Unit
It’s a known fact that poaching is still rampant in many African countries, and reports show that thousands of animals in parks are killed every day. Fortunately, those figures have begun to decrease due to the brave anti-poaching squads like the Black Mamba who fight against poaching with courage and determination. In 2014, four brave women formed a group of rangers to protect South Africa’s diverse parks, mainly in Balule Nature Reserve and the Greater Kruger National Park.
Now with an impressive 23 female rangers on the team, the unit is willing to confront any danger that comes their way – even the peril of being killed in action. These courageous individuals put themselves at risk by going up against poachers armed with weapons and those attempting illegal entry into this renowned national park.
Elephants, rhinos and lions are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of fences, allowing these animals unrestricted access throughout the wider park area – an open invitation for poachers. That’s why we all need to stand behind amazing women like the Black Mamba on their mission against poaching.
Do African Women Lead in Tourism Boards?
Across Africa, female leaders are making tremendous strides in the tourism industry and leading the charge for other women to follow. Here they are.
- Devota Mdachi is the Managing Director of Tanzania Tourist Board
- Dr. Betty Radier heads the Kenya Tourism Board
- Belise Kariza serves as Chief Tourism Officer of Rwanda
Joining them in the hospitality industry are African female powerhouses such as:
- Rosemary Mugambi, Director of Sales and Marketing at Serena Hotels with 11 properties spread throughout Tanzania and Kenya
- Vickie Muyanga, Regional Director of Sales for East & Central Africa to Radisson Hotel Group
- Josephine Rururangwa heading Wakanow.com’s Africa Expansion & Airline Partnerships department
Their success stories should be an inspiration to all African women because they exemplify female leadership.
Africa’s tourism industry is advancing rapidly, with many of its advancements due to women’s tremendous efforts and hard work. These courageous women are at the forefront of this success story, from environmental protection initiatives to stepping up as leaders in their respective fields. It is high time to recognize and celebrate African women’s invaluable contribution to shaping the tourism and travel industry across the continent. From their brave initiatives within conservation and safety to their inspiring leadership roles in tourism boards, hospitality brands and more, these women make a real difference.