Our logo is inspired by the profile of an elephant. The elephant is lead by the matriarch; they symbolise elegance, intelligence, memory, empathy, gentleness, and are intentional in their actions. Each of our female staff members reflect these characteristics in our company and brings this symbol to life.
This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is “an equal world is an enabled world”. I think we would be amiss if we didn’t recognise the strong and powerful women both within our camps and the ones who are succeeding at their independent businesses due to Foundation facilitation. The majority of the workforce in tourism is female – women bring a level of care and hospitality to our camps that make guests feel like they’re part of the family.
The level of attention to detail our female staff adds to the empathy, personality and community we have in our camps. From female guides paving their way in a male-dominated arena to the hosts who look after you like family and women striving to make a difference in their communities.
African Bush Camps Women
Claudia first began her training at Livingstone Business and Engineering of Social Sciences for six months and graduated with a certificate. With a passion for adventure and nature, Claudia enrolled at African Bush Camps as a trainee guide and is now a dedicated kids’ guide for our Ngwana Club program.
Our hostesses are the incredible women that bring the extra level of service to each and every guest and make sure we give the best experience across the board.
Cherish Mpofu – Hostess
“The staff, especially Cherish and Lebes, went out of their way at every turn! Even surprised us with the most amazing 20 yr anniversary brunch in the bush! Truly something we will look back upon fondly!”
“What an amazing place and what wonderful people! The singing welcome to camp set the tone and from then on Cherish, our excellent, bubbly and friendly host and the whole team treated us like royalty.
We were shown straight into the lounge/ deck area right on the edge of Kangaroo Pan and were immediately transfixed by the elephants coming to drink. And they kept on coming. Over the next 3 days, we spent hours watching the social interaction of elephant, baboon and other animals from the comfortable deck, and from our tent metres from the water.”
Agania Dube – Hostess
“Our hostess, Egania, was very welcoming and stayed on top of everything and kept things running smoothly.”
“Egania their host is a skilled professional and lovely person. All the staff seem to enjoy their work, each other and of course, the beautiful beasts. If u can go, Go!”
“Nothing was too much trouble for Egania, our host, including arranging a portable bar so we could have gin and tonics by a watering hole, accompanied by roasted termites!”
African Bush Camps
Women through the Foundation
Our African Bush Camps Foundation is a female-founded organisation. In 2006, with the establishment of the Foundation, Sophia Klein achieved a lifelong dream of working side by side with rural communities. The Foundation aims to work in partnership communities so that they develop a sense of ownership and a vested interest in the success of their communal ventures as opposed to the unconditional ‘hand-out’ mentality. (Read more about the team and the African Bush Camps Foundation story here.)
The resilience and dedication of women is reflected in the groups who receive business mentorship and skills development through the Foundation. These groups are women-dominated, who have been diligent, responsible, reliable and consistent in running their sustainable businesses and empowering their villages through this. They have managed to transform their own lives and reclaim their place as the matriarchs of their communities. These women sustain not only themselves but their children and the greater community. The average working woman in Zimbabwe supports around 8 dependents, so when you support a woman, you support a community.
The African Bush Camps Foundation was built to empower communities. The Community Empowerment Projects such as the Vuche Vuche Craft Cooperation, Thandanani Sewing Projects, Vukani Group and Detema Sewing Group are comprised of dedicated, talented women. The Foundation builds on their existing skills and provides training and support to develop self-sustaining and independent business owners while promoting, nurturing and developing community spirit.
Maunga’s Beatrice – Deputy Senior Head Woman of the Maunga Village
Beatrice Mukang’andu is one of the leaders of the Maunga Village, which is the closest community to Thorntree River Lodge that the Foundation is in partnership with. Her official title is ‘Deputy Senior Head Woman of the Maunga Community’, and she helps lead the community with resilience and grace. She is also an Elder of the Zambian Royal family, where she functions as the ‘Keeper of Traditional Knowledge’, which must be where her wisdom and leadership stems from. A true powerhouse of a lady, she drives the village forward through creating and maintaining relationships with third-party stakeholders such as the Foundation.
The clinic in Maunga was built with women in mind, as the infant and maternal mortality rates in Zambia are very high, particularly in remote rural areas like Maunga, where the closest health centre is a 20km walk away. Now, women will have immediate access to skilled antenatal and postnatal care and community members seeking medical attention will be able to do so within their community.
The knock-on effect of the development of the Health Centre, in partnership with the community and local government, is the Maunga community realising tangible benefits from tourism in their area, and now seeing wildlife and nature as resources to protect for the improvement of their livelihoods.
Watch the video of her tour of the Health Centre here: