THE CHOBE ANGELS: THE ONLY ALL-FEMALE SAFARI TEAM IN AFRICA
Chobe Game Lodge, the flagship lodge of Desert and Delta Safari in Botswana, has achieved what everyone thought impossible – a full team of 14 female guides — the only all-female safari team in Africa.
In 2005, there were only two female guides in the 12 member team at Chobe, and less than 10 female guides in the entire country of Botswana. Today, the 14 strong women-guide team, aptly named the “Chobe Angels,” run the show under the wise watchful eye of Chobe’s in-house Environmentalist, with constant training being the priority.
When the Chobe Game Lodge management team recognized there was an inequality with the lack of female guides, they worked out a two-fold strategy: to recruit the top female guides in the country and to work with the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute, asking them to refer female trainees to Chobe Game Lodge for field training. This highly successful program enabled them to recruit young energetic female guides from the region while providing all of the practical training at Chobe Game Lodge to the trainees. This acquired field knowledge at Chobe combined with the theory they received in the classrooms of the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute, is the foundation for a successful guiding career for the women guides.
What is it that female guides do different from male guides? It quickly became apparent that the women were far more sensitive to what the guests were looking for in their Chobe experience. And they were better drivers of the vehicles as well, holding down maintenance costs and reserving fuel consumption; thus, creating less carbon emissions.
Seventy percent of the guides were trained at Chobe Game Lodge. Twice a year they conduct an intensive refresher course in conjunction with leaders in the field of guide training. This keeps passion at the forefront and introduces new theory.
The Angels have proven their metal by taking part in the Chobe Explorations inter camp Luxury Mobile Safaris in 2011, starting at Chobe Game Lodge and heading through the country and into theOkavango Delta, staying at each of the Desert and Delta Safaris lodges. A wonderful experience superbly driven and guided by the ladies. In 2013, the Chobe Angels guided the Chobe Exploration mobile safaris exclusively.