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5 reasons why women are perfect for the job

Lorraine Doyle, Wildlife Manager at Thanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal, is one of the few women in the safari industry who continues to make their mark in wildlife conservation. Through her own guide training academy, Africa Nature Training and Thanda Safari’s Research and Volunteer Programme, she passionately imparts her knowledge of nature in more ways than one.

According to Doyle, the qualities that come with being a woman can often put you ahead of your peers as a female safari guide. Her career is proof as she is the only female guide working for the award-winning, WWF-partnered US travel company Natural Habitat Adventures in Africa.

Doyle says there are several reasons why women can fill a safari guide’s boots just as well (if not better) than men.

READ: 10 things to do in and around Thanda Safari

Thanda Safari
Lorraine Doyle at work at Thanda Safari. Image: Included

Relationship Oriented

In general, women are more relationship-oriented than men, which means that they are often more responsive to the emotions and feelings of the guests. As a result, they can handle certain situations with greater sensitivity.

It’s in the little things on safari

Doyle says a comment often made when taking people on safari is that they had a “different kind of safari experience” than what they’ve had with male guides. “Not better or worse, just different.” She says the feedback revolves around the fact that women tend to pay more attention to the smaller creatures and the environment as a whole, adding another dimension to the experience.

Become a role model

As the safari industry is currently still a male dominated industry, it presents great opportunities for women looking to get a foot in the door. “I believe that being a female safari guide (or ranger) is an opportunity to act as a great role model for young girls,” says Doyle.

Why women make the perfect safari guides
Women are the perfect safari guides. Image: Included

Safari is a passion

It is true that passion for something knows no gender boundaries. However, Doyle says she has been in the industry for over 20 years and knows that the few female safari guides she has met are extremely passionate about what they do. “Maybe it’s because in many cases you have to work extra hard to prove yourself,” she says.

Make it by multitasking

Being able to multitask in a male-dominated industry gives female safari guides the edge they need. Doyle says that when they’re juggling a backpack, radio, rifle, binoculars and guests on a forest walk, it’s certainly their ability to multitask that makes them excellent safari guides.

Ultimately, it’s probably also the ability to make a small contribution to wildlife, while living in the bush, that makes being a female safari guide worthwhile.

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