Although tourism is one of Botswana’s largest sectors, men have traditionally dominated the industry. Progressive Chobe Game Lodge, built in the 1970s, is bucking the trend by employing an all-female group of guides in an effort to break down stereotypes and make a statement.
The only challenge to the innovative idea was recruitment. In 2005, there were only ten female guides in all of Botswana. In order to find talent, the Chobe Game Lodge worked with the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute to recruit female guide trainees to the lodge. Now the group, the aptly named Chobe Angels, is made up of fourteen female guides from all over the country.
Interestingly enough, internal studies have shown that female guides are more aware of the needs for customer service, are more efficient communicators, and are even better drivers, as they take care of equipment. As a result of the latter, vehicle maintenance costs have dropped in the lodge. Chobe’s model has made it easier for women to break into the tourism industry, and has increased the number of women in the broader Botswanan industry