The women at Dunia Camp in the Serengeti are proof that leadership knows no gender boundaries.
Dunia Camp is a shining example of the empowerment of women of Asilia Africa’s commitment to community upliftment. This entirely female-run camp is thriving in the heart of the Serengeti and showing how women can just as easily do the job of men in a male-dominated industry.
All across Africa, despite age-old cultural barriers, incremental changes are taking place. Global attitudes towards gender equality have shifted and more women have begun stepping up, realising that they too can be guides, trackers and more.
Women can work in any environment if they are given the chance.
The ability to provide a rich safari experience and consistently high levels of service favors no gender over the other. At Dunia Camp the staff of strong and knowledgeable women go above and beyond to provide the very best safari experience for guests, all while contributing positively to the local people and nature of Tanzania.
The decision to develop an all-female run camp was important to the team at Asilia and their adherence to empowering local women in the area.
“We wanted Asilia to be different – a force for good that not only contributes financially but also in a progressive and sustainable way to the communities around us, including the empowerment of local women,” says Jeroen Harderwijk, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Asilia Africa.
“As organizations often fall short when it comes to the greater representation of women at executive levels, our incremental attempts to integrate women as guides ran aground time and time again. Finally, frustrated but determined to stay true to our values, we went for the jugular and created an all-female camp. For many young women, and for their families, an all-women’s camp was a necessary step to help them feel confident and comfortable living in the bush, miles from home for months at a time.”
Many guests arriving at the camp for the first time are surprised to find that the entire camp – including field guides – is run by women. But after seeing what these women are capable of in the middle of the bush in Africa, they leave inspired.
“Our guests love it and want to tell the world about this unique camp and its ground-breaking women,” says Jeroen. “In an industry so reliant on customer experience, our visitors can feel the impact that purpose in action has on our staff, filtering through to their own adventure.”
These women are shifting perspectives, and breaking boundaries in the bush, and far beyond.
Jonesia ‘Kazawadi’ Dominic is a guide at Dunia Camp – a dream job that she had to push hard against cultural norms to get. Being told that her profession wasn’t a job for women, Kazawadi (like so many female guides in Africa) had to fight against this preconception and prove that she was just as capable as any man to get the job done. Despite the initial backlash from her male counterparts, Kazawadi went on to thrive as a field guide at one of the best camps in the Serengeti.
“Females are good leaders, especially when they are empowered and have a pure heart,” she says “Being with this tribe at Dunia Camp has made me work on my behavior so much, by improving the way I react and respond to certain situations through interactions with my colleagues.”
“I would love to make a difference and be remembered by future generations as an amazing role model. I have inspired a lot of women so far in my career by encouraging them to have confidence, to trust themselves, and to live out their dreams.”
From the entire Ker & Downey®️ Africa team, we salute the fierce females at Dunia Camp in the Serengeti, and wish you all a happy Women’s Month.
See you out there.