International Women’s Day – Pioneering women in tourism
For many years the safari industry has been a male dominated arena. After all, isolated safari camps in the African bush are no place for a woman, right?
10 years ago, a female safari guide was unheard of in Tanzania.
The female footprint
In 2013, we caused a stir in Tanzania after posting an advert in a local newspaper calling for women to apply for the Asilia guide training program. In 2014, our first female guide qualified from the program and, in 2015, there were another two. Social dynamics were changing in East Africa, and we recognised the opportunity for us to make a positive contribution and bring something extra special to our camps. In 2015, Dunia Camp was refurbished, and the decision was made to make it an all-female staffed camp, providing the platform to encourage and grow the female footprint within the East Africa safari industry. Gradually, more women graduated from our training programs, and Dunia Camp’s transition to an all-female staff was realised.
The elevated lounge and dining deck of Dunia Camp, overlooking the Serengeti plains.
“Anything is possible, it only needs to start from your mind.”
As a child growing up in Arusha, Petronilla “Pettie” Mosha used to see safari vehicles driving through town carrying tourists as she walked to school each day. At that young age, she had already identified these tourists as people she would like to talk to and, from then on, her educational goals revolved around working her way into the tourism industry. After successfully completing her A-Levels and university education in Dodoma, Pettie heard about an advertisement for a position as a Stores Manager, based in the Serengeti at a safari camp predominantly staffed by females. Despite not knowing anything about stores management, she recognised the opportunity and applied for the position and, in 2016, joined the Asilia team. With the permission of the camp manager, Pettie realised her childhood goals and had the opportunity to engage and interact with guests around the Dunia campfire. But this was just the start.
A smiling Petronilla, with her infectious enthusiasm, runs a team of ladies who consistently produce outstanding levels of service.
Pettie’s enthusiastic and outgoing nature quickly earmarked her as one to watch, and it wasn’t long before her manager at the time nominated her to attend the Asilia Assistant Management training. Over the course of a year, she went through the process of learning from existing camp managers and shadowing them in their different camps, before completing the training program and being posted to Jabali Ridge in Ruaha National Park as assistant camp manager. Pettie loved the beauty of Ruaha and the splendour of Jabali Ridge, but Dunia Camp was where she considered her home to be, and she longed to return. Pettie continued to excel, working hard and delivering service to guests that consistently earned her high levels of praise. In 2021, the position of camp manager became available at her beloved Dunia, and with it, Pettie received the promotion and was returned “home”.
The team at Dunia Camp had the honour of hosting the former President of Tanzania, Mr Jakaya Kikwete.
“Thanks for a wonderful stay at Dunia on our best ever safari. The kindness and hospitality all of the staff showed us was the best we ever have experienced.”
Tripadvisor review – February 2023
Today, Dunia Camp is thriving. Under her guidance, the team of ladies have pushed the service offering into a space that Pettie likens to the role of a mother caring for her child. This team of women are taking attention to detail to the next level, pre-empting guest needs before the guests themselves have recognised the need to ask for it. Whether it’s cleaning muddy shoes on a rainy day or replenishing a water bottle on a hot afternoon, this authentic and intuitive approach is what has taken Dunia into a league of its own. As far as Pettie has come, she is confident her ambition can take her further and she would like to one day work as a Field Operations Manager. However, most important for her is that she can continue to inspire more women to dream big and chase their dreams, achieving as she has.
Pre-dinner drinks and snacks by the campfire are a quintessential element of a safari experience.
A line in the sand has been clearly drawn, a new generation empowered and, for anyone who still believes that safari camps are the domain of men, they need only to experience a stay at Dunia.
More People of Asilia Articles
Meet Max, a lionhearted waiter at Namiri Plains15 July 2020
We want to introduce you to our superstar bartender and waiter Max, who has b...
Meet Veronica, whose bright personality lights up Namiri27 July 2020
Please meet our fabulous waitress Veronica whose bright personality has been...
Meet Hamza, one of Tanzania's top safari guides06 August 2020
With a personality that’s larger than life, we want to introduce you to Hamza...
Meet Doris, a waitress with a hunger to learn about wildlife01 September 2020
Meet our firecracker waitress Doris, who has been part of the Asilia family a...