PIONEERING WOMEN IN AFRICAN TOURISM
We recently celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March and wanted to highlight the incredible accomplishments of women in tourism. Specifically, the achievements of Asilia Africa camp manager Petronilla Mosha, who runs an all-female camp in the Serengeti.
Safari guiding and operations is typically a male-dominated arena, that on the outside, appears to be no place for women. Meet the safari company empowering women and challenging outdated stereotypes in the industry.
The Female Footprint
In 2013, Asilia Africa caused a stir in Tanzania after posting an advert calling for women to apply for the Asilia Guide Training Program. In 2014, the first female guide qualified for the program and, in 2015, a further two female guides received their qualification. Social dynamics were changing in East Africa, and Asilia recognised the opportunity to make a positive contribution and bring something extra special to their 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 the Asilia training programs, and Dunia Camp’s transition to an all-female staff was realised.
“Anything is possible, it only needs to start from your mind.” – Petronilla Mosha
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 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 Africa team. 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.
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 Camp, and with it, Pettie received the promotion and was returned “home”.
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 Camp 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.
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 Camp.
Used with permission from: www.asiliaafrica.com
Originally posted on: 28 February 2023