Women in Tourism
Landine Guim, an environmental shepherd at #Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy, which means ‘Elephant’s Corner’, a small conservancy situated between Khorixas and Kamanjab in the Kunene region, is one of them.
The first ever female game guide, Landine has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the tourism industry. She started working for the #Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy in 1997 before the conservancy was officially registered the following year in 1998 and spends two months patrolling on a donkey cart with only a tent and a bedroll.
Her typical day entails collecting complaints from the farmers and writing them in an event book. “After writing down all the complaints in the book, we send it to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in order for them to also read about the farmers’ complaints,” said Landine.
Besides writing up the monthly report from the daily records, Landine is also responsible for controlling damaged water points and although she says her work is fulfilling, she often gets threatened by angry farmers. “#Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy is surrounded by elephants so of course they will damage these water points but I always remind the farmers not to get upset with nature because we found these elephants here, it is their home. And so I explain to them for us to work together with these wild animals,” she said.
One highlight of Landine’s work was when she had the responsibility of taking the delegates of the Adventure Travel World Summit to a guided tour in the Kunene region. She says although she didn’t know the importance of tourism at first, she is now grateful to have been working in the industry for such a long time and has learned a lot.
Another woman making strides in the tourism industry is Lena Florry, Regional Manager at Wilderness Safaris. Lena, who describes herself as ‘a proud rural woman doing a world class job in a rural area’, started off as a barefooted goat herder before her passion of working for Wilderness Safaris eventually earned her the title of Manager of Damaraland Camp, a position she held for 11 years until she received training to become a waitress. “I was always full of energy, passionate and excited about my job. I was the first black Namibian to be appointed manager of a guest house after independence and after I received training from Wilderness Safaris and worked and studied in the USA for 3 years. I am currently employed as regional manager representing four joint venture lodges in the north-west of Namibia,” said a proud Lena.