Girls’ Guide to Guiding
It is no secret that the bush scene is a male dominated profession. It’s a man’s’ world filled with G.I Joe type physicality, Big 5 game, 4×4 trailing and heavy duty machinery. Being a woman in the bush is no easy task but by no means impossible; in fact, it takes a few brave and gutsy women to make it in this industry.
The girls at Leopard Mountain have come together and decided to give all those bush loving ladies out there a bit of advice for enduring this “real-life” Survivor- Outwit. Outlast. Outplay.
Being in the bush does not mean giving up being a lady. Having the ability to carry yourself with poise while still being able to manoeuvre out of a tricky elephant sighting is a sign of feminine success. The amazing sightings of our breeding herd of elephants this last week has been a true test to our female guides as well as an inspiration to any woman living in the bush. Elephant herds are made up of tight knit family groups led by the eldest female, called the matriarch. The matriarch defends the general well- being of the herd by teaching, disciplining and guiding. She is a more effective decision maker and ensures that all individuals remain safe from harm by defending them from any potential threats.
The elephants have not been the only thing to get us excited. A rare and spectacular encounter with two hyenas on an evening drive got everyone jittery and on the edge of their seats. Spotted hyenas have a unique social structure dominated by a female. Even the lowest ranking of females dominates the highest ranking male. The females of the clan are usually part of the same family group and show less aggression towards members of their own family being able to recognise family members as far as their great- aunt. Hyenas are able to consciously recognise individual differences amongst clan members and are even able to pick out individuals that are more reliable than others to create allies; a keen judge of character necessary for their well- being and safety of their successor.
Being fearful of becoming involved because of your gender is no excuse to give up on what you love the most. Knowledge is the most powerful tool to use when fighting fear and as the ladies of the wild have proven time and time again, being a woman does not mean you cannot be a leader or respected by those surrounding you. In light of National Women’s Day in the coming week; we would like to acknowledge all the women who have proven successful in this industry and have had the courage to inspire the rest of us.