This week is World Female Ranger Week and we are so proud of our very own female guide, Betty Ataitai at Mahali Mzuri, whose enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring our guests have a safe and memorable game drive is very inspiring.
Betty has worked as a guide since 2005, a role that is not the norm for a woman within the Maasai Mara and it makes her happy to know that she has succeeded in a male-dominated profession. She strongly feels that everyone, should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Her wealth of experience in tracking animals of all shapes and sizes is incredible but she is also very meticulous about every last detail when she prepares for game drives, from blankets to treats and even special suprise picnics in the bush. This ensures guests have the best experience possible and it has not gone unnoticed.
"Our guide Betty was unbelievable. The perfect guide & driver. She seemed to always know where the animals were and made sure the drives were always perfect." a guest at Mahali Mzuri recently wrote.
Here she shares with us her thoughts on what it is like being a female guide.
What do you love the most about being a guide at Mahali Mzuri?
I love being a guide because I meet so many people from all over the world and I get to share my culture with them. The Olare Motorogi Conservancy is my office - what a peaceful and stunning place to work in - and I enjoy working with likeminded people who really come to together as a team.
What is the most important role of a guide?
As a guide it is key we respond to our guests' needs, we are after all responsible for their comfort and wellbeing on game drives. Going on a safari for many people is a once in a lifetime experience and seeing the animals roaming the plains of the conservancy is awe-inspiring so it is essential that I understand the guests' interests in terms of game viewing to provide them with the most memorable of stays at Mahali Mzuri.
How did you become a guide?
I took part in a paramilitary course with Kenya's National Youth Service and this really prepared me for some of the key leadership and outdoor skills required to be a safari guide. Ever since I was little I have been interested in the natural world, it is such a huge part of my Masai background, having looked after animals throughout my life.
How can we inspire other young women to join as a guide?
I advise girls to keep focused and find the right mentors and to share their thoughts and visions with positive minded people. The other thing is don't rebuke any work that comes your way especially guiding which is a rope that connects one to their destined work. And yes it is still a male dominated world but I strongly believe that "what a man can do a woman can do it better" so I strongly encourage young people to follow their dreams!
What has been the highlight of your guide career so far?
Being a guide is full of fun and new experiences learning something new each day, meeting new people every time and making new friends, often friends for life!
You are such a rockstar Betty! Thanks for all your passion