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Celebrate Women on an African Travel Journey

Some people need a special occasion to take a far-flung vacation.  On this International Women's Day (#IWD2020), we find it the perfect excuse to take a trip that celebrates women. Whether it's a group of women traveling with their besties or those just wanting to meet some of the inspiring women leaving an indelible mark in Africa, start with some of these trips or tailor a journey.

The Awe-inspiring Women of Kenya 

While Kenya is famous for the Great Migration, its conservation efforts of the black and white rhino and the jumping Maasai warriors of the Maasai Mara, the women of Kenya should also be a star attraction. 

On our Captivating Kenya journey, beyond being awed by the majesty of the country’s wildlife, guests will meet someone like Dorothy Sasha Lowuekuduk.  

 

Namunyak is home to the first community owned elephant orphanage in Africa, Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy’s Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.  When our guests visit Reteti, they experience a behind the scenes look at the Sanctuary and get to meet the women from the Samburu tribe who care for these elephants.  

One such woman, Dorothy, is the lead elephant keeper (how cool is that job title!). Dorothy earned a role traditionally reserved for men.  That’s because the elephants responded to her in a different way.  Their hides may be tough, but elephants are sensitive creatures with strong matriarchal bonds. They intuitively sensed something about her and she grew into a leadership role, showing her community that women could do other jobs beyond stereotypical roles—and do them well.

Now she, along with other women, are making a difference in the lives of these orphaned elephants and are a living example of how gender equality in the workplace empowers not just women in her community but in her country and the continent.  

For those wanting to dive even deeper and build bonds of friendships with Kenyan hosts, the addition of a 4-day ME to WE adventure is a perfect complement. Joining the mamas at Emori Joi in their everyday lives and helping build a school will have a positive impact.

 

Discover What’s Possible in Rwanda

 

The draw for visitors far and wide to Rwanda is the country’s endangered mountain gorillas.  Yet on our Discover Rwanda adventure into "the land of a thousand hills," it’s also about the wonderful people, like Dalida Waldah who survived the Rwandan genocide as an eight-year-old and who now lives her dream as a safari driver and guide.

In the vibrant and beautiful capital city Kigali, guests are awed as much by its pristine streets and community clean ups (which also take place throughout the country), as it’s art, music and fashion scene.  The Kigali Genocide Museum offers a look back on the country’s tragic past and a glimpse into how Rwanda moved forward in the aftermath to become an example for peace and reconciliation.  It’s a place where someone like Dalida could realize her dream of working in tourism.

At Magashi Camp in Akagera National Park overlooking scenic Lake Rwanyakazinga, Dalida loves sharing that Rwanda may be a small country, it’s got a lot to offer, including how change is possible.   While she and her parents survived the genocide, they were left—along with the rest of the country—with uncertainty. “When the country was destroyed, our people were destroyed, and there was no hope.  If you come to Rwanda, of course you’ll get the history and the emotional side of our story, but you’ll also see how change is possible,” she said.  “I went through the process of rebuilding the country up until now and I can see the effort that each person has made to rebuild this country, because each person made it happen.  I think that’s reason enough for people to visit Rwanda because it’s something quite amazing.” 

And Dalida loves showing guests the glories of her country: the mountains of Volcanoes National Park, and of course the country’s star attraction – the endangered mountain gorilla, the variety of chimpanzees, bird species, flora and fauna, even the luxury One&Only lodges where you can rest after a day of sightseeing.  Yet, it’s her message that without love we cannot get anywhere that might resonate the most. “If we have love, life will be easier for everyone. Love means everything for me.”

 

Girls Getaway with a Purpose

 

Women looking to travel with their besties and seeking an up-close look at conservation, while enjoying a world class city should consider our South Africa Regal Retreats.   There’s nothing like girl bonding at a safari lodge created by a visionary woman.

Jabulani, a family-owned and managed luxury safari lodge in the Kapama Private Game Reserve is owned and operated by Adine Roode. Most women learn how to approach life through their mothers, Roode’s left an ever-lasting impression by showing her daughter the value of caring for other living creatures.  In fact, Jabulani is named after a four-month-old elephant calf who was discovered injured, abandoned and stuck in the mud of a silt dam. Today, Roode is the driving force behind the first dedicated elephant orphanage in South Africa, where guests can experience her passion for pachyderms and other wildlife.

Needless to say, the camp’s most notable offering is the daily elephant interaction with its resident rescued herd of African elephants, but you’ll also fall for the wildlife awaiting you on safari game drives in the Big Five Kapama Private Reserve.  Her recent award as the Relais & Châteaux Women of the Year 2019 is well deserved.

It’s not just the award-winning game drives that will capture hearts on this trip.  Urban delights include discovering Cape Town’s scenic beauty on private guided tours, including its infamous penguins frolicking at Boulder’s Beach along the Cape Peninsula, and a food and wine pairing lunch in the breathtaking Franschhoek valley which turns out award-winning delights. 

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