Have you always dreamt of going on safari in Africa? I did…I wanted to go on safari for so many years, even as a small child it was a trip that was a MUST in my lifetime.
However, how would I be able to afford it? I mean it’s rather expensive! In order to make my dreams come true I had to think of a way around it…and I did…I decided I was going to get a job working in Africa!
Given my tenacity and determination, I couldn’t conceive the fact that this wouldn’t happen. How could it not?
I’m one of those people, who once I say I’m going to do something, I will put my all into making it happen.
To save you time and energy, I thought I would help you out by giving you the very best tips on getting yourself that dream as well.
Here I’m sharing the secrets from how to grab yourself one of those highly sort after dream jobs working on safari and what a typical day will look like,
if when you’re successful!
FINDING THE OPPORTUNITY
In order to find that perfect job, there are a few ways to search for potential opportunities.
Ask yourself where exactly you want to work? I’m guessing if you’re reading this you have done your research on different countries and have some sort of idea of where you’d like to be based.
Africa is HUGE.
I took into account the following when trying to decide where I wanted to work:
- What wildlife would I see?
- What season would I be arriving?
- How big was the company?
- How well established was the business?
- How many other people will I be working with?
- What level of service will be expected?
- Do I want to work for a backpacker vibe or 5* camp?
I then looked into the relevant companies in the areas I wanted to be based and checked out the website and reviews.
I decided on South Luangwa National Park working for Robin Pope Safaris. My friend James had also worked for them previously and they came highly recommended.
Let’s just say, I was not disappointed.
Nothing can prepare you for when you arrive…I think that’s when it hit me. I felt like I was the luckiest person alive! I was given the opportunity to see incredible wild animals every day! AS MY JOB!!!
What???!!! It didn’t seem real.
When applying for the job, think about what they’re looking for? What skills do you have that might be transferred to that setting. Remember you’ll normally be quite far from any form of civilisation, in the middle of the bush and living among the animals.
You’ll be responsible for the safety of the guests and of course yourself! You’ll also need to be able to work under pressure at times and you must ensure standards are kept high. It’s normally your job to make sure the guest goes away with memories that last a life time. For a lot of people this is one of the biggest trips of their life and would have spent a lot of money to be there.
Skills that would be useful:
- Hospitality Background
- Food and Kitchen Knowledge
- Wait Staff
- Health and Safety
- Knowledge of Food Allergies
- Menu Preparation
- Anything that shows your love for animals!
Get your CV written up and wow the employer with your cover letter. Make sure that you research the company and specifically why you want to work for them. They get hundreds, if not thousands of applications for these roles and they are looking for the best of the best. Make it count.
WHEN TO APPLY?
Knowing when to apply is also key!
The season in Zambia runs from May to November. You’re going to want to send your CV in around October for the following season. During the peak season this is the time of year that they will be looking to employ extra staff, the rest of the year it may prove more difficult.
If you’re looking at other destinations, also do your research of start and end of season dates. Make sure you research when the peak season ends and apply then!
You don’t do this job for money, you do it for the experience and passion!
A lot of placements will be unpaid, however you’ll probably get food and board included. As you gain more experience you can start to earn more money. If you become a manager, you’ll be getting paid and you’ll be able to put aside the money you earn, as when you’re in camp, there is very little to spend money on!
Wanderlust Travel Magazine, interviewed Helen Schutte who has been managing safari camps for a while. Her advice is:
You also need good people skills, a background in hospitality, an interest in food & drink, and a whole lot of passion and enthusiasm
I hope I’ve helped to answer some of your questions. However, if you do want to ask me anything, you can send me a message using the contact form here.