“Our guide was a woman – the only one out on the savannah that day…. (she) was better than most.”

July 28, 20161 minute read

— Writer Jo Piazza describing on Forbes.com her safari guide, Evaline Sintoya Mayetu, one of a very few women working as safari guides in Kenya. Her article, titled “Meet the Woman Breaking the Safari Industry’s Glass Ceiling,” talks about Evaline’s challenges along the path to this career.

The writer also interviewed John Spence, a safari organizer, who explained “The main challenge for female guides is that it’s still taboo in Maasai culture for women to be educated. Elders continue to struggle with this change. Across Africa there are only a very tiny number of female guides.”

Evaline didn’t let that stop her. She ran away from home and a father who wouldn’t let her attend school and went to live with an aunt who was more agreeable. The rest of her journey, including working odd jobs to pay her way through secondary school and finally studying wildlife management, is a story of not taking “no” for an answer. Now, she’d like to help other girls get an education and become guides.

“I know in my heart that I’ll open a guiding school for the Maasai girls,” she says proudly. “My people will be more open to it. They’ve seen my success. Now everyone in my village says, ‘I wish Evaline was my kid.’”