Women of Wilderness: Gogo Chisulo, Toka Leya Camp

Jun 4, 2014 |  Community
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Gogo Chisulo joined Wilderness Safaris in 2006 as a Trainee Manager. During her time with Wilderness, she has grown from strength to strength and is now a Manager at Toka Leya Camp just outside Livingstone in Zambia.

Gogo Chisulo, toka Leya Camp

Born in Zambia, Gogo did her schooling in Lusaka and while she never knew where the future would lead her, her love for accounts and mathematics saw her excelling in these subjects and continuing her studies at the Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS). After completing a course in accounting and administration, she started her working career in the Accounts Department at Cadbury Schweppes in the city of Lusaka in 1998.

During her time at Cadbury Schweppes, she found herself enjoying administration a great deal. She also loved working with people, which is what decided her career change into Customer Care at Multichoice Zambia in 2005. Here she rose quickly through the ranks and soon became a supervisor.

When a chance to join the tourism industry cropped up a year later, Gogo was thrilled. She joined Wilderness Safaris at Lufupa Camp as a Trainee Manager and it is from here that she believes her life changed for the better. She spent the greater part of her time there working in the Central Stores that dealt with the distribution of all the supplies to the other camps in the area, as well as compiling the orders for buyers. For Gogo this was an exciting job, as administration and logistics are her strengths. The downside for her was that it kept her closed up in an office away from meeting and interacting with people.

It didn’t take long for the management team at Lufupa to realise Gogo’s potential as a people’s person and as such she was afforded a chance to be a Relief Manager at Shumba Camp in its first year. When she wasn’t at Shumba, she continued with the administrative side of the business, but the opportunity to host and interact with guests at this level nurtured her career path.

In the following year, a position came up in the Central Purchasing Department and Gogo was immediately appointed. However, having tasted camp life, she no longer found office work exciting and when a chance to return to the bush presented itself, she snapped it up. She became a Manager for Kalamu Bush Camp and thereafter at Kalamu Lagoon Camp, also looking after the Trails Camps. It was during this time that she felt her role was more challenging but more fulfilling. Not only was she responsible for the administration of the camps, but she was also hosting guests.

At the beginning of the 2011 season, Gogo moved over to Toka Leya Camp where she took up her current position as Camp and Administration Manager. She says, “Toka Leya is such a beautiful and soothing environment that I feel it was not only designed with the guest in mind, but also for the staff. Most people would call it work, but I have never had a day that I felt I was at work. It feels as if I’m on an extended holiday where I make new friends every day. Wilderness Safaris is a family to me; a family where hierarchy is not a barrier and everyone is recognised as a team member and opportunities to grow are always open for those who want to climb the ladder.”

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