Biography: Meet Selma Benyameni - Wilderness Safaris Namibia Hospitality and Support Trainer

Cultures & Communities

Wilderness Blogger


Having spent over a decade in the Namibian tourism and hospitality industry, Selma Benyameni has accepted the exciting challenge to lead the hospitality and support training for Wilderness Safaris Namibia. With a wealth of expertise and experience, Selma hopes to use this opportunity to positively influence her teams, leading others to find joy and success in their careers.

Selma was born in northern Namibia, in a village called Onawa, but grew up in Omaalala, between Ondangwa and Ongwediva. Her career began at the NamibRand Safaris Wolwedans Collection, where she was hired as a Food and Beverage, and Front-of-House Trainee for six months. Over the next few years she worked her way up in various lodges across Namibia, moving from bar lady and waitress at Leading Lodges, to Head Guest Relations at Nature Investments Canon Lodge, and then to Front Office Staff and Reservations Officer at GocheGanas Nature and Wellness Reserve in Windhoek.

In 2013, Selma took on the position of Ongula Villa Homestead Lodge Manager for two years before going back to manage Wolwedans Dune Lodge from 2015 to 2017. Towards the end of 2017, Selma accepted an offer to join Wilderness Safaris as Hoanib Skeleton Camp’s Assistant Manager. She also had a stint at Serra Cafema before moving on to manage Desert Rhino Camp, and then Little Kulala.

With her passion for Wilderness Safaris and conservation tourism, Selma didn’t hesitate to take on the role of Hospitality and Support Trainer. “My main goal will be to help our teams fully understand their roles, our products and services, and to prepare them to meet the varying and challenging needs of their jobs and our organisation. I also hope to provide knowledge and skills to help our teams perform their roles and jobs well, and to help improve people’s levels of awareness, and increase their skills in other areas of expertise”, she says.

Selma is confident that together with her teams, they will achieve and develop a great level of professionalism, patience, and a people-first attitude towards customer service and impress Wilderness’ guests at every level, offering quality, speedy, dependable and flexible service throughout their journey. “By creating a winning mentality and being great ambassadors for our respective camps, for Wilderness and the country at large, I am confident that we can continue to create life-changing journeys with a difference”.

The otherwise rather private Selma has also done much work in local communities in her personal capacity, as she believes in empowering people. In 2019, she travelled to Spain on a special project for a friend’s gallery exhibition, where she presented a talk on women in Africa, specifically in Namibia, and her cultural heritage, the Owambo. Now she and the friend are working together on a children’s home project called ShineUP for Kids in the township at Swakopmund.

She also enjoys spending time in Namibia’s remarkable and remote pristine wilderness areas. However, what she enjoys most is a hobby that brought her, and continues to bring, peace and healing when her grandmother passed on: making jewellery.

“I use beads that I buy from a women-run project called Penduka ‘Rise-Up’ in Windhoek, in the Goreagab township. I love that in making these beads they recycle old glass, crushing it to make all sorts of beautiful patterns that I get to turn into equally pretty jewellery. I have been supplying a local camp with some of the jewellery. One day in my retirement I would love to run a small craft shop with woven baskets and glass beads at the village. In the meantime this remains a hobby and accessories for my uniform, because as an African, colour is everything to our attire”.

“Being part of Wilderness Safaris, I have enjoyed the fact that hard work is valued. The company doesn’t just tell stories but actively makes the continued effort to change lives through its many collaborations with the surrounding partner communities. I also love my job because I am able to work with people who share the same vision and passion of wanting to help conserve Namibia”, concludes Selma.

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When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.