Meet Hayley Cooper, Assistant General Manager for Kings Camp, a luxury lodge in South Africa where she leads the team when it comes to vegan safaris. She is also the Founder and CEO of Wild Dreams Hospitality.
Imagine a safari lodge on an open savanna with a waterhole frequented by wildlife including lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo. Hayley lives this vision as she spreads vegan hospitality and values at the lodge and beyond through her hospitality and recruiting practice.
We asked Hayley about her amazing story and this is what she shared.
I work as a lodge manager in a section of Kruger National Park in South Africa. I have always loved working in hospitality and serving people and making sure they have the best holiday, it’s all part of the job. However, this became more values-aligned for me when I decided to implement my vegan consulting training at the lodge to offer vegan safari experiences to our vegan guests.
How has doing what you love and living your purpose changed your life?
This is so rewarding as the guests who come to stay at the lodge who are vegan are totally blown away by what we offer, the feedback I get is amazing and I love that all of our vegan guests notice even the smallest of details. It’s very special to be able to offer true hospitality to vegans, who unfortunately are used to not being catered for and often not feeling welcome so I love making a difference in this industry.
Would you like to share any advice for those looking to make their passion into a career?
Working within the vegan/plant-based sector can be a bit daunting and you may even find you are one of the first people doing what you are doing, to me this is great as being a pioneer in the movement is great. Have a clear vision in mind for what you want to achieve and be confident in this but also be adaptable as you learn more and always keep learning!