Updated: 4 days ago
While I have been fortunate to do a lot of travelling in my life time, one of my bucket list travel destinations was yet to be ticked off - An African Safari! So when my friend and fellow yoga teacher Neil started Soul Sanctuary a few years pre-pandemic - I knew that this was the way I wanted to experience Africa: a yoga safari retreat!
I had planned to join Neil a few years ago, but a little Pandemic got in the way, so I was thrilled to be a part of his first retreat POST-Pandemic and I was also thrilled to finally be travelling overseas after being in lockdown for nearly two years!
Let me just say not only was it well worth the wait, but it is without a doubt one of the most spiritual experiences of my life; being amongst nature and having such close encounters over 10 days in the wild often left me speechless, in tears or with a big lump in my throat - in the most profound way possible!
As is the norm with any yoga retreat - our days were mostly early starts, however this was not always with a morning yoga practice, rather it was the call of the wild - waking up well before dawn so we could make the short drive to Kruger National Park in time for the gates to open at 6am.
Our small retreat group was split into even smaller groups of two so there was just 7 of us in each safari vehicle for our game drives in the park. At this time of the morning it was pretty chilly, so we rugged up with blankets and off we ventured into the wild of Kruger in search of the Big Five: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephants and Buffalo.
We were barely in the park 15 minutes when a Pride of Lions bounding down the road towards us - all 15 or so of them - it was SO surreal! Our safari vehicle is open on all sides and elevated at the back to maximise viewing pleasure so we were right beside the lions! It was an incredibly surreal welcome!
While that seemed hard to beat, not long after we were making our way across the park to where a leopard was dining on a fresh kill it had taken up into a tree while a big pack of painted dogs - (a rare sight in the Kruger) were waiting below for any scraps that might come their way! I'm not going to lie - the sight of a dead animal draped over a tree getting eaten by a leopard was without a doubt confronting, however both life and death are fully on display each and every day here that we often forget in our daily lives - a reminder that we are all a part of the circle of life.
Having such an affinity in my practice and my business for the feminine and nurturing the nurturer - getting to witness first hand mothers in the wild and seeing them protect their young from predators was hard but incredible, it really brought the feelings of mother's instinct to life. On the night of the Full Moon, we did a Sunset Safari - watching the moon rise and the animals come to life at night was spectacular.
Additionally, it was fascinating for me to learn that so many of the packs and prides of animals that roam Kruger National Park are matriarchal in nature; they are hunters, gatherers, carers and leaders. With many of the mothers caring and feeding one another's young.
While there was plenty of action, there were equally many moments of quiet and reflection, times when a keen eye was required to truly look and refine our focus - drishti - which is at the heart of yoga but in a way I never expected to experience it. Overall, these 10 days and nights proved to be an unforgettable experience and without a doubt the BEST yoga retreat I have ever been on! One that that blends safari and yoga for the ultimate retreat, connecting you to nature and to yourself like nothing else.
That's exactly why I want to go back and take my own group of retreaters, having this incredible experience myself has helped me to create a unique and enriching way not just to practice but to travel and explore too!
If the idea of an African Safari evokes a sense of excitement and curiosity in you too - we have a handful of places left for our Yoga Safari Retreat taking place 2-12 September 2024 - with experienced retreat guide Neil Urry and Senior Yoga Teacher Sara Evans.
Secure your spot before 1st December and save $300 on this ALL INCLUSIVE yoga retreat to South Africa. Flexible payment plans available.
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