Over the last ten years of guiding I have noticed a clear phenomenon that can only be described as safari karma. It is a strange universal truth that those guests most relaxed and non-attached to what we see are the ones treated time and time again to the most fascinating of encounters. Recently I guided and co- facilitated the Re-embody Your Inner Wild Retreat which was dreamed up and co-led with Kali Widd in the vibrant KwaZulu-Natal bushveld. I’m overflowing with excitement from it. In the wilderness it is always my aim to let nature lead the show but when an entire group sets the intention to consciously engage with the wisdom of the land, trees and its wild inhabitants, from the very tiny to the world’s biggest, the experiences are truly astounding.
Adding in other retreat elements like vision questing, silent game drives, yoga in the bush, forest bathing and tree meditations, cacao ceremonies, dancing, journaling and story telling around the fire only further supported us to falling in line with nature’s rhythm. As a result the retreat was full to the brim with examples of good safari karma.
The long, luscious grass from late summer rains, which you might assume would have been detrimental to our game viewing only made things more interesting. We had a coalition of cheetah climbing in marula trees, behaving somewhat like leopards. The long grass made scanning for prey difficult and so the low branches of the trees gave them the vantage points they needed. We had a male lion telling a large rhino bull off, which you can read about here and this same lion welcomed our guests to Africa with an evening of full-scale guttural roars as we sat under a thick blanket of stars.
Another incredibly beautiful encounter was being surrounded by a herd of elephants at dusk as they calmly fed around the vehicle, moving right up to it and lifting their trunks to smell the inhabitants. They left us as the last of the light faded and their rumbling emanations were replaced with the whooping calls of hyenas. A pair of rhinos visited camp one evening making the walk to bed an eventful one and our only complaint that evening was the difficulty of trying to get to sleep amidst the sounds of their noisily smacking lips and heavy footsteps in and around the lodge. Not only did we see plenty big wildlife but also a plethora of birds, snakes, frogs, butterflies and spiders that kept us truly engaged throughout the 5 day retreat.
Experiences with these animals gave each participant personalised lessons on embodying their untamed essence. These shared joys as well as the exclusive use camp nestled in a valley of fever trees provided us with the space to bond in ways reminiscent of ancient tribes, something so natural and yet not normal in the highly individualised, urban settings we now live in.
What we were left with was five days of replenishment, rejuvenation, connection and a reminder of who we are and where we belong in nature’s grand design.
It is impossible to put such special moments into words or even photographs but below is a taste of what the five days held for us.
We have had interest to run another Wild Again Retreat and have set dates for 1-5 July 2019. Please contact me at email@example.com for more information or to express your interest as spots are limited to eight. Updates will be posted on Instagram and Facebook and in email newsletters to subscribers. If you’re not subscribed and would like to be please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a wild soul, then these retreats to the wilderness are not an escape from life but rather a step deeper into it. As you surrender to nature’s wisdom, she shares with you endlessly. And one thing you can be sure of is that at the very least you’ll be tapping into some good safari karma.