This yoga retreat is being run by Exotic Yoga Retreats, and I am the host teacher for all 10 days of this exciting African adventure. The programme is designed for the healthy traveler to include Hatha Yoga, nature meditations, 4 nights on the South Cape of South Africa and 6 nights on a Botswana safari. Our Exotic Yoga Safari invites you into a world of nature, adventure and connection through walking and driving safaris, unique cultural experiences and an inner exploration of yoga and meditation.
Keep in mind that if you would like to join for just the Botswana leg of the retreat (when we are actually on safari!), that is possible too - please enquire here about the 'Botswana Only' retreat package.
Exotic Yoga Retreats is offering an 'all inclusive' package for this retreat - all accommodation, meals, travel and excursions, yoga and mediation - with the exception of your international airfares/costs to get to and from the start and end of the retreat.
MORNINGS begin with an early morning silent safari to commune with animals, birds, trees and plants — immersed in the wilderness outside — connected to your mindfulness inside. You may choose a walking safari or a driving safari as we will split the group to enjoy a more intimate safari experience. Upon return to Tuli Lodge you will break silence and enjoy a delicious brunch followed by time to rest, swim in the pool, soak up the sun, spot the wildlife around the lodge or take a stroll around our self-guided walking trail.
AFTERNOONS will likely include a leisurely siesta before coming together for our afternoon Hatha Yoga session outside on the Tuli grounds — on this yoga safari nature is our yoga studio! Our yoga teacher is an experienced teacher and passionate writer on the subject yoga. South African yoga teacher Nina Butler weaves breath, strength, flexibility and awareness into a moving meditation that accommodates beginners through advance practitioners. Following yoga we enjoy a High Tea (of course) and set out on our evening safari and majestic sunset meditation.
EVENINGS are profoundly relaxing at Tuli, this hidden gem – timeless corner of Africa with spectacular wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and fascinating history. We dinner under the stars sharing our experiences, insights and joys of the day.
A pre-sunset stop for meditation and drinks marks the change to the twilight hour when nocturnal species begin to be active. A special surprise follows dinner in the boma back at the lodge this evening.
Up and out at first light and again we explore the bush up close and personal on foot, with a stop to check out the bushman shelter occupied 2,000 years ago or to spend time at one of the game-viewing hides dotted around the reserve. By now we’re relaxing into the safari routine, and our day falls into a natural rhythm of early morning activity followed by brunch, free time, yoga and afternoon tea. Today’s afternoon game drive leads us to a surprise dining location out in the bush, where we’ll enjoy a lantern-lit dinner under the canopy of 1,000 stars. Following this we’ll be on the lookout for true nocturnal species as we take a slow loop back to the lodge with the spotlight on an after-dinner night drive.
Your choice this morning as to whether to have a lie-in and take things at a more leisurely pace or whether to head out on an early morning safari walk or drive. We’ll have a slightly shorter period back at the lodge today, but still have plenty of time for brunch, some quiet time and an afternoon yoga practice before we set off to the local village of Mothlabaneng. This is a meaningful visit with the local community, from where many of the Tuli team originate. The tour may include a visit to the school, a wine-tasting experience with a difference, a chance to see traditional basket-weavers in action and an introduction to the kgotla tribal court system. Our afternoon game drive follows on directly from our visit to Mothlabaneng before we return to the lodge for dinner.
A slightly later wake-up call this morning, followed by a light breakfast and then off to the border to re-enter South Africa for a day trip to Mapungubwe. This Unesco World Heritage Site is the location of Southern Africa’s first ancient kingdom and also now a beautiful national park. We will experience the mystery and history of this ancient civilisation by visiting the award-winning museum which houses artefacts including the world-famous golden rhino and the archaeological excavations and elite graveyard at Mapungubwe Hill. Lunch will be at the lovely nearby Mopane Bush Lodge before returning to the Botswana border in the late afternoon. Following a relaxing yoga practice we will spend the remaining daylight hours within the pretty Tuli grounds, reflecting on our day and sundowners from a stunning vantage point atop a sandstone outcrop which is a short climb from the lodge gardens. Another different dining venue at the lodge provides a fitting end to the day.
Today’s morning game drive or bush walk culminates in a surprise location for a bush breakfast surrounded by nature. Our final day at Tuli gives us the opportunity to relax and reflect on our yoga safari, feeling rejuvenated in body and soul.
Farewell sun salutes and breakfast as we say goodbye to this beloved land and staff who hosted us, the animals nearby and the nature surrounding us. Return to Johannesburg. Stay a day or two in Johannesburg with our guide – or fly home with a renewed spirit, healthy body and a heart full of warmth memories!
Our driver will meet you at the airport in Cape Town and bring you to the relaxing Derwent House Boutique Hotel, one of Cape Town’s leading boutique guesthouses. Housed in a quaint, converted Victorian era residence in the heart of the vibrant Tamboerskloof / Gardens neighborhood, it is located between the city centre and Table Mountain – an ideal base from which to explore Cape Town gardens, shops and cafes. Upon arrival lounge by the pool, book a massage or a have a good siesta before we meet for our first yoga session and orientation. Our Welcome Dinner will be at a unique African restaurant – with three live performances of music and dance!
This day is to discover the beauty and wonders of Cape Town! We have a private guide to show us around and share a bit of local culture… of course seeing Nelson Mandela Square, the colorful Bo-Kaap/Malay quarter, and a Cable car up to Table Mountain! To get a good stretch in we may join a class at a local yoga studio – or our South African Exotic Yoga teacher, Nina Butler will creatively weave a little yoga and meditation into our day. This evening is a special “Jazz Safari”, sharing music, laughter and a home-cooked meal with the family and friends of one of Cape Town’s jazz performers!
Experience the famous South African Wine Country with visits to three wonderful and unique vineyards — Solms Delta Wine Estate, Fairview Wine Estate and Boschendal Wine Estate, tasting local wines, cheese and chocolates! Lunch is a delicious farm-to-table lunch at the charming Goatshed Country Restaurant at Fairview Winery. After this long and indulgent day out you will be on your own for dinner. . . or perhaps choose to stay in for a long leisurely sleep!
The Cape Peninsula highway is one of the most scenic drives in South Africa. We will take what is known as one of the world’s most scenic drives along the Chapman’s Peak Drive, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the dramatic mountain range on the other. We will see the golden beaches of Camps Bay and the quaint fishing village called Out Bay. To be sure we balance our days with health and fitness (and work a little for our lunch) we will hike up to Cape Point for an afternoon picnic… sitting at the most southwest corner of the African continent!
Depart via flight to Johannesburg and transfer by van to Botswana. Depending on water level of the seasonal Limpopo River, the border crossing will be undertaken by 4x4 or cable car, then it’s a short drive through the Northern Tuli Game Reserve to our yoga safari destination, Tuli Safari Lodge! Arrive in time for a yoga stretch, grounding meditation and delicious dinner under the stars!
We are up before dawn and out into the reserve soon after, with the option of a bush walk or a game drive this morning before meeting back at the lodge for brunch in one of the varied dining locations in the Tuli grounds. The mid-day is then free for a dip in the pool, massage, reading or spotting the resident wildlife from the deck of your suite, strolling round the extensive gardens or perhaps a well-earned siesta! We will have a late afternoon yoga practice before afternoon tea and heading out for a game drive with Tuli’s stunning rocky scenery providing the perfect backdrop to the wildlife experience.