Yoga on Safari

Imagine rolling your yoga mat out beside the vast trunk of an ancient baobab or beneath the shadows of a blooming Ebony. All that can be heard are the reverberations of nature in its truest form. The serene sound of the dawn chorus, the crinkling and swaying of branches as roosting baboons wake from their dormancy, the brash and unforgiving squawk of a crested Francolin making you all too aware of his importance.

Yoga, meaning ‘union’ in Sanskrit, is thought to bring the mind, body and spirit together and is often praised for its health and relaxation benefits. And to practice yoga on safari, immersing yourself in such a pristine environment, helps you to free your mind amongst the most natural of landscapes allowing for an even deeper connection with the wilderness.

Yoga and safari are an idyllic partnership. It’s because of this that we have seen an upsurge in yoga offerings within the properties we work with in east and southern Africa. Whether it’s simply a rolled mat placed in your tent allowing you to practice in peace on your private deck before morning drive, or a ten day dedicated yoga safari itinerary, all bases seem to be well and truly covered.

Perhaps you’re like me and love the idea of unrolling your mat from the ‘gym in a bag’ provided in your tent and stretching, before the distant lion call tells you it’s time to head out on game drive – but you never actually get around to doing it! In which case you’ll be pleased to hear that a considerable number of properties are now offering daily group yoga classes with a fully trained instructor. The Bushcamp Company in Zambia offers complimentary yoga at all of their properties in Mfuwe – Shapur Afrand simply moves between Mfuwe Lodge and their Bushcamp properties (including Bilimungwe, Chamilandu and Chindeni Camp) where he brings yoga to everyday life whether it takes place in the main lounge, outdoor decks or even on the star deck.

Purpose built yoga decks, or pavilions, are also popping up around the continent, creating a space where you can truly unwind and close off your mind – quite the contrast to an adrenalin filled game drive. Londolozi, located within South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve, has just that. Raised amongst the aged Ebony trees at Founders Camp, inclusive yoga classes take place each day for guests staying at all five of their camps located on the banks of the Sand River. Whist these group classes are aimed more towards beginners and intermediates, it is possible to arrange private tuition to suit your particular requirements. Londolozi also has an impressive Healing House at Varty Camp which offers a wide selection of massages plus an array of alternative treatments such as sound therapy and body activation sessions which involve a Himalayan infrared heat sauna (halotherapy) followed by a refreshing dip in the freeze pool – not for the faint hearted!

After your safari you may well be heading off to the beach where you are likely to find many properties offering yoga activities. One of our favourites is Kinondo Kwetu on Kenya’s south coast who have daily yoga sessions, as does Zuri Zanzibar. Zuri’s yoga deck is built within a tranquil water feature with views of the ocean. Zuri offer sunrise and sunset group classes on the deck and private sessions which may be taken on the beach or within their very own spice garden. Meditation and breathwork training is also available.

You could of course take it one step further and opt for a dedicated yoga safari and Botswana’s Muchenje Safari Lodge is offering just that. With views of the Chobe River flood plain, Muchenje has put together a yoga retreat with the option of a seven or 10 day stay beginning on 23 November 2020. Classical yoga such as Hatha, Raja and Mantra will be practiced in the mornings and evenings, whilst safari activities will also take place.

 

For more information on yoga and safari destinations, please do get in touch with our team via our contact page.

Photo credits: The Bushcamp Company, Kinondo Kwetu, Londolozi, Zuri Zanzibar and Muchenje Safari Lodge.