It’s believed that we, homo sapiens, evolved in Africa. It’s where we first stood up. Many refer to a sense of ‘coming home’ when they first step onto African soil. On returning to our ancient, ancestral roots, there’s an unexplainable familiarity. With the right people and in the right place, you’ll be encouraged to slow down and connect to nature’s circadian rhythm.
In this respect, the Wellbeing safari aims to connect the traveller to nature and to him or herself in a way that is as holistic as it is rewarding. This is an experience designed to focus on restoring in the traveller a point of balance. It encourages us to listen to – and act on – our inner voice. It showcases a number of instructors, including world-renowned yoga and holistic therapy coaches, who’ve relocated to Africa, to set up homes and/or host retreats, and who seek to combine their teachings with everything Africa offers by way of people, wilderness, and wildlife.
What sets the African continent apart from other wellness travel destinations is its prolific wildlife and advanced conservation practices. To watch wildlife in their natural habitat is a grounding and rare privilege. It is a first-hand experience of endangered species’ fragility in the hands of mankind. Seeing the circle of life play out in the wildernesses is both educational and meditative. As Karen Blixen said, ‘You know you’re truly alive when you’re living among lions.’
For many, the opportunity to combine the impact of the wildlife experience with the time and vehicle – yoga, meditation, ancient customs, wild swimming, meditation, home-grown food, locally produced aromatherapy oils, restorative healing, mindfulness and creative workshops- to better connect is something of an epiphany. We are suddenly and deeply connected to the animals, to our surroundings, and so to ourselves. Slowed down and more open to the experience, we listen, we learn, and we act – in the interests of all.
On which note, the people encountered on a Wellness experience will remind of the beauty of a community-centric and traditional lifestyle. The likes of the Samburu or the Datoga have a deep respect for their fellow being, for the group, and for the land and the animals it holds. Simple dwellings and a nomadic lifestyle show us the beauty of simplicity, living lightly, and close to nature. They open our minds to a way of life and culture that has well as being dramatically different to our own, help us reflect on what it means to live well.
So, to finish: A Wellness safari is a deeply holistic journey. In encouraging a return to a slower, circadian-type rhythm, it allows the traveller to immerse him or herself in the now, in nature, and what truly matters. No mere experience, the returning traveller is somehow changed, and for the better, having journeyed not just to Africa, but also into themselves. It’s a truly wonderful experience.