AFRICA YOGA SAFARI • AUGUST 2017
WALKING YOGA SAFARI
This powerful 8-day immersion into mother nature and the animal kingdom is the most remote and authentic African Yoga Safari available! You will experience the wilds of Africa truly up close and personal, as we walk, practice yoga and meditate in Africa’s most remote and untouched wilderness area, the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. Your senses will come alive with sound and sensation, your body alive with health and vitality, and your spirit connected with animals and the rhythms of nature—revealing a world that is rarely experienced by human beings!
This journey is an opportunity to experience the African wilderness
with an awakened sense of humility and respect.
WHY A WALKING YOGA SAFARI
This unique walking yoga safari offers a small band of travellers the opportunity to commune with nature on a level that is rarely experienced—and mostly forgotten—by modern day humans. The act of being on foot in the wilderness is yogic by nature, as we slow down and synchronize to rhythms of the wilderness surrounding. The response that the animals have to our presence teaches us about ourselves—who we are as a creature amongst creatures. The more aware we are, the more we will find evidence of our communion with these creatures and with the earth.
Sensitively lead by Brent Harris, one of Africa’s most insightful and respected guides, together with Christine Carville, a yogini and mindfulness teacher from New York City, this journey presents a life changing opportunity to experience our awareness of the environment, the animals, and our own nature within.
Our daily mediation and yoga will sometimes be practiced in the beautiful setting of camp, sometimes further afield, while watching the sunrise or sunset, on the sandy islands of a meandering mountain stream, under a sprinkling of stars, perhaps in the company of an elephant, but always in the intimacy of the African wilderness. Whether walking, in meditation or in formal yoga practice, our singular focus is awareness. Before, during and after our walks, our yoga practice deepens our own stillness and expands our presence of heart, body, mind and soul, finding greater communion with the spirit of nature around us.
FLOW OF A DAY
MORNINGS ~ You will be woken before dawn by a gentle African voice. A warm pitcher of water, hand gathered from the river and warmed over an open fire, will be waiting for you in your en-suite bathroom. To begin our day, we commune in meditation on the Luangwa riverbank. Our attentiveness during this quite time may reveal signs and sounds of animals moving through the dawn. After a light breakfast, we head out on foot at sunrise, moving at a slow and meditative pace. We follow the information that presents itself and discover a new day in the wilderness. Interpreting the signs of happenings overnight, we witness the processes of life around us, and follow the tracks of animals. Our morning walk, like our afternoon walk, is at an easy pace, stopping frequently at points of interest and identifying safe opportunities to approach animals while remaining undetected. After three to four hours we return to camp, sharing stories and reflections of our morning safari over a delicious farm-to-table brunch!
MIDDAY ~ During the heat of the day, you are free to read, siesta or observe the wilderness from the privacy of your hut. This is a restful time for humans and animals alike.
AFTERNOONS ~ In late afternoon, we reconvene for yoga and a two-hour gentle walk. We return to camp after heralding the setting sun, before a sprinkling of stars brings the prowl of nocturnal animals, emerging from their underground burrows.
EVENINGS ~ In front of camp a shallow and clear stream offers a sandy riverbed to enjoy a glass of wine, cool our feet, and watch the fading light give way to stars. Clear river water has been gathered by hand and heated over an open fire for you to enjoy a warm shower under the night sky in the privacy of your en-suite bathroom. We commune around the fire, under the stars, listening to the night sounds and sharing stories from the wilderness. Dinner has been expertly cooked by our local chef, over an open fire and in an oven (which is a whole dug into the ground). The quality and freshness of meals will amaze you and prepare you for a peaceful night’s sleep in the African night. With advance notice, all dietary preferences can be caringly catered for.
OUR YOGA SAFARI GUIDE, BRENT HARRIS
Safari guide, Brent Harris, grew up barefoot amongst Zulu and Xhosa friends on a farm in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. It was in this rural early-childhood that he was instilled with a sense of kinship with the natural world. Brent has become a sought-after guide for agents and safari operators alike, with 60% of his clients being repeat clients! He believes that nature has a voice of its own and his style of guiding facilitates his guests’ innate understanding of their surroundings: “The wilderness is a way of being and a sense of belonging that humans have become unfamiliar with. What will surprise those who experience the wilderness in this quiet way is just how vivid our experience of the world becomes when we slow down and free up mental space by removing our accountability to words, concepts and social preoccupations. This is an experience of the wild like no other. Read more about Brent
YOGA IN THE WILD W/ CHRISTINE CARVILLE
NYC based yoga teacher, Christine Carville, leads our yoga experience—guiding creative ways for our bodies, breath and spirit to connect with the nature inside and out! Our yoga studio will be earth, rocks and riverbed beneath our feet; our music will be the sounds of the savannah; our postures will reflect the animals we meet; and our meditations will be the most natural thing we’ve ever known. We will have yoga mats along, and use them at times; other times we’ll practice in shoes or bare feet. If you have never practiced yoga in the wild, you are in for the best yoga experiences of your life!
Christine is a practicing yogini and psychotherapist in New York City. Her Hatha-Vinyasa classes encourage working from your core, overcoming fear, and developing mindfulness, both on and off the mat. Read more about Christine
ZAMBIA — THE PERFECT LOCATION FOR A YOGA SAFARI
The feeling here is authentic. The wilderness areas are vast and unfenced, allowing game to roam freely on their ancient migration routes. Zambia is a friendly and stable country that has remained a hidden gem filled with wild expanses and tremendous ecological beauty. While other countries have become heavily marketed safari destinations, Zambia remains relatively unscathed by commercialism. The rural people that live on the edge of the national parks continue to live their lives in and amongst the animals, and are submersed in familiarity with animal behavior. These are your hosts in the bush. Everyone from the chefs and waiters, the housekeepers and camp hands, are at home in this area and with the ways of animals.
Located in eastern Zambia, the Luangwa Valley forms the most southerly (and least discovered) arm of the famous Great Rift Valley. This friendly and stable country has remained a hidden gem – filled with wild expanses and tremendous ecological beauty. While other countries have become heavily marketed safari destinations, Zambia remains relatively unscathed by commercialism. Her wild areas are vast and unfenced, allowing game to roam freely on their ancient migration routes. Once the seasoned traveler discovers Zambia, it becomes their destination of choice for safari.
WHAT YOU WILL COME AWAY WITH
Set against the backdrop of the vast details of the wilderness, moments with Africa’s large mammals will be etched into our hearts as eternal gifts to our lives. However, our humility to yield to the greater wisdom of the wilderness underlies all of these gifts, and reveals the timelessness of our belonging. Spaciousness, timelessness and nature will reveal to us a guiding light through our own innate and interwoven wisdom.
—————— BOOKING & TRAVEL ——————
Reservation & Cancellation Policy
Single Room per person: $7,995 (en-suite bathroom, queen bed or two twins)
Retreat Dates & Times
ARRIVAL IN LUSAKA:
3–6 pm Check-in at Pioneer Camp Lodge in Lusaka
7:00 pm Welcome Group Dinner
8:30–10 am Breakfast and farewell sun salutes
10:00 am Bush Plane flight back to Lusaka
Book Your Travel
Two rural and luxurious bush camps in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
For all international flights. . . we strongly encourage you to arrive to Lusaka early in the day on August 11 or possibly on August 10. This extra day helps with jet lag and assures that travel delays do not cause disruption to your retreat. The bush plane leaves early the morning of August 12 so it is important to arrive the day before and have a welcome dinner with the group.
We will pick you up at the Pioneer Camp and bring you to the bush plane for departure to our camp on the morning of August 12.
LUSAKA (LUN). ZAMBIA. Many flights will connect in Johannesburg, Cairo or Nairobi.
General Info & FAQ’s
WHY THIS SAFARI?
This is the most exotic trip I have ever experienced! We connected with nature so intimately - the land, the animals, our own bodies and breath - it was a life-changing journey!
How can we put into words the sheer thrill and excitement of the last days... We had an experience of a lifetime!
Zambia... a rural and authentic lodge made by local people with local materials. Live simply, in the luxury of nature!
August 3—11, 2017
I'm leaving the retreat feeling the happiest and freest I've ever felt!— Naseem Nikoo, Iran
Life changing, eye-opening and deeply inspiring! This retreat 'reset' my life. It was beyond what I envisioned was possible in one week! —Saige Rutherford, USA
My mom and I enjoyed the trip very much...every day was perfect!—Jane Srivastava, Russia
This is, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of my life. I have made connections with people and myself that I never would have expected. Those connections will be in my heart and help me be a better version of myself for the rest of my life.—Brent Vanlyke, Canada
This was my first yoga retreat and I didn't know what to expect... and it blew my mind! I would recommend this experience it to anyone!—Ale de Rienzo, Mexico
Absolutely amazing boat and crew, and food and cleanliness were excellent. I had so much fun! I will definitely do another retreat with you and your company. —Lana Ferguson, USA
This retreat was exactly what I needed... a week long oasis focused on self-care. Gayle did an awesome job of breaking down the poses and focusing on alignment. She built intensity and also relaxation in the practice. I loved her teaching tips for the few teachers on the retreat!—Alia Allison, Yoga Teacher
Thank you for bringing together wonderful people from all walks of life and from around the world! The connection and friendship that we shared has inspired and changed my life.—Chinwe Nwazota
Gayle is an extraordinary teacher who makes everyone feel empowered, strong and special!—Christine Costello, USA
Gayle is everything I needed in a yoga instructor. Someone to push me try new things (headstand, arm balances) while making me feel completely safe. I did old poses with completely new eyes due to her instruction. She was warm and inviting and made me able to have the most amazing experience of my life. I loved the program. I’d do it ten times over! I feel the best I have in my life. Refreshed and ready to take on whatever I have to deal with at home.—Kara Ellis, Canada
Thank you and Gayle for such a life changing experience. I feel so open in my body and mind. I became more devoted to my yoga practice experiencing the various styles of yoga you teach so effortlessly. The amount of hands-on guidance and adjustments helped me develop new appreciation for the postures and new appreciation for my body! —Nicole Hernandez, USA
Everything about this retreat was special. I have the most beautiful memories, new friends and experiences that I will cherish! The retreat combined the perfect blend of yoga, meditation and fun excursions. I also enjoyed the flexibility in our daily schedule... I had time for myself, to re-align and reflect on my life; as well as meet great like-minded people. Meeting Gayle has been a true delight. Her loving and positive energy was very present and made this retreat a real joy for me. I recommend this retreat to anyone looking to 'switch-off', re-balance and have a lot of fun!—Hala Darwazeh, Jordan
Healthy hedonism" set the tone for a playful week of yoga and mindfulness, laughter and connection. Each morning, Gayle guided us through blissful meditation, followed by a combination of vinyasa flow and stretch sequences. She really took the time to tailor the class to each of our needs so it felt more like one-on-one tuition a lot of the time. I'll never forget the energy we created as a group or the peace, joy and friendships which blossom there.— Joanne Joseph, Australia
Hands down, the best retreat I've ever been to (and I have been to many)! Perfect combination of leisure, relaxation, cultural immersion, and exceptional food! Gayle's yoga has an incredible depth of knowledge, from her anatomical references, to her deep teachings of asana and pranayama. The best is her acceptance of all levels of practice, respecting each individual's body and level of practice. Can't wait to join another Exotic Yoga Retreat!—Tricia Desvarieux, Haiti
I love the personal attention Gayle gave to her students, providing not only awesome instruction, but reminding us to be ever present and mindful.—Chrissy Coleman, USA
The perfect healing at the right moment! I feel another person since this week... a more comfortable one! I hope to do another retreat soon to feed my curiosity!—Maria Paula, France
Gayle inspired me to try new things and gave me confidence in incorporating touch and adjustments in my classes. It feels great to give and receive authentic touch to connect.—Ina Yeijnen, Yoga Teacher in Holland
Gayle has the unique ability to be kind and caring while pushing your yoga practice to the next level. She creates a flow that is beautiful, feels amazing and challenges you to become stronger. This program will forever be life changing. The experiences I have had this week will be cherished forever.—Julie Cameron, Canada
Gayle very clearly is a remarkable teacher because she transmits the essences of mindfulness and balance in enough dimensions so you actually get it!—Jerry, USA
I love Gayle’s loving style of teaching. I appreciated the emphasis on various breathing techniques and the balance between physical intensity, relaxation and meditation.—Michael Neria, Israel