African Yoga Safari

Our 11-day unique Exotic Yoga African Safari invites you into a magical world of nature, walking and driving safaris, intimate cultural experiences, a taste in wine country — and into a deeper exploration of your inner nature through power of yoga and meditation. 

Six luxurious nights on safari at the authentic Tuli Safari Lodge in Botswana — famous for Africa’s largest elephant herds!. Tuli Lodge is luxury in it's purest form – a great old luxurious lodge that was not built for hunting, but for a peaceful refuge to be one with nature. It has ample space to relax and retreat in the grounds and gardens, enjoy afternoons soaking in the swimming pool to soak in, experience classic high tea and a stunning sundowner's meditation. You haven’t seen the night sky until you’ve dined here, under a canopy of a million stars.

Color, culture and music are the hallmarks of our Cape Town “pre-safari.” We dine at the home of a resident jazz virtuoso, tour and taste at wineries in the refined Stellenbosch region and hike to Cape Point, the southwest corner of the continent. Our urban base is one of Cape Town’s finest small guesthouses, with a view of iconic Table Mountain.

Practice yoga in the wild with South African yoga teacher, Nina Butler, who creatively works yoga into urban life in Cape Town and brings us in tune with the landscape of our safari lodge. She weaves breath, strength, flexibility and awareness into a moving meditation that accommodates beginners and advanced practitioners. Classes are held outside in nature!

 

Itinerary

Day 1   Arrive Cape Town, South Africa

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!

Day 2   Guided tour of Cape Town & Jazz Safari

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/Malayquarter, 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!

Day 3    South Africa Wine Country Tour

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!

Day 4    Cape Peninsula Tour, Penguin Colony, Hike up Cape Point

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!

Day 5    Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana

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!

Day 6     Unique Walking & Game Drives

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. 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.

Day 7    Yoga Safari & Special Evening Surprise!  

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.

Day 8    Yoga Safari & Visit to local village of Mothlabanen

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.

Day 9    Unesco World Heritage Mapungubwe

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.

Day 10    Exotic Yoga Safari ~ Immersion & Reflection

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, deepen our yoga practice and reflect on the nature surrounding and the nature within. 

Day 11     Farewell to new friends

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!

Reviews

I didn’t know what to expect on a yoga safari.  All I can say is the experience was beyond my imagination! I think hiking, meditating and doing yoga in nature made me feel one with nature and connected with myself in a way I never knew before. It was an experience I will bring home and try to keep living!
The retreat exceeded my expectations in every way. The group was wonderful – from a diverse range of places and with interesting backgrounds, yet in search of similar renewal. The trip was well-planned, thoughtfully paced with the perfect blend of solitary relaxation, excursions, walking and yoga. I returned feeling more relaxed and refreshed than I thought possible, as well as filled with gratitude for a beautiful and nurturing experience.
— Amanda, USA
Honestly the entire trip was a dream come true and such a special mother-daughter time. These memories that will bring a smile to our hearts and souls in the years to come. We plan to join an Exotic Yoga Retreat every year!
— Elena Berman, USA