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8 Day Muchenje Yoga Retreat and Safari in Western Chobe National Park
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


(No availability) 8 Day Muchenje Yoga Retreat and Safari in Western Chobe National Park

Muchenje Safari Lodge, Nr Muchenje, Chobe Forest Reserve, Nr Kasane, Botswana

Yoga and Safari in Botswana

Yoga has been used for millennia as an effective method to connect with one’s own nature and the expansiveness of one’s inner self. While the practices of yoga can be taken up by anyone, anywhere, there is no better place to experience this connection than when surrounded by the primal energy of nature at its most pristine. Muchenje Safari Lodge provides just that kind of setting: located in one of the least crowded places on Earth, the deep connection between human and nature can be felt most tangibly.

Key information

  • Group and private safari possible, rates will vary depending on this.
  • Group size: max 6 persons per open-sided 4x4 vehicle
  • Children policy: Children from the age of 8 years are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • Language: English-speaking guides
  • All park fees are included

Meet the instructors

Usha Devi, Ivan, & Koo
Read more

Highlights

  • Yoga, mantra chanting, pranayama
  • Game drives to Western Chobe National Park
  • Take part in exciting safari walks and boat trip to see wild animals
  • Opportunity to see elephants, giraffe, waterbuck, impala, hyena, lions
  • Tranquil wilderness to reconnect with nature
  • Panoramic views to meditate on
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals included

Skill level

  • Beginner

Yoga styles


5 days with instruction
Group size: 6-20 participants
Airport transfer included: Kasane Airport
Airport transfer available:
Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (US$85 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
11:00

Muchenje Safari Lodge has a 4-Star rating and is set in a peaceful environment in Western Chobe, Botswana, on top of an escarpment overlooking the vast plains of Africa. It is located in a remote area where there are no fences.

Elephants roam freely and often visit the grounds. From the yoga decks, one can see giraffe, waterbuck, impala and other animals drinking from the waterhole. Hyenas are often seen returning to their den in the early morning.

Muchenje's Cottages

Muchenje offers 10 private thatched cottages and a larger family cottage, each being beautifully appointed with its own unique view of the Chobe flood plain.

The family cottage offers space and comfort, with an additional mezzanine open plan sleeping area which can accommodate two children. With two spacious bathrooms and a generous deck, it is perfect for a family or young friends traveling together.

Relax on your deck and soak up the sun whilst watching animals graze on the plains below.

Program

The yoga practices you will be led through have been specially selected for their ability to bring about balance, harmony, strength, and resilience. You will learn simple yet efficient techniques that will not only enhance your experience but also give you powerful tools to improve the quality of your life for all times to come.

  • Shatkarma: the building blocks of Hatha yoga
  • Asana: exercises and postures that realign the body’s energies and make it strong and supple
  • Pranayama: breathing techniques to harmonize the nervous system and stimulate Prana, which is the vital life force energy within the body
  • Yoga Nidra: the original practice of deep relaxation and sensory withdrawal
  • Mantra: powerful sound vibrations used to achieve better health
  • Meditation: several simple methods based on the classical teachings of yoga to unburden your mind and to put you in ever more control of your life

Individual tuition will be available for those with a keen interest to learn more, and for those with specific needs that require more detailed attention.

Muchenje daily yoga program

  • 06:30 OM mantra chanting (5 minutes). Very simple mantras everyone can do (like OM). If desired, this can gradually be expanded into a morning mantra practice. Chanting is a form of vibrational healing.
  • 07:00 - 07:45 Asana / Hatha yoga (45 minutes). The physical part of yoga. Selected asanas will be appropriate to all levels; the method of teaching is as used in the Bihar Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. This scientific system of Tantric Yoga is appropriate for all levels from the absolute beginner to the most advanced yogi.
  • If wanted, Pranayama 10 minutes. Breathing practices specifically selected to balance the nervous system and cool the body (called nadi shodhana, bhramari and sheetali) as required. More advanced practices of Hatha yoga will be included as per the level / fitness of the group.
  • The rest of the day for reflection, safari, and relaxation
  • 21:00 after dinner, OM chanting or Swara Sadhana. This is an excellent way to prepare the mind for meditation, and also to offload any stresses of the day. There is quite a lot of a difference between the two practices mentioned; in this setting the final form can be decided depending on the group and circumstances. Followed by Powan Muktasana and yoga Nidra.
  • Close at 21:45. Powan Muktasana is a series of gentle yoga movements designed to mindfully release all tension that may have accumulated through the day, with particular attention to joints and flexibility. In this relaxed state, you will lie down and be given Yoga Nidra. This is a given meditation designed specifically for healing and personal transformation. The meditation is a real life-changer; it will also help the students make the most from their stay at Muchenje by stimulating and strengthening their self-awareness.

Game activities and cultural experiences

These are extensive and offer guests a full range of safaris and cultural experiences as well as leisure time. The safari activities are planned carefully to coincide with when you are most likely to see wildlife. This entails early morning activities: game drives or guided bush walks. Late afternoon game drives as the temperatures start to drop, and night game drives after dinner, for a unique viewing experience of various nocturnal animals after the sun has gone down.

Early morning safari

The early morning game drive leaves the lodge before sunrise and goes into Western Chobe National Park. This gives guests the “golden hour” of light for photography and the chance of seeing big cats on the move before the temperature rises. The game drive returns to the lodge by 8.30 a.m. for an extensive buffet and cooked breakfast.

Early morning walk

Morning walks are offered in front of the lodge in the Chobe Forest Reserve. A senior walking guide will introduce you to aspects of African wildlife, such as tracks and signs. The walking safaris are weather dependent. The walk explores the floodplain and open areas close to the lodge – a wonderful experience that stimulates all the senses and brings a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, arriving back at the lodge for a hearty breakfast at 8.30 a.m.

For those on “early mornings” there is a wake-up call with tea, coffee, and snacks available at the main lodge. Lunch is at 1 p.m.

Afternoon safari

The afternoon game drive leaves the lodge at 3 to 3.30 p.m. (depends upon winter / summer season) and goes into Western Chobe National Park. After “sundown drinks” in the park, the game drive returns to the lodge in the early evening, allowing guests time to freshen up and enjoy pre-dinner drinks. Dinner is at 7.30 p.m.

Nighttime safari

Muchenje is in the Western Chobe Forest Reserve and so we are licensed to provide night time game drives. After dinner, the guides invite you to leave the lodge to explore the Chobe Forest Reserve for a night time drive.

Although it is only an hour or so long, it gives a different perspective to the African bush. It is a wonderful opportunity to find nocturnal animals that have not featured during the other drives, such as genets, civets, porcupines, and hyenas. The evenings are often rounded off with a few drinks around the fire and swapping safari stories.

All-day safari and boat cruise

The game drive leaves at around 9.30 a.m. after breakfast and arrives at the national park's jetty at Sedudu, close to Kasane at around 11.00 a.m. The guide will escort guests onto an exclusive Muchenje boat moored at the jetty and then captains guests on the river cruise.

This cruise on the Chobe River is spectacular for animal sightings along the river and on Sedudu Island. Elephants and Cape buffalo are normally at Sedudu in large numbers and commonly swim to the island from the “mainland” during the cruise.

Lunch is served on the boat cruise.

After the boat cruise, there is an afternoon game drive along the Chobe River. Guests often see a pride of lions or two on the way back and it is not uncommon to see wild dogs - there are two separate packs of wild dogs (painted wolves) in the Chobe. You watch the sun go down with drinks and snacks, and then drive back to the lodge in the early evening.

Community visits and culture trips

Village trip to Mabele / Muchenje villages and local cooperative, two to three hours, after breakfast to have a cultural experience with village members and elders; involvement in pounding maize into flour for the making of pap (local polenta), discussion on cattle, goats and sheep and storage of crops for the winter season. The village cooperative also has items for sale, such as baskets, small wooden items, and dancing skirts. You return to the lodge for lunch.

Sundown drinks in front of Muchenje on the Chobe River

This is a game safari drive starting at around 5 p.m., finishing with sundown drinks in the Chobe Forest Reserve by the Chobe River in front of the lodge.

Tracks and signs - human and animal conflict

The guides will be happy to discuss tracks and signs of the bush. Also included in these discussions will be the very real issues of human and animal conflict. This is a very emotive subject, as the guides come from traditional farming families in the area. This activity is held in the guide’s office close to the swimming pool.

School and village trip

Visit the school and village; this takes around an hour and a half and starts at 10.15 a.m. Muchenje Safari Lodge has supported the nearby Mabele Primary School for over twenty years. It is a government school that includes younger pre-school children.

During term times, the headmaster and teachers welcome visits from guests at Muchenje Safari Lodge where they will meet many of the children. The school has a library and many of the books have been donated by Muchenje guests. Muchenje runs and maintains the school bus.

The school visit takes place in the morning and guests are accompanied by one of the safari guides. A number of the guides and many of Muchenje's staff attended Mabele when they were young and, therefore, maintain strong links with the school.

Muchenje is extremely proud of its involvement with Mabele Primary School and will continue to support the school and Parent Teachers Association. These children are the future of Botswana.

Relaxation at Muchenje

There can be plenty of time for relaxation at Muchenje. There is always something to see, whether at the main lodge or on the luxury cottage verandas. Guests can relax in the morning and/or afternoon at Muchenje. There is a pool deck and swimming

pool, lower and middle decks, upper deck, or room verandas. One can use the library on the upper deck or the large lounge area at the main lodge.

Included excursions

Included in the holiday are:

  • Yoga sessions
  • Game drives
  • Game walks
  • River safaris
  • Night drives

Instructors

Usha Devi Rathore

Ivan Pavlicek

Koo Stark

Retreat location

This safari and yoga retreat takes place in Muchenje Safari Lodge. It is situated on the quiet western side of the Chobe National Park. The nearest airport is Kasane (45 minutes transfer away, included). The lodge is also close to Victoria Falls (2.5 hours transfer away).

Food

All meals are included - most dietary requirements can be catered for, but please discuss with the reservation teams for more information.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Massage

An experienced masseur will be available for massage sessions in both the morning after breakfast and in the afternoon after lunch. This will take place at Muchenje and will be by appointment. This will be at an extra cost for a one-hour session.

Trip to Victoria Falls

There will also be a day trip to Victoria Falls on offer, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. This trip includes the service of an experienced tour guide of the Victoria Falls. The cost per person is 120 USD, excluding lunch, excluding the Zimbabwe visa fee but including Victoria Falls entrance fee.

Spa treatments

Spa treatments are available on request at an extra cost.

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All meals, drinks
  • All safari drives, boat trips, and walks
  • All talks and demonstrations
  • All group yoga and meditation
  • Yoga mats, towels, and bands
  • Transfers to and from Kasane Airport, Chobe to Muchenje Safari Lodge

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Transfers from other airports
  • Insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Your own yoga clothing ( i.e. leggings, t-shirts, loose-fitting comfortable clothing / tracksuit)
  • One-to-one yoga sessions
  • Massage and beauty treatment
  • Day trip to Victoria falls

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Kasane Airport (BBK). Transfer from the airport is included in the price. You can also arrive at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) or Victoria Falls Airport (VFA). Transfer from the two airports is available at an extra cost.

Airport: Kasane Airport Airport transfer included: Kasane Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport Airport transfer available: Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (US$85 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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