5 Days Tropical Wellness, Yoga and Meditation Retreat in Tanzania

  • Pole Pole Lodge, Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania

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Adventure Yoga and Meditation Retreat Africa

  • 5 days with instruction
  • Relieve stress while on a tropical adventure in Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania. This retreat is the perfect opportunity to find deep relaxation and serenity. Go on an adventure and explore the Swahili culture and diverse marine life. Switch off your phones, leave your laptops behind, and enjoy a few days of peace and quiet. Orenda will help you relax, re-energize, and you will be home sparkling with a smile.


    • 2 daily yoga classes
    • 1 massage treatment upon arrival
    • 1 daily boat excursion in Chole Bay
    • Juice, herbal infusions, early morning tea, and bottled water
    • Daily meditation sessions and breathing techniques
    • Transfers to and from Mafia Airport (MFA)
    • 3 healthy and delicious meals daily
    • 4 nights accommodation

    Skill level

    • Beginner


      • Instruction language: English
      • Spoken languages: English
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    The accommodation options at the Pole Pole Lodge are on single, double, and shared family room basis. Pole Pole is located in the Chole bay area, near Utende village on the southeast coast of the Mafia Island Marine Park. It lies on the beach, within a tropical garden, overlooking a spectacular view of the Mafia archipelago and the Indian Ocean.

    Seven bungalow suites are subtly blended into a surrounding tropical landscape. The verandas overlook Chole bay's infinite palette of blues and with breathtaking views of surrounding islands. Twin and double bungalows are furnished with carved and antique pieces. The large private verandas are provided with handcrafted wooden furniture.

    Each unit is self-contained with a spacious and comfortable bathroom. Two bungalows are family type with two rooms separated by the bathroom and a small corridor for privacy. Pole Pole's fundamental philosophy is founded on natural rhythms, harmony with its surroundings, and the soothing ebb and flow of the ocean, and as such, is quintessentially made for yoga. This venue is considered as one of the most exclusive eco-lodges in the world.

    It is renowned for its great cuisine, unpretentious and laid-back atmosphere, and warm but discrete hospitality. Pole Pole is perfect for those looking for relaxation after a safari and for the ocean-lovers who just cant get enough of diving, sailing, islets, and sandbanks.

    This retreat is an ideal recipe to reinvigorate your mind, body, and spirit through a combination of yoga, meditation, healthy food, excursions, and relaxation. Breathe, relax, and let go at exclusive and yet unpretentious Pole Pole Bungalows, surrounded by peaceful tropical landscape. You will have a one-on-one initial consultation in order for Orenda to tailor the massages and yoga sessions you will have throughout the whole retreat.

    This retreat is for anyone interested in a more personalized attention to distress from your daily routine, gaining your balance back, and reconnecting with nature through yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, and massage while surrounded by beautiful and soothing elements of nature. No previous experience in yoga is required for this retreat.

    Upon arrival, soothe your mind and unwind with a re-balancing massage on your private veranda. Revitalize and re-energize with daily yoga classes, meditation, and breathing techniques each morning and one-hour evening sessions of mixed yoga flows based on your needs and health conditions.

    Experience one daily boat excursion in Chole Bay that can comprise any of the following, depending on tides, weather, and availability, snorkeling including snorkel equipment, Chole island, Kua ruins, Blue lagoon, Marimbani sandbank, Fishermen island, and Sunset Cruise.

    During your free time, you can also engage in diving and snorkeling with whale sharks, stroll along sandy lanes through the coconut palms, hang out at the beach and chill, partake in sailing excursions, avail re-balancing massage treatments, explore the unique and diverse marine life of Mafia Island Marine Park, and experience the warmhearted Swahili culture.

    There is one daily boat excursion in Chole Bay for this retreat and can comprise any one of the following, depending on tides, weather, and availability:

    • Blue lagoon
    • Chole island (excluding 5 USD village levy)
    • Fishermen island
    • Kua ruins
    • Marimbani sandbank
    • Sunset cruise
    • Leila El Krekshi

      Leila is a qualified classical Hatha yoga teacher and Thai massage therapist. Leila has practiced meditation yoga, dance, and Capoeira for more than 15 years. She uses yoga, meditation, and rhythmic movement to take individuals through a personal journey of self-discovery, creativity, and inner and outer connection with the elements. Her focus is on prana vital energy and integrating breath with movement for conscious practice.

    The retreat will be held in Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania. It is an intimate tropical paradise and is the perfect spot for a relaxing and balancing retreat. In harmony with the elements of nature, the place provides a sacred space to slow down, calm the mind, and lighten your heart by being in the moment.

    The warm, safe waters of the inland bays and lagoons are a paradise for both expert and beginner scuba divers as well as those simply wishing to snorkel. Mafia Island Marine Park was established as the first marine park in Tanzania and covers a surface of 821 square kilometers.

    Mafia island has so far escaped the invasion of mass tourism as building has been restricted to few tourist lodges. The lodges are like bush resorts in that everything is quiet, thus offering the perfect alternative safari experience. Major tourist activities are scuba diving, snorkeling, beach and offshore island excursions.

    Nearby places

    • Kilindali - 20 minutes
    • Mafia Airport - 30 minutes
    • Boating
    • Diving
    • Trekking nearby
    • Massage
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving
    • Snorkeling
    • Spa
    • Swimming
    • Swimming pool
    • Whale watching nearby
    • Bar
    • Beach
    • Dining area
    • Garden
    • Hammock
    • Restaurant
    • Special menu request
    • Terrace
    • Free bottled water
    • Laundry
    • Library
    • Tour assistance

    The food provided daily consists of three delicious and healthy meals, herbal infusions, bottled water, early morning tea, and juice. Pole Pole’s cuisine is highly praised by international clients, reflects diverse culinary and cultural influences, and combines an Italian touch of class with local flavors and ingredients.

    Swahili dinners and tropical fruits and vegetables are enjoyed by guests in the intimate atmosphere of the restaurant. They cater special dietary requirements whenever possible and most of the food served are organically grown and bought on the island to help fishermen and farmers benefit from tourism development. Vegan meals are also available upon request.

    • Boat excursions and picnics in isolated islets, sandbanks, or islands are arranged daily in accordance with the tidal patterns
    • Book private consultations, personalized yoga sessions, and sublime Thai massages with Leila
    • Scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and the occasional visits to the local villages within The Marine Park
    • Swim and snorkel with the wale sharks - in addition to the wonders of its reefs that make it a world-class diving destination, Mafia island hosts also this rare pleasure

    Soothe your mind, and unwind with a re-balancing massage on your private veranda on your arrival. Optionally, you may book massages and yoga sessions offered by Leila, to be paid cash or PayPal to Orenda, or spa treatments at Alasiri Spa.

    • 1 massage treatment
    • 2 daily yoga classes
    • 3 meals daily
    • 4 nights accommodation
    • Daily sailing excursions in Chole Bay
    • Daily meditation sessions and breathing techniques
    • Juice, herbal infusions, early morning tea, and bottled water
    • Laundry (two items per person per day)
    • One on one initial consultation
    • Transfers to and from the Mafia Airport (MFA)
    • Additional spa treatments from Alasiri Spa
    • Any other activitiy and/or equipment, which will be charged at normal rates
    • Any other beverage beside the bottled water, herbal infusions, early morning tea and juice
    • Extra massage and yoga sessions offered by Leila
    • Final yoga or wellness consultation and a take home plan
    • Marine Park fees (20 USD per person per day)

    Arrival by airplane

    Please book your flight to arrive at Mafia Airport (MFA). Transfer from and to the airport is included. The organizer will pick you up from the airport.

    For information about the booking conditions, please send Orenda an inquiry.

    Verified BookYogaRetreats.com reviews

    • Review by Ruth Jackson from London, United Kingdom

      "From the moment I arrived Leila took such good care of me. I arrived exhausted and stressed and Leila took the time to understand me and then to provide a very personalized retreat aimed at helping me recover and recuperate. I left relaxed and so much happier. The food she makes is delicious especially the smoothies and infusions she makes daily. The sessions had a great mix of meditation, breathing techniques and yoga poses which really helped me recenter and relax. The walk to the beach and yoga on the beach were particularly good. She went at my pace and really understood how I was each day and how to support me. She has also given me great tips and ideas for my every day life, and is very happy to share. She isn't focused on making money, more on giving really good support and care. The farmhouse is a really lovely and relaxing place. It's really beautiful and very rural - being in nature is really great for recovery. The amenities are great - comfy bed, lovely waterfall shower, toiletries and towels provided. The breakfast is great and the pool is perfect. There are so many places to relax, read, chill out around the farmhouse. I'd absolutely recommend Orenda retreats to anyone as Leila will work with where you're at and your goals. I am hoping to go on an organized retreat later in the year with Leila as I found this one so beneficial"

      BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

    • Review by a traveler from Tanzania

      "The food, the location were just amazing. The location is beautiful, so close to nature and allows you to really relax and forget. The food is delicious and cooked with passion and love. I really enjoyed Leila’s yoga sessions, and the Thai massage. I initially came for three days, never done yoga, had years of stressful life due to my business, and i decided to stay for extra days for more private sessions with Leila in Mafia. She takes time to listen and understand what the issues are and tailor the practice to your needs. This has been eye opening experience for me. I will definitely come back, and will recommend to friends and family."

      BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

    • Review by a traveler from Germany

      "I loved every bit of it. Leila and Pole Pole Staff were so welcoming. I enjoyed the mix of yoga and having the flexibility to explore the island and to go on excursions. The marine life is breathtaking. I really liked Leila’s style of teaching, and the combination of asanas, meditation , walking meditation on the beach and the Thai massage was amazing. It was nice mix of holiday and yoga. I was there for 5 days and i wish i could've done a whole week!"

      BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

    • Review by a traveler from Switzerland

      "Thank you for making me feel welcome. The food, the location and the service were excellent. I enjoyed Leila's yoga sessions, and the flexibility she gave, her voice is also so relaxing that you end up in such deep sleep during yoga relaxation. The excursions were great and eye opening into the marine life, which makes Mafia so exceptional. You don’t get bored at all. I was even lucky to snorkel with whale sharks! Amazing experience!"

      BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited


    • Review by Nick

      "We found La Terre des Bois to be just what we had hoped for in terms of privacy, self-sufficiency, and location for our exploring. We found this place a great sanctuary from the bustle of a rather busy schedule we had prepared. All in all, a fine experience and a beautiful gite. We wish Stef the best of luck in her future endeavors at Le Terres Des Bois."

      Orenda website, edited

    • Review by a traveler from Germany

      "I really felt I was able to disconnect from the daily stresses but connect more with myself for few days, and calm my mind. It was really good way to force myself to slow down and be mindful. I enjoyed the garden for reading and loved the view of the garden while doing yoga. What stood out also was the mindfulness meditation and the nasal cleansing."

      Orenda website, edited

    • Review by a traveler from USA

      "The overall atmosphere was calming and friendly. I enjoyed the natural setting, the amazing outdoor patio for yoga, and the well balanced program with practice and time off the mat. I enjoyed the meditations , and how they moved me towards more meaningful practice in this area. The combination of hike and archaeology was amazing a really nice educational addition. The nutritious food made the retreat whole.I am grateful for spending time with a mother and daughter team who both did so much to make this a personalized, relaxed experience. Anja is most kind and beautiful soul."

      Orenda website, edited

    • Review by a traveler from Tanzania

      "This is my second time joining Orenda’s retreat. It was another amazing experience. The food was excellent, cooked with love. The place was beautiful and relaxing. Enjoyed the hike and discovering new cultures. I will surely join again, as it is always been a new discovery to me."

      Orenda website, edited

    • Review by Linda

      "Stef, with your care and calm I have become a better person. Knowing you were on hand allowed me to become more of the person you knew I was."

      Orenda website, edited

    • Review by a traveler from Italy

      "Siamo stati 12 giorni a Marzo 2016.Abbiamo iniziato la nostra avventura con una accoglienza dello Staff (MARINA E MUSSA ) veramente carini e disponibili. Molto bello e accogliente il Bungalows, situato in una spettacolare natura.Ottimo il Cibo e il servizio.Complimenti a tutti. Il Pole Pole fornisce varie escursioni uniche ed emozionanti! Che dire è stato un soggiorno unico e indimenticabile, concludendosi con una cena in spiaggia in un bellissimo cielo stellato !!!! P.S. E'da provare assolutamente il Massaggio Thailandese! Complimenti a Leila. Qualità del sonno - 5 su 5 stelle. Pulizia - 5 su 5 stelle. Servizio - 5 su 5 stelle"

      TripAdvisor website, edited

    • Review by Maya Savelkoul from Netherlands

      "Leila is a great teacher, warm hearted with lots of patience, and she has a great sense of humor when needed."

      Orenda website, edited

    • Review by Yasmeen El Aryani from Finland

      "Leila has given me massages on different occasions. The first time when I was pregnant and my back muscles were badly strained and my feet were hurting from the baby weight. Another time was three months after giving birth and again, my neck and shoulders were tense. On every occasion, Leila understood what my body needed without much explaining from my side. When she is doing a massage, she completely immerses herself in it and has the ability to read the body and and the problem areas very well. She combines pressure and stretching and customizes the massage according to personal needs. If I was living in the same town as Leila, I would run for a massage session at every opportunity. Her massages have been the best Ive got."

      Orenda website, edited

    • Review by Sibyl Koebl from United Kingdom

      "Leila is amazing! Super nice to be around and allows people around her to be themselves and she meets them where they are without trying to resolve their issues, which she does gracefully. Furthermore, there is never a dull moment."

      Orenda website, edited