Ann Lloyd May/June 2017.
Yoga Safari Travel Agency - 10 night safari in Botswana - September 2015 - Janice & David Thomson from Canada
The Safari sites were all five-star out of five-star as for as we were concerned.
Seba camp was nicely situated looking over water, had lovely accommodation and the food was outstanding. The host-managers were very social as all of the staff. Our guide was excellent in finding game and pointing out various plant features. One of the highlights of the stay was the guide finding a leopard that was tracking a hyena that was dragging the remains of the leopard's kill. We spent probably an hour following the hyenas and the leopard and took all kinds of pictures. A large bull elephant did come into the camp and just outside our cabin started to shake a palm tree for the fruit. We had the impression that the area felt a bit like a park and did not have an overwhelming number of animals.
Selinda camp was outstanding and had the most variety of animals and didn't seem that you were in a park, a true wilderness. It was a long distance from the airstrip but this is a minor drawback. The camp was fantastic, and we especially liked the accommodation of tents with no running water and bucket showers. The number of animals was outstanding: herds of elephants, male and female lions, lion cubs, wild dogs, leopard, and various antelopes as well as hippopotami and birds. It is a Safari camp that no one should miss if they are going to Botswana. The food was excellent; the staff was friendly and helpful. Our guide was terrific and had to be one of the best trackers as he used his skill to find lions on 3 separate occasions. If you want elephants, this is the place. There is a river at the front of the camp, and on one occasion a group of elephants took a refreshing bath in the river, elephants also entered the camp, also an injured hippopotomus spent time on the bank of the river. The manager was a young woman who was friendly and pleasant. But we had one of the weirdness experiences in that for whatever reason when we were together with a young Australia couple, she completely ignored us and talked only to them. It was as though we didn’t exist. This was off putting and someone needs to instruct her on how to be a proper hostess.
Shinde camp was very upscale. It had a lovely dining and meeting area, excellent food and personable staff. The accommodation was first-class. It accommodated the most guests and there were about 18 visitors at the time of our visit. Our guide was once more excellent. Ecosystem is interesting in that it has many types of antelopes in fairly large groups that are quite approachable. Again we were lucky in finding a leopard in a tree and a small group of lions. There were other small animals such as Jackels. On one of our half days we did a boat trip, which was enjoyable and a change from the Toyoto Land Cruisers.
Jacks Camp was the most magical and had a unique ambiance. The tents with the Indian decor gave an impression of being in India. After 5pm at night the lanterns provided light for the tents and dining area and gave a warm transformational aura. This was a completely different ecosystem that should be experienced by anyone going to Botswana. We were there at the end of the dry season so we saw large herds of Zebra and Wildebeest coming to the water holes every morning and afternoon in front of our tent. This was the only place where we saw large herds. Also surprising we saw many birds (ostrich, eagles and vultures) that we had not seen previously. As well we saw a different species of hyena with young at the lair. The salt flats were amazing. Once again the food was outstanding, the staff warm and friendly, and our guide worked hard to find animals and birds to see. This is a camp that should be on everyone's itinerary if they are doing safari in Botswana. However, it is clearly important to time the visit as I am sure weather conditions can have a great influence on what is seen. It was very hot but dry so it was tolerable and in an absurd way fun (40 c). Meerkats are found here, and you get to interact, and they are well worth the visit. Only saw one bull elephant on one occasion, so if you want to see elephants this is not the place.
One other point of interest is all the flights into and out of the different Safari camps were always precisely on time. And Yoga Safari has to be commended on organizing the different companies and flights that worked so perfectly.
Happy New Year
- Janice and David
Breathing Space Retreat 2015
“I had an amazing time on the yoga retreat to the pans and Meno-A-Kwena camp, it was extremely relaxing and peaceful and it allowed me to think about my life and put things into perspective, and get to know the people on the trip some more. If you are looking for a ‘time-out’ in this crazy world, I would suggest going on this retreat, it really is a treat! Thank you very much to everyone!”
- Michi Gros
Pans Yoga & Star-Gazing Retreat June 2014
Thank you again for all your organization of us; it’s so nice to switch off and be told what to do! I’ve definitely come back with a more positive approach to life, especially your comment of not pre judging people. I am trying to be more patient and allow people to surprise me – hopefully pleasantly! – instead of deciding their response beforehand. I think also more respect for the world we live in, and somehow a sense of security; being able to just put a bedroll in the middle of that great big pan and not feel threatened by anything. And a greater appreciation of the daily ‘motion’ of our world, which just keeps on happening whatever we are doing. Out in the pans with far fewer distractions to the senses, you become more aware of this.
- Julie Riley
Pans Yoga Retreat June 2012
Thanks so much Debbie for a rejuvenating weekend which was meticulously put together and carefully executed! From the well thought out itinerary to inspirational yoga themes as well as the long drop loo on the pans and excellent cuisine – everything was faultless. I hope to join the next retreat!
February 2012 Valentines Yoga Retreat
What a special experience. An amazing destiny on the Boteti River is the perfect setting for relaxation and Yoga. Debbie exudes calm, strength and tranquility with just the right mix of laughter and fun. I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants to take some time out from their hectic lives, relax, have good food, fun, laughter and just be..
Thank you very much for the amazing and inspirational experience. Doing yoga in the serenity of the bush… Contemplating the elephants walking in from of us, drinking, splashing water, scratching their back with the beautiful trees… Unique and magic!
Thank you for teaching me new ways of connecting with my inner self, for the most peaceful yoga class ever, for the meditation and the great weekend. I will remember this for the rest of my life.
I am looking forward having a new retreat with you!
February Yoga Retreat 2012 Meno A Kwena
It was a great experience in a beautiful tranquil setting. I thank Deborah for being so open minded about what each participants was expecting from the retreat since we were all there for different reasons. You really adapted the excercises to the participants levels, injuries and ailments and made us aware that pushing for pain gives little gain.
I recommend this retreat to anybody who loves stretching and yoga, interesting conversations, good food and drink and lots of laughter.
December 2011 Okavango Yoga Retreat
Dear Debs, Thank you so much for a beautiful yoga retreat! All of my wishes about what we would get to do, feel, and experience came true. The venue was lovely and relaxing, and the food was beyond delicious. Thank you for arranging the vegetarian options! I am especially grateful for the mutually supportive, small group of yoginis you assembled and the very personal attention you gave each of us. You have such a gentle and calming spirit, and your encouraging voice and guidance are true gifts you share with all of your students. I would love to join another retreat sometime in the future, and I will definitely recommend it to my friends. So many yoga retreats are confined to indoor studios. What a refreshing and invigorating change to breathe through meditation and asana practice in wide open, natural spaces with birdsong, frog calls, squirrel chirps, and butterflies! With gratitude
Kalahari Yoga Retreat March 2011
“There were 10 of us on the retreat and it was awesome! The surreal experience of doing Yoga surrounded by nature, a herd of drinking Kudu and curious ostrich was something very special! The retreat was exactly what I needed to focus my mind and body and make some important changes in my life. Two words sum up our weekend in the Kalahari – Soul Food!”
Lisa Reed. age 38
"Three short days with Deb is a gift for the body and the soul. Her soft voice is in my mind each time I begin my practise - it quiets me and guides me, so those three days now extend to a lifetime."
Mary McGee, US Peace Corps Volunteer, age 64
“The nature surrounding us felt perfect to unwind and prepare the mind and body for some stress-detox and some 'me'-time. I always find it fascinating how easily likeminded people group together harmoniously, but it may well have had everything to do with our teacher, who made everyone feel very comfortable. The yoga classes were challenging but certainly not too difficult, as everyone was taught poses that suited them individually. The views were spectacular with sunsets and sunrises with game (kudu, wildebeest, ostrich) quietly striding past during our classes. An overwhelmingly beautiful experience and my spirits were well rejuvenated after only one weekend!”
Elly Van Kekem
"The yoga safari was a pivotal moment for me. I had done yoga-diving before and thought that nothing could match that kind of ultimate experience - that is, until I joined Deborah Carter for daily yoga and meditation classes overlooking golden savannah, dotted with elephants and giraffes, and for my first peaceful face-to-face encounters with wild animals. The safari was a celebration of my first year of yoga practice; from the first day, Deborah's teaching helped me deepen my understanding of fundamental postures, correct mistakes, improve my breathing, and heighten my appreciation of the beauty of the Okavango Delta. I saw more animals than I could have imagined, and felt safe, healthy and enthralled."
Jane McElhone, Canadian journalist and media development specialist, based in London
'Yoga stretches at the break of the sun-young day, all around babblers buzzing and twirping, elephants nonchalantly grazing and baboons swinging in the branches; g&t's about the bonfire, restoring tired and dusty limbs; lions moaning and hippos grunting only metres away from our tents - well, I was enchanted the whole way through.