Your most tranquil adventure yet…

It’s dawn. Still very early morning, but we’re starting to see as the sun rises on the horizon painting the sky with colors of yellow and orange. The animal kingdom is slowly waking up, yet it’s so tranquil, all you’re hearing is the slight sound of the morning breeze vibrating through the leaves of trees.

But you’re not in bed any more. You’re sitting in a safari jeep headed to welcome the energy from the sun rising ahead. You feel tired, sleepy, perhaps even a little hungry, but as you settle down on your yoga mat and shift your focus on the breath, all that you’ve felt before washes away and ease and peace take its place.

Practicing sunrise meditation has a magical power. You’ll feel the energy gravitating from the sun leaving you with feelings of gratitude for being part of something bigger than you, something grandeur that’s part of you being alive.

The surroundings at which you can participate in such a beautiful and mindful experience is at the Makanyi Safari Lodge in the southern sector of the Timbavati in South Africa, an area of prime game viewing, home to the “Big Five” — lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and Cape buffalos — as well as the renowned, albeit elusive, White Lions.

The Lodge recently started a one-week wellness retreat called Energise that focuses on recharging, re-energizing and refreshing the mind, body and soul.

Have you ever found yourself joking about having to relax after returning from a holiday? Most of us have. Vacations can be stressful with all the planning, transportation, food — what’s safe to eat, what isn’t (especially when in Africa). So, it seems as if going on vacation often leaves us being more exhausted than when we left in the first place. Activities are plentisome and you’re busy exploring a new place, taking in everything around you. But have you ever gone on holiday where you’d rest actively and instead of focusing on the externals, you’d focus inward?

At the Makanyi Lodge, you can rest your worries because everything is taken care of for you and your family. Prior to arrival, registered public health nutritionist Yvonne Wake will contact you to discuss health needs, possible allergies and any wish you might have throughout your stay.

“I will design a menu for our guests based on their needs and potential challenges concerning allergies,” Wake told Tropical Magazin. “Also, I work with the head chef Amos and his team to come up with wonderful, innovative and creative dishes to suit all tastes.”

There’s a fully qualified team of therapists, fitness trainers and yoga teachers who can provide the correct nutrition and exercise during the Energise wellness week. You, however, don’t have to stick to a strict wellness regime if you don’t want to.

You can choose mediation, spa treatments, fitness classes, nutritional elements as much or as little as you please. This casual approach suits the environment of the lodge as it is a very relaxing, spiritual experience to focus on both body and mind.

When it comes to health and nutrition, there are regular healthy juice and salad making demonstrations during the day and nutrition discussions if requested. Plus, Wake told us usually the week will consist of a health and lifestyle consultation, which includes a forward fitness plan to take home, so you can continue practicing a healthy lifestyle even after leaving Africa.

Each day you may go on a game drive and have an opportunity to see as elephants, rhinos and lions roam the land freely in their natural habitats. The Timbavati has been hailed one of the most exclusive game viewing areas in South Africa.

Off the beaten track and away from the tourist trail, the Timbavati sits on the outskirts of the Greater Kruger National Park, an area of over 2.4 million hectares. The Makanyi Safari Lodge is one of very few commercial lodges in the area which allows direct access to this vast area, giving the lodge the advantage of offering a truly wild, authentic and private experience.

Makanyi Lodge features five luxury suites and two luxury pool suites overlooking the magnificent dam. They’re furnished with king size beds, a relaxing living area with its own fireplace, vast en-suite bathrooms, a private deck with sun loungers and access to either a communal or private pool. The lodge has also recently released the launch of its new private villa offering extra privacy and a cozier and homier feel. This new two-bedroomed private escape sleeps four guests, making it ideal for groups of friends or couples travelling together.

Makanyi’s stylish decor blends form and function with subtle elegance. A contemporary wooden frame and thatched roof design is complimented with fashionable furnishings, local artifacts and chrome finish, creating a fresh and welcoming ambiance.

It might leave you wondering: if the lodge is part of the game preserve, how safe is it to be outside with so many wild animals around? Although the animals do wander nearby, and you can see them from the lodge, the property is gated. Plus, the animals tend to stay away during the day. When the night falls, however, hosts have paid close attention to ensuring maximum safety, so in the evenings you are escorted by one of the rangers who are also constantly on hand should any animal come near the lodge.

Spending a week on an Energise retreat is all about finding balance and recharging yourself away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a time that will allow you to reconnect with nature and yourself and leave energized, positive-minded and having learned how you can incorporate a healthy balance into your life at home.

For more information, please visit