Expedition Style SUP & Yoga Adventure... for Wild at Heart Women
Yes it really is THAT cool, just typing it makes me chuckle that it exists, and we are doing it like we are!
Now that you're HERE, you're almost in on an epic, out in the wild, yoga adventure. I can't get enough of this one and my whole world lights up as the time nears and the women say YES. I am truly honoured and uplifted to share this with you because I KNOW the glory in it!
Take a look at the rough guide to our itinerary below and some other bits of information before booking. Keep in mind that spaces are limited to ensure the group dynamic is close, warm and supportive and also allows each woman the opportunity to go to new places within.
Our adventure begins on the banks of the Orange River, this is where we all meet each other at around 5:00 pm on the first day. Most of this day is spent travelling to reach Umkulu’s Growcery Camp, our base camp. You may make your own way there or ask me to arrange your transport for you from Cape Town. This night we eat together for the first time, begin to attune to the environment and receive our 60 litre dry bags which we will fill with everything we personally need for the journey.
Each of us will have a 60 litre dry bag to fit all we need for 4 nights on the river, guide boats will porter these along with food and kitchen equipment etc.
This is an expedition style trip there will be no ablutions, nothing for miles and we will be totally off the grid.
We expect gratefully, to be blessed with the same perfection of weather we have been so far.
The next morning we are up bright and early gathering for movement, meditation and creation before preparing to head out. You may wish to offer something into the river to honour the spirits and give thanks for your highest experience.
This gathering is naturally a co-creation of each individual's vibration, expectations, desires and intentions, once we are on the water we allow for what the elements, practices and blend of women gathered create.
Picture paddling one of Africa's great rivers, on a stand-up paddle board. Paddling, expedition style, over five glorious, sun-drenched days on the mighty Orange, bordering South Africa and Namibia. Sleeping under the African sky, waking up to wild sunrises, campfire coffee, long slow yoga, and expansive meditation on the banks of the river.
We will paddle an average of 12 kilometers a day or more on sections of welcoming flat water flanked by the stark otherworldly landscape of the Nabapeed, Richtersveld desert. Wild and free paddling is interrupted by occasional exciting rapids (grade one to three), lunchtime languid sunbathing, grazing, and hiking to explore the surrounding rock and remaining fluorite deposits.
The expedition will take us from our base camp, The Growcery, through the Nababeep Community and Richtersveld Community Reserve. Over the five days on water, we can expect spectacular red mountain views, fast-flowing channels, sublime open water and excellent bird life, including Fish Eagle and Kingfisher.
Beginners of both yoga and SUP will fare beautifully.
Graded at level one to three in difficulty this section of the river is suitable for beginners, but not without challenge. It's a pool drop river, which means that after every rapid, there is always a pool. There are no designated campsites, and camp for the day depends on the progress made that day. Our warm, knowledgeable guides prepare meals on open fires and guide us safely over this magnificent distance.
This is an unusual coming together of 'roughing it', paddling adventure, with complete Tantra Yoga including guided meditation which can be perfectly woven into many a hearty and varied lifestyle. If you are new to yoga, or have never been on a SUP...yoga meets you where you are, and these are inflatable SUPs built for getting up right away and breezy rapid handling. You are invited to be yourself, as you are, and engage with everything yoga and the wild have to offer. A wholly expansive experience, equally appreciated by the curious, the relative beginner, and the more seasoned. Gritty and soulful stuff, for the wild at heart woman.
We have four nights on the river, and two nights at base camp. Remember that day one is mostly travel and coming together, day six we sleep at base camp again and day 7 is your day to travel home or to your next destination.
*Distance on water: 50 to 70 kilometers (depending on the water level) *Starts: 9:00 am on the morning of day two.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive at base camp by about 5:00 pm, get acquainted, share some dinner and details. Sleeping is in African style chic shacks on the night before we set off and the night we arrive back at base camp. (The Growcery Camp)
Day 2: First day on the river
We will begin with yoga and meditation to tune in to ourselves, the elements, and the journey ahead, this will be a little shorter this morning so we have good time to get on the water. Once we have set off there is no turning back, we will be out in the wild for four nights and five days. Much of the day will be spent paddling, covering some distance, with time to spend in the water, connecting and unraveling. The first day on the river is also the beginning of a simultaneous inner journey that takes place more subtly and less perceptibly. We paddle on until we reach a good place to stay the night, build a fire and have our guides cook up something delicious. Sleep under the stars. Bathe in the river in the morning.
Day 3: Second day on the river
Today there is none of the usual, having slept under the stars we wake to the sight, smell and sound of this incredible expanse. Coffee and tea will help us crawl out of our sleeping bags and onto our mats where we will greet the day and our lives with some glorious, and gritty yoga and meditation, as we will everyday for the next few days. We paddle around 14 kilometers today, rapids colouring the paddle with some challenge and excitement. The midday scorch will lead us to some shade where we can swim, graze and luxuriate. Laugh by the fire. Sleep under the stars. Bathe in the river in the morning.
Day 4: Third day on the river
Now we have bathed only in the river for two days, spent nights with the moonlight and stars beaming at us, the space and quiet simplicity, we begin to feel immersed in the landscape a little, more part of and less spectator. Rapid handling, and SUP savvy will have kicked in, and today you feel your body is proud and comfortable on your craft. We may hike or explore depending on the distance we covered in the morning and how far we have to paddle to find a good place to settle. Stay cool, and paddle on. Laugh by the fire. Sleep under the stars. Bathe in the river in the morning.
Day 5: Fourth day on the river
Wake, again from a night spent talking to the stars to two hours of slow yoga flow, your body and spirit taking more in now and feeling quite different. Breakfast is served after yoga as it has been everyday on the river, and you now look forward to the freedom and enlivening sensuality of bathing in the river as we have been. The rapids and rock clamors feel great today and the usual lunch stop has you surrendering your whole self to the heat. The afternoon paddles can be challenging, sometimes we spend time just floating and connecting with each other. Dinner is by fire and we may talk, laugh and even dance into the night, other nights we settle early to the stillness.
Day 6: Fifth day on the river
For the last time we will wake to the splendor of the vast open sky, to coffee just before dawn and expansive desert yoga, our minds offering new thoughts and new possibilities.
Today we paddle to reach our take out point, the distance to paddle depends on the distance covered, as does the amount of time we have available to enjoy the water. Usually we have plenty of time to ease our wonderfully weary bodies from the glory of the river having covered the distance and emerged victorious. Our vehicle will be waiting for us on the Namibian side of the river. From here we will head back to base camp, to the belongings we left behind, to hot showers and made beds. We will enjoy one more shared dinner among wild women to laugh into the night and revel in the joy and glory of the experience.
The adventure ends here, but you will still have to rest your bones before heading off in the morning. Sleeping is in African style chic shacks as on our arrival day.
Take out, during off-season:
Normally 11 am, expect to be back at camp around 3 pm
Take out time will depend on the following:
Section of the river paddled
Day 7: Departure
This is your day to travel back to the Mother City, Cape Town or your next destination. I will do all I can to ensure your travel to and from the river happens with ease.
The Yoga and meditation
There is always someone better at certain things than we are and always someone not as good at certain things as we are. If we remember that, we can be more at ease with who and where we are and enjoy the challenge of something new and different.
I'm not a serious SUP wave rider, but I paddle flat water pretty regularly, my SUP fitness is average even. I've been practicing yoga for about 9 years(Teaching for 3), sometimes really intensively and for long periods, sometimes not at all for periods...I come with my body where it is and agree to challenge and enjoy it with you.
I like to keep the movement aspect of yoga simple and relatively slow for building strength, meditation in movement and steady expansion. Some days we need to shake things up and get in touch with our wild self, some days we need to reign ourselves in and listen more intently...always, we need to be with ourselves and navigate from within. My classes reflect this, drawing from my training in Tantra, Ishta, and Vinyasa yoga amongst other unusual learning. The breath is key and music will move us too.
Meditations will take us through whole body awareness, deep relaxation, expansion, visualization and gratitude, in that order. I will also be introducing gentle Tantric breathing for building energy to fuel our deepest yearnings.
Morning yoga is a coming to self, a yielding and enlivening.
5 days guide supported paddling
4 nights under the stars, sleeping out in the open on the banks of the Orange
2 nights accommodation at base camp
5 days magnificent morning yoga on the banks of the River yielding strength and connection
5 days, morning meditation, for greater receptivity to life.
All equipment provided, boards etc.
All meals, hearty eating (special diets considered).
Take Out fees (Our transport from the point we come off the river through the Namibian border and back to base camp)
No experience necessary
Exciting rapids to navigate, and an expanse of water to travel standing up on a paddle board that will make you feel like a capable amazonian with surprisingly little effort.
Coming to yourself to hear your inner voice more clearly.
Connecting with and sharing with other adventurous souls.
A unique womans adventure.
Whats not included
Flights & airport transfers
Visas & departure taxes
Travel to base camp (We are happy to arrange travel for ease and joy)
Travel medicine & insurance
snacks in between meals
Dinner on the last night
Some more to consider...
We've had a few super fit ladies, but mostly a little in between and even a woman expecting her first child! So far the balance of challenge, rest, integration and play on this one seems to satisfy as well as unwind. Do expect to paddle for long periods, we have a distance to cover, the amount of time to rest and play depends on our paddling speed, the water level and the wind.
Do let us know about any medical conditions, prescriptions etc. We will also check in with everyone to be sure we're good to go.
You will naturally need your South African passport or Visa, and have at least 6 months before your passport expires. You will also need to find out about the visa requirements for Namibia from your country of origin. The Orange River borders South Africa and Namibia, so some nights we sleep on the South African side and some nights on the Namibian side. Our take out point, the place where we come off the river, is on the Namibian side, which means we will cross the border from Namibia into South Africa to return to The Growcery camp where we began.
Once you have decided you can't miss this, and you're so in!...we will send you a detailed checklist of all you will need to bring with you, its not much more than a bikini, sunscreen and a sarong but a small thin camping mattress, a sleeping bag and a 30 liter dry bag are on there.
The nearest airport is Cape Town International, from here it is just under 700 kilometers to base camp. We will gladly arrange your transport to the river for you, and keep it simple. You'll be leaving Cape Town on the morning of day one to reach base camp on the South African side of the river at around 5:00 pm. If you are travelling by road from somewhere else in the country, let us know and we can help keep it easy.
Guide boats will carry all our food supplies, and guides will prepare delicious dinners by fire. Mornings there will be tea and coffee and a fire going to help get us moving.
After we have opened our bodies, let the sunlight in and tuned in, we will eat. Breakfast is lite and fresh to get the best energy from our bodies for the mornings paddle, most likely sun ripened fruits and oats or pancakes (vegan and gluten free) Lunches will include left overs from the previous nights dinner and some easy grazing options, I lean in the direction of whole foods and leave the dairy out, but am not strictly vegan, I enjoy some good meat on a fire in these situations. We welcome all diet considerations, let us know your preferences and we will take these into consideration when creating the menu. Naturally we are limited to what can be prepared on River, this is a mini expedition after all, but we do our best to keep everyone's belly smiling. Dinner will be the biggest meal, and all will be hungry for it.
Immerse yourself in the elements, allow the spirit of the land and water to infuse you, breathe in the light and expand your whole self. I invite you to answer the call of the wild woman in you and come on an African, expedition style SUP and yoga journey like no other. Whether you are travelling alone, or whether you are inviting some of your sisters along, we will all learn from and be enriched by each other.
What's the next step?
If you reached this otherwise hidden page by contacting me directly, you are now welcome to book your spot.
If you were invited here by making contact through an alternative booking platform, you may go ahead and book using that platform. Prices are the same irrespective and discounts apply to South African passport holders. Whichever way you secure your place and your board, I would love to hear from you and learn a little more about you before the journey begins.
Orange River SUP and Yoga Adventure
R 9800 (South African residents only)
$780 (International visitors)
A non-refundable deposit of R 1900/$150 (approximately 20 percent) secures your board and your place on this bucket list worthy experience.
Balance of payment to be paid two weeks prior to the event.
(Because of the exchange rate, it is necessary to offer a different price to South African citizens so they too have the opportunity to experience this incredible Joy, if you are home grown and would like to put a private group together, get in touch so that we might tailor an adventure and price structure to you and your special wildwoman friends, daughters over the age of 12 are welcome.)