We are up before the crack of dawn. It is a slow morning because getting up this early on your holiday is rather uncalled for. But the guide promised us the previous evening that we wouldn’t regret it. After a short drive we arrive at the sunrise spot where we run up a dune and strike some early morning yoga poses. (I mean, if you don’t snap pose pictures while on a retreat, are you even travelling?) When the sun majestically appears over the crest of the burnt-orange swirly sands of a dune, we all stop what we’re doing. In awe-struck wonder, I realise, once more, how tiny I am compared to this massive ball of fire, diligently and effortlessly setting the oldest desert in the world ablaze day after day. It may seem like a void, but the desert is filled to the brim with miraculous wonders. I feel small. I am small. Especially compared to my massive surrounds – there is so much space – to breathe, to move, to fly, to float.
What better yoga destination could you possibly ask for? Discover five reasons why Namibia is the ideal yoga destination:
1. The boundless landscapes radiate peace and natural beauty
Namibia is well known for its contrasting, breathtaking landscapes – from the oldest desert (the Namib) and the largest continuous stretch of sand on the planet (the Kalahari), to the lush greenery of the north-eastern corner where you are sure to encounter the Big Five. It is a massive country at 825,419 square kilometres (for my American friends – 318,696 square miles) with a tiny population of 2.5 million people.
If you travel in low season (anywhere from November until May), even better! You are sure to find enough space to breathe, to move, to fly, to float. The night skies are an incredible sight, as atmospheric and light pollution are minimal. Escape the crowds and clutter in over-touristy destinations and head to Namibia, the ultimate place to feel at one with nature again.
2. Your yoga trip doubles as a safari
So, dog yoga (doga?) and goat yoga have become a thing ... how about safari yoga?
Namibia is the first African country to incorporate environmental protection into its constitution, which has resulted in a flourishing and abundant wildlife population in their healthy and natural habitat. Of course, Etosha is a must, as is the north-eastern corner and the Waterberg Plateau Park. Will you be able to tick off the Big Five? Even in the aridness of the desert you will find the most spectacular animals with surprising survival techniques.
3. Top accommodation
Namibia offers tourists some of the most outstanding accommodation options, whether you are seeking to immerse yourself fully in nature, or you are more of a creature comforts seeker. More importantly, there are options to suit every budget.
If you are travelling on a small to medium budget, there are many options for you, aside from camping. If you are not much of a camper, how about trying glamping? (Read more about Camping2Go here.) It is an affordable experience that brings you closer to nature, without taking modern amenities out of the equation.
When it comes to luxury lodges in Namibia, the personalised touch and white-gloved service are unparalleled. However, some lodges are not simply ridiculously fancy for the sake of taking your money; they are engaged to serve a bigger purpose, whether that purpose be community or conservation. Therefore, every guest who visits the lodge becomes part of the bigger Namibian picture.
4. Travel green
Travellers are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint and are seeking ways of reducing it. You will find plenty of Namibian companies who are fully engaged in reducing their carbon footprint, and that of their visitors. Less stress on the planet, less stress on you. More focus, more stretching, more breathing, more exploring.
Read more about Gondwana’s involvement here.
5. Adventure activities
Perhaps you have the need to pump change-fueled adrenaline in between all the meditating and relaxation. There is so much to do in Namibia – we have everything from oceans and mountains to deserts and rivers – every one of these playgrounds offering a plethora of adventures. After kicking things up a notch with a fat-bike tour in the dunes, hot air ballooning, kayaking or skydiving, unwind at your choice of accommodation with some yoga.
Perhaps you might opt for a more relaxed activity, like sundowners atop a dune.
Whatever accommodation or activities you choose, a trip to Namibia is bound to change you for good. You will be back for more. What other reasons can you think of to do yoga in dreamy Namibia?
Author – Annelien Robberts is an avid wordsmith who turns her pen to all things travel, culture, and lifestyle. She was born in a small town called Otjiwarongo and grew up on a farm nearby. Creativity, nature and animals make her happy.