New Year’s resolutions. They’re easy to make but difficult to maintain and usually end up making most of us feel worse off than we were in the first place. This year, luxury travel boutique operator Sanctuary Retreats’ would like to propose a few New Year’s commitments you might actually want to stick to – and enjoy, while on vacation!
Make a start by flexing your muscles in Botswana, the “predator capital of Africa” in the gym at flagship property, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, which features a treadmill, a stationary bicycle, a rowing machine, weights, and yoga equipment. Weights and yoga mats are also provided for use at several of Sanctuary Retreats’ other safari camps, allowing guests the unique opportunity to work on their downward dog while trying to spot wild dog from the comfort of their own private veranda.
For those interested in a more tranquil approach to exercise, enjoy early morning Tai Chi on the deck of the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer. As the ship glides down China’s famed Yangtze River, think pristine, rugged landscape views, soothing sounds and gentle movements. And if that’s not enough, a trip to the ship’s on-board doctor might be just the order of the day. Specialising in Eastern medicine, Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer’s resident expert also provides demonstrations of popular traditional medicine techniques as well as one-on-one consultations.
But of course being healthy physically, means nothing if you don’t also exercise the mind. And what better way to do this than practicing the ancient art of meditation. Find inner peace as you listen to the sounds of passing wildlife at South Africa’s Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge, or contemplate mindfulness as the sun rises on board Sanctuary Ananda in the home of Buddhism – Myanmar.
In days gone by the test of a luxury holiday was pinned almost entirely on the quality of the spa. And while things have evolved significantly since then, Sanctuary Retreats still believes that a bit of ‘me-time’ is a ‘must do’ for any successful vacation. With spa treatments available at many of its safari properties and river cruise ships including Sanctuary Ananda’s Thambyadine Spa by L’Occitane, guests are free to relax, rebalance and rejuvenate between game drives and sightseeing tours.
Experiences range from dissipating tension with a healing massage therapy and holistic body rituals amid the beauty and serenity of nature at Uganda’s Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, to being absorbed in the elegantly charming surroundings of Kenya’s award winning Sanctuary Olonana. But whatever the location, allow yourself to indulge in the ultimate luxury of spa.
Get Connected (with nature)
Forget updating your online persona, put down the smartphone and step away from your emails. It’s time to start that digital detox you’ve been promising yourself. 2018 is all about getting connected… to nature.
With safari lodges in some of the most remote locations in Africa, Sanctuary Retreats’ guests are invited to switch off so they can better take in everything each property has to offer. Of course, it wouldn’t be luxury accommodation without free wi-fi so the company will forgive you the odd surf in order to show off that elephant you found grazing outside your tent, or to gloat about the view of the Milky Way you enjoyed whilst in the depths of the Serengeti.
Someone famous for connecting with nature, Sir David Attenborough once claimed that meeting mountain gorilla was “one of the most exciting encounters of [his] life” and that “there is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than with any other animal I know.” With this in mind, what better way to connect with nature in 2018 than by making the trip of a lifetime to Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest to spend time with the most endangered species of gorilla at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp?
The past few years have seen an unprecedented level of interest in responsible travel and ‘volun-tourism’, and Sanctuary Retreats is delighted to invite guests to give back, go organic and enjoy its eco-rated holidays in style.
A commitment to conservation and responsible tourism has been an integral part of the construction of the company’s properties and its daily operations ever since it opened its first camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara in 1999.
Through its philanthropic arm, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy the company’s aim is to build long lasting relationships with rural communities in the areas where it operates to ensure it has a positive impact on the people, wildlife and each of the communities that it calls home. Guests are actively encouraged to get involved by visiting the villages Sanctuary Retreats works with, including Nakatindi in Zambia and Sin Kyun in Myanmar, or by donating to its various projects.
And once you’re done giving back, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the locally sourced, organically grown delicacies on the menu at each property. Many of Sanctuary Retreats’ camps, lodges and ships purchase fruit and vegetables from local farmers, and Sanctuary Olonana even has its very own organic vegetable garden. Guests on board Sanctuary Ananda can also enjoy a trip to the village market with the ship’s chef, followed by a lesson on how to cook with the freshly bought ingredients.
So make sure you treat yourself in 2018 with a river cruise or safari with Sanctuary Retreats – and enjoy a healthy – and happy, holiday.
For more information about Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy, please visit: