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Munga Plains Soft Opening - May 2024

Updated: Jun 17

Munga Plains was born out of a desire to unite people through a shared love for wellness, travel, and nature. Over the past few months, we’ve poured our heart and soul into getting our retreat center ready for its soft launch in May 2024. We invited a select group of yoga teachers, photographers, and content creators from around the world, all accustomed to the finest retreats and most awe-inspiring locations, to test out the experience. These ten incredible individuals embarked on a journey that would build new friendships, forge deep connections, and create lifelong memories.


 

Our adventure began at the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. After long flights, our guests checked into the luxurious Shongwe Oasis, a serene lodge offering elegantly furnished rooms, an infinity pool, and a spa. It was the perfect setting to relax, unwind, and take in the stunning views, whether on a scenic boat cruise along the Zambezi River or by witnessing the breathtaking Victoria Falls at sunset.



 

The trip officially kicked off as we crossed the border into Botswana, heading towards Munga Plains. Our first stop was Chobe Marina Lodge where we embarked on a tranquil boat ride along the Chobe River with our local guide, Culture. As we glided through the waterways, we encountered abundant wildlife, from mighty hippos to imposing crocodiles, and a myriad of bird species. We also came close to elephants and giraffes quenching their thirst by the riverside.



As dusk approached, we swapped our boat for Land Cruisers and met Haskins, our second guide, for an exhilarating drive into Chobe National Park. Herds of wild animals greeted us, culminating in a magical sight of two leopards enjoying their evening meal in the trees. In a backdrop of pink, orange, and red hues, we finally drove to Munga Plains, where our guests discovered the glamping site glowing with lanterns and a celestial display above. Dinner, a delightful fusion of Tswanese and European cuisine prepared by our house chef, awaited them, as did cozy beds in our charming, African-inspired rooms.




 

From that moment on, days were filled with rejuvenating yoga sessions and a variety of thrilling activities such as walking safari, horseback riding, tea ceremony, village tour, and game drives. Our dedicated Shala became a sanctuary of tranquility and inspiration.




Marie Keutler, a psychoanalyst and yoga instructor from Germany now residing in Lisbon, led the first class and an evening Yin. Her slow flow harmonized breath and intention, encouraging us to experience yoga beyond physical postures.


“The staff was so friendly and welcoming. All the big smiles really made this a unique and unforgettable experience.” Marie Keutler

 

Bianca Polizzi, a digital nomad with Sicilian and Irish origins, guided us through a one-hour practice rooted in Ashtanga Yoga. In 2019, Bianca became a 200HR certified yoga instructor in Goa, India, and since then, has been organizing retreats in Sicily and Zanzibar as part of her company Sun Soul Escapes.


“This is a dream retreat that encompasses EVERYTHING you need to get back to feeling yourself again - yoga, nature, the wilderness, seeing wildlife up close, sustainable eco accommodation, nutritious food, incredible people, amazing experiences and the SUN!” Bianca Polizzi




 

An Iyengar Yoga expert from Sydney, Lisa Tonelli-Smith introduced us to the art of precision and alignment, enhancing both body and mind. With four residencies at the Four Seasons Sayan in Bali, Lisa brought her experience and positive energy to our soft launch retreat.


“If you're looking for a captivating and enchanting experience that combines the tranquility of yoga with the excitement of a safari adventure, this retreat is for you. I can't wait to return and soak in the magic of Munga Plains all over again!” Lisa Tonelli-Smith

 

Joining us from Norwich, UK, Katrina Crossley centered her classes on breath awareness and dynamic movements, building strength, flexibility, and mental clarity. She teaches both online and in-person classes weekly.


“Genuinely one of the best experiences of my life. I can't fully put into words how beautiful this trip was - the space, the staff, the country, the people, the wildlife, the classes, and to see how much of an amazing impact this place has on the local community.” Katrina Crossley

 

Lastly, Heidi Karell, a dedicated Ashtanga practitioner, rigorously guided us through the primary series of Ashtanga yoga. On the final day, she conducted a drill and handstand workshop, reflecting the tutorials on her Instagram account, helping to enhance flexibility, strength, and alignment.


"Magical week in Munga Plains. I highly recommend this place for a unique combo of wild animals, African safari life, camping and yoga. I had such a special time here that I definitely want to come back." Heidi Karell


Munga Plains is more than just a holiday destination; it’s an experience that brings together the beauty of nature, the luxury of comfort, and the spirit of adventure. Join us and be part of a journey that promises to transform your soul and ignite your passion for life.




Thank you to all the participants of the soft launch:


Photo credits: Ben Gunsberger and Agathe Padovani

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