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Rewilding: ROAR & RESTORE

February 21, 2019

It was Paracelsus, the 16th-century German-Swiss physician, who wrote: ‘The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.’

The Global Wellness Summit identified the key trends in 2018 that positively impact the Wellness industry, the trends were a riveting reading! In fact, so incisive was the above quote from its Prescribing Nature Report, that it took my breath away for it’s not only an astonishing summation of our current focus as a travel specialist – but it also manages to encapsulate where we are, as both a people and a planet.

With terms such as the ‘medicalizing of nature’, ‘eco-therapy’ and ‘the nature economy’ mentioned throughout the report, I was fascinated to learn of doctors from Washington to Scotland, who write prescriptions for patients to spend time outdoors and in parks, while in Japan the therapeutic practice of shinrin-yoku or ‘forest bathing’ (the art and science of how trees can promote health and happiness) is proving to be hugely popular too. With nature prescriptions gaining in popularity, it’s only a matter of time before the medical profession adopts this approach in hospitals too, with the design and greening of hospital gardens becoming an ever more critical aspect of the wellness program. It’s estimated that by the year 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities – so it stands to reason that in the future something as simple as a walk in nature will become harder to find. If spending time in nature is the new standard for wellness, one need only look at our current and seemingly unstoppable trend to green our indoor spaces as yet another clue to our unconscious need to reconnect with nature.

The report also speaks about Biophilia, from the Greek meaning ‘love of life and the living world,’ it’s a term that became popular about thirty years ago when Edward O. Wilson, a biologist, theorist, naturalist and author, stated that loving nature is part of our DNA. ‘We love nature because we learned to love the things that helped us survive. We are hard wired to affiliate with the natural world and just as our health improves when we are in it, so our health suffers when we are divorced from it.’ In short, nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.

Of course, it’s exactly this kind of powerful discourse that informs the Rewilding: ROAR & RESTORE Retreat, designed as a five-day learning journey of reconnecting, self-discovery and self-realization in the wilds of Kenya. Set to take place at Kenya’s Segera Retreat from May 31st – June 5th 2019, guests will avail themselves to 50,000 acres of wilderness on Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau where they will experience an unparalleled luxury and exclusivity that is both intuitive and discerning. We chose Segera for a good reason. A decade ago, the entire property was a wasteland – overgrazed and denuded of its flora and fauna, not to mention the livelihood of its community. That is until businessman, philanthropist and visionary Jochen Zeitz bought it and set about rewilding the land, reinstating the wildlife and creating a sustainable ecosystem that would benefit the local community. Today it’s not only the headquarters for the Zeitz Foundation but it’s also a Long Run Destination and a recognized Global Ecosphere Retreat.

Every itinerary we handcraft creates an experience where our guests can reconnect with themselves, so that they can return home as change agents who will affect the kind of profound and powerful differences needed to support and sustain our fragile wilderness areas. This itinerary is no exception, except we’ve upped the ante by adding a stellar lineup of speakers to the incredible property and bounty of wildlife you will experience. Our speakers have been handpicked because we know they will challenge, encourage and stimulate thinking around rewilding and instinctual relationship with nature. To this end, we’re enormously proud to present those visionaries, game-changers and eco-pioneers who inspire us on a daily basis.

Dr. Ian McCallum The retreat will be led Dr. McCallum, both our dear friend and a ROAR AFRICA specialist wilderness guide, whose work as a Wilderness guide, poet, writer, conservationist and psychiatrist, has long inspired us.

Craig Foster is a filmmaker, environmentalist, naturalist and change agent who has spent his life studying and filming the natural world in order to tell the stories of people who live closely connected to nature.

Wanjira Maathai, is the daughter of the late Nobel Laureate, Wangari Maathai, who was an activist, environmentalist and a leading figure of post-colonial Kenya. Wanjira’s tireless work to advance her mother’s legacy, previously as director of the Greenbelt Movement and now as Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF), has manifested in the nurturing of youth culture to create a sense of purpose and integrity.

Dr. Lucy King is a zoologist and the Head of the Human-Elephant Co-Existence Program for the research charity Save The Elephants based in Kenya. Her ground-breaking beehive fence, designed to keep elephants out of smallholding farms next to Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, has significantly reduced human-elephant conflict whilst providing honey and a pollination service for the farmers.

Dr Bianca Beldini, As the founder of Sundala Wellness in NYC, Dr. Bianca Beldini is an expert in the art of ‘hands on healing’ Bianca’s fusion of western anatomy with acupuncture, trigger-point referral, biochemical movement, neurodevelopment patterning and structural unwinding, has led her to the creation of a progressive style of treatment called The Sundala Method.

For more information on Rewilding: ROAR & RESTORE Retreat, email welcome@roarafrica.com.

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