‘As we resist ongoing forces of polarization, we are looking for experiences that make us better, smarter, healthier—that dissolve boundaries and underscore our shared humanity. But not necessarily at the expense of a little comfort and self-indulgence,’ said Pilar Guzman, Editor-in-Chief, Conde Nast Traveler in her October newsletter.
I couldn’t have said it better myself – but then Pilar was one of the participants at our inaugural Rewilding: ROAR & RESTORE Retreat held earlier this year at Segera in Kenya. This extract from Pilar’s Editor’s Letter for the October 2018 issue, strikes to the core of what I set out to achieve when I first identified the need to pioneer our rewilding retreat.
I have witnessed firsthand the enormous transformative effect that being in the bush has on our guests. There’s a humility that comes with being in Africa, the place where we all come from. The incredible landscapes, wildlife, and communities, strip away our built-in defenses and allow us to be vulnerable in a way that is incredibly personal, powerful and healing. That, coupled with an awareness that our isolation as a species is linked to a gnawing disconnect from our natural rhythms, led to the creation of this rewilding retreat, ROAR & RESTORE.
My goal is for every guest to begin a process whereby they can discover their inner animal. I refer not to some social construct but an indelible instinct that has been hard-wired into us from many millions of years ago. While we’ve gained much in our modern civilization, my desire is for us to reclaim some of that which we have lost, during this five-day learning journey.
Rewilding may seem esoteric and ephemeral, but it’s innate in humankind. There is no better billboard for rewilding than observing its effects in nature in large-scale conservation that seeks to restore natural cycles and habitats and protect keystone species. It is for this reason that I chose Kenya’s Segera Retreat, Africa’s top-rated luxury property and a recognized Global Ecosphere Retreat set within 50,000 acres on the Laikipia Plateau. This former cattle farm has, thanks to the vision of owner Jochen Zeitz, undergone a monumental and intensive process of rewilding overgrazed lands into rehabilitated, wildlife-rich ecosystems that also support the proud local community.
The line-up of speakers for the 2019 Rewilding: Roar & Restore retreat have been chosen for the tremendous work they do for and in Africa, across a variety of fields from women’s rights to conservation. The speakers include: Wanjira Maathai, the Ex Director of GreenBelt Movement and the daughter of the late Nobel Peace Prize winner; Wangari Maathai, Dr. Lucy King, a zoologist credited for a ground breaking beehive fence design that has significantly reduced human-elephant conflict; Craig Foster, a filmmaker, environmentalist and naturalist, 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; and Dr. Bianca Beldini, the founder of Sundala Wellness in New York and an expert in the art of ‘hands on healing’.
The success of our inaugural retreat provided some of the most moving and profound feedback we’ve had to date. Herewith sample from photographer and blogger, Nicole Condit Duncan:
‘It was one of the most transformative weeks I can remember… the realization that there are actions we can all take to change our corner of the world gave me a new sense of purpose. The reminder that no matter how disparate our lives seem, they share common threads and common narratives. Most of all, I was privileged to spend time with a group of people who find their church in the wild and recognize that we all carry the wild within us.’
If you would like to join us on this incredible life-changing, learning journey email firstname.lastname@example.org.