The African women making the impossible, possible

March 8, 2024

“We work in an industry where we create dreams and shatter glass ceilings. Against all odds, against all perceptions, against all stereotypes…women have achieved what was thought to be impossible.” – Deborah Calmeyer, CEO and Founder, ROAR AFRICA

Today, the world celebrates women. At ROAR AFRICA, our vision statement is  ‘If African Women Rise, Wildlife Will Thrive.’ Alongside the inspiring women conservationists, partners and creatives we work with, we bring that credo to life.

Be the change

In the five years since we pioneered this movement, I wasn’t sure it would ever get off the ground, but I remembered that all movements that have changed your life and mine were hard to get off the ground. Ever since our first Women’s Empowerment Retreat in South Africa, we have gathered an international brigade of female powerhouses in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and my homeland of Zimbabwe. The far-reaching impact of this retreat doesn’t just ripple; it ROARS. Thanks to the vision of our women speakers and the generosity of our guests, we’ve changed lives; creating educational opportunities, scholarships, documentary films, exchange programs and funding for critical conservation and women’s health initiatives. TED Talks have been given, books written and new career paths forged. What one cannot measure is the enormous upliftment and impact on local women or the value of lifetime friendships and just how lives are changed.

We find meaning in life through experiences – nature, culture, goodness, truth, beauty and most importantly, by experiencing other people in their uniqueness…connecting with and loving them. The love I have felt from the women on these trips is my why – why movements matter. It is why we must be the change we want to see.

Hence I am bursting with excitement to announce our fifth annual Women’s Empowerment Retreat will be taking place in Botswana’s Okavango Delta at Xigera, April 8-13, 2025.

Making the impossible possible

Xigera, one of my favorite places on earth, radiates a feminine power. A testament to the brave vision of Toni and Vicki Tollman and African art savant Trevyn McGowan, this ultra-luxe, 100% eco property is a living art gallery that pulses with creativity. Over 90% of the furniture, design and artworks that fill this lodge were privately commissioned from eighty of Africa’s top contemporary artists and craftspeople. The result is a masterpiece - a true homage to the continent set against the backdrop of the wild.

Across five days, we’ll experience the exhilaration of game drives, mokoros and helicopter safaris across The Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This flooded landscape, a miracle of nature, is one of our planet’s last truly wild, places. We will meet the pioneers at the forefront of the battle to protect Botswana’s unique wilderness, including Rebecca Klein, founder of Cheetah Conservation Botswana, Bokani Mathape, President of Women in Tourism, Dr Sophie Chandauka MBE, Chair of Sentebale and Dr Anna Songhurst, the founder of Ecoexist Trust …plus other surprise guests of incredible influence.

Xigera - haven in the wild

I hope you will join us in Botswana and sow the seeds of change that will continue to reap progress, positive action and empowerment for the women of Africa long after we are gone. Together we can make the impossible, possible.

Our Women’s Empowerment Retreat at Xigera, in Botswana, April 8-13th, 2025 costs $17, 455 per person sharing or $21, 905 per person traveling solo. To learn more about this spectacular journey or to book a safari with us, contact

Happy International Women’s Day!


Subscribe to receive the latest updates