Restoring Your True Nature

Lessons from the Wild Elephant Herds of Botswana

New September 2023 dates – TBA
4 nights, 5 day retreat
with Koelle Simpson & Alan McSmith

Please join the interest list for new retreat listings

Re-membering Ourselves

Over the last fifteen years of traveling to the bushveld, I never tire of the long, international journey that eventually leads me to stepping off a small plane onto the African sun-baked earth. When I breathe in the grounding aroma of dry grass, wild sage, the potato bush, and even animal dung, the earthy, sweet scents create an instant feeling of calm. My whole body feels at home when I look over the wide open landscape and realize the land is humming with more wild animals than there are humans. This is truly Mother Nature’s domain.

While every wild creature large and small reawakens my senses and stirs up a feeling of endless curiosity, there are few who evoke such a strong sense of awe like the African elephant. Several years ago I met an incredible wilderness guide named Alan McSmith who not only shared my love for elephants, he’s spent the last 30 years as a passionate elephant conservationist leading groups on safari throughout the African continent. Alan is well known for his remarkable relationship and understanding of our ancient pachyderm kin.

It turns out that if we’re willing to become curious and listen, elephants have an incredible ability to model a nourishing sense of community, family, and kinship. While it’s not a perfect utopia, elephants can help us experience the transformation that takes place when we settle our attention on a sense of safety and the quality of our connection with others. 

For me, spending time observing wild animals— especially elephants— is an incredible way to witness the patterns we’ve adopted from our cultural, social, and familial systems that are no longer serving us. I’ve discovered that Mother Nature has an uncanny and playful way of providing us with a road map back to our essential wisdom.  

I want to invite you to join me and Alan McSmith for a special retreat at the Hyena Pan Camp in Botswana. We will come together for a 5-day, 4-night retreat to learn from the elephants and Mother Nature how to heal the places where we feel disconnected from one another and begin to chart a course towards a new way of life. 

We welcome you to join us on September 1st – 5th, 2022, for a 4 night, 5 day unique and unforgettable adventure. This intimate event and space is limited to only six people.

During our time together, you will…

  • Rest and restore your mind, body, and spirit.
  • Experience the power of a small gathering of kindred spirits.
  • Unplug from the endless distractions of our modern fast paced world and submerge yourself into the frequency of our essential nature.
  • Learn directly from the wisdom of the elephant herds.
  • Delight in morning and evening game drives, as well as walking and tracking on foot in order to get up close and personal with the land and its animals.
  • Luxuriate in the beauty of the environment and your accommodations. 
  • Partner with the land and animals to both awaken and re-wild your spirit.
  • Treat yourself to incredible culinary delights, fine wines, belly laughs, camp fires under the stars, animal tracking, and soulful connections with one another.

I hope you will join me.

Restoring Your True Nature – Botswana Retreat

Retreat Agenda

Restoring Your True Nature – Botswana Retreat

Day 1: The Call to Gather Together

  • 12:00 pm Airlink flight from Johannesburg International Airport to Maun. Then an air charter to Khwai, arriving at camp late afternoon.
  • 3:00 pm | Retreat introductions and the sharing of personal intentions
  • 4:00 pm | Afternoon game drive. Get into the Land Rover, out into the wilderness, and allow the animals to help us begin noticing our inner landscape
  • 7:00 pm | Dinner, laughter, and the sharing of stories
Restoring Your True Nature – Botswana Retreat

Day 2: Listening to Your Essential Wisdom

  • 6:30 am | Dawn departure for the morning game drive to greet the elephants
  • 10:00 am | Breakfast, group coaching, and debrief the session with the elephants
  • 12:00 pm | Lunch, rest, and private coaching sessions upon request
  • 3:00 pm | Afternoon game drive or walk to be with elephants. Invite gentle curiosity to observe the coping strategies we use in relationships with one another
  • 7:00 pm | Dinner, campfire, and connecting
Restoring Your True Nature – Botswana Retreat

Day 3: Reading the Tracks of Our Relationships

  • 6:30 am | Dawn departure for morning game drive to greet the elephants
  • 10:00 am | Breakfast, group coaching, and debrief the session with the elephants
  • 12:00 pm | Lunch, rest, and private coaching sessions upon request
  • 3:00 pm | Afternoon tracking session and evening game drive
  • 7:00 pm | Dinner, campfire, and connecting
Restoring Your True Nature – Botswana Retreat

Day 4: Self Care as the Key to Living an Intimate Life

  • 6:30 am | Dawn departure for morning game drive to greet our animals teachers
  • 10:00 am | Breakfast, group coaching, and debrief the our morning experience
  • 12:00 pm | Lunch, rest and private coaching sessions upon request
  • 3:00 pm | Afternoon tracking session and evening game drives
  • 7:00 pm | Dinner, campfire, and connecting
Restoring Your True Nature – Botswana Retreat

Day 5: The Forming of Your Herd

  • 6:30 am | Dawn departure for morning game drive
  • 10:00 am | Breakfast and closing discussion
  • 12:00 pm | Departure

Program Details & Registration

Retreat Dates: New Sept. 2023 dates – TBA
Please join the interest list for new retreat listings


  • Charter flight from Maun to Kwai Private Reserve
  • 4 nights accommodation at Hyena Pan in en-suite tents
  • All meals, all local drinks and laundry.
  • All activities on a private basis with Alan McSmith
  • Private game viewing vehicle
  • All park and entry fees included
  • Personal facilitation and coaching support from Koelle Simpson


  • International flights
  • Premium brand beverages
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Covid tests (payable in cash in camp)
  • Contact Sarah McSmith at to organize the chartered flight from Maun to Khwai as well as any additional destinations you wish to add ontgyour trip.

Retreat Pricing

  • Single Occupancy: $9,000


  • Pay-in-full: $9,000

Deposit Payment Plan

  • Three payment plan =
    1st payment of $3,000 deposit at sign up,
    2nd payment of $3,000 due three months later
    3rd payment of $3,000 due three months after second 

Out of stock

Cancellation Policy

Due to the costly, non-refundable nature of reserving venues for various events, and the limited spaces available in workshops and retreats, a cancellation made 60 days or less from the dates of an event is non-refundable. Fifty percent of the event fee will be refunded for a cancellation made between 90 to 61 days prior to a scheduled event. Any cancellation made 91 days prior to a scheduled event is fully refundable minus an administrative processing fee.

We want to encourage everyone to be well covered in case of some unforeseen circumstance that would require the trip to be canceled. You will be required to purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance for your trip. This may be a helpful site to get your started 

What We Can Learn From Elephants

Listen to This New, Informational Call with Koelle To Learn More About Elephants & This Retreat

Whether you feel pulled to attend this powerful retreat or are just curious what it is elephants can teach each of us about connection, community, our emotions, building trust–listen to this new, free, call with renown horse whisperer and life coach, Koelle Simpson to learn more.

Have questions about the Return to the Heart Retreat? Email us at We’d love to hear from you!

Join Koelle for the next, live call. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive an invitation to the next live call with Koelle, as well as updates about important deadlines for this retreat.

What Clients Say

“The Return to the Heart Retreat had a positive impact on me. It made my heart and smile expand. It made the lessons I have learned over my life move from my mind into my heart. I now have a deeper understanding of what matters in my life.

I loved the animals—relating how they interact with each other with how we, humans, could do the same in our life. Sharing our experiences on game drives was an intimate way to help me open up to ways I can grow. It opened my mind to new perspectives on life and helped me with some of my blindspots. It especially help me pause in my habitual response to always wanting to be right.”

Pat J.

“I had a lot of awareness rise up. I observed how people would drop into fear over what they thought the animals might do instead of watching what they were actually doing. That has been a big lesson for me: when you let fear take over, you lose the ability to track the energy, moment by moment. You are instead in a pattern of fear and that distorts what is actually happening.”

Angela W.

“ChiGong, the game drives, sharing and learning from each other and feeling supported throughout along with Koelle’s strength, warmth, wisdom, and clarity made the experience very rich and powerful for me. Realizing I am not alone in facing life’s challenges—we all have trauma to resolve and need to learn to love ourselves and find inner peace. Authenticity. Koelle’s deep involvement and genuine support helped to challenge my well-worn (destructive) behavioral patterns while offering a new way of seeing and moving forward with a positive outlook and energy.

The small group size made it possible for everyone to have individual attention and coaching. There was nothing “boilerplate” or “standardized” in Koelle’s approach. She touched all of our hearts in an individual and very personal way. Incredible.”

Carolyn J.

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