When was the last time you read a book? Or the last time you dined out and didn’t glance down at your cell phone? Is it hard to remember a time when the mere concept of liking things had nothing to do with the internet?
1. Make the decision to cut yourself off.
2. Announce your ‘disconnected state’ to the people you’re normally connected to.
3. Actually switch off the gadgets (no, silent mode doesn’t count).
4. And escape into nature.
You don’t have to go far away to get closer to nature, but it sure is a good excuse for a holiday.
A recent study conducted by Kate Unsworth saw 35 people whisked away to the Moroccan desert for a digital detox experiment. On the first day, neuroscientists observed their behaviour at a fancy hotel where they had plenty of access to their smartphones. The next four days were spent in the desert totally cut off from all devices. They observed every aspect of the people’s behaviour both in the context of being plugged in and plugged out.
What did they notice?
They noticed better posture. The front of their bodies opened up, eye contact improved and as a result, so did the conversations.
They noticed improved memory. People were more present in conversation and more likely to remember minute details about one another.
They noticed more efficient sleep. Guests on the trip did not have to sleep as long, but felt even more rested and rejuvenated.
We couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for a digital detox holiday than an African safari, somewhere like Garonga Safari Camp.
The camp is situated in the Makalali Private Nature Reserve just outside of the Kruger National Park and invites guests to relax and unwind in a soothing safari setting and reflect and find inspiration in nature. They like to label the safari experience at Garonga as “a safari for the soul” which is very telling.
The Wi-Fi Situation
Both Garonga Safari Camp and Little Garonga offer Wi-Fi in the main camp area for those who need a little help easing into the digital detox concept. However, Wi-Fi is limited in the tented rooms and private suites, as one should take the opportunity to absorb the peace of nature and the sights and sounds of the bush. The large, draped beds, indoor and outdoor showers and hammocks provide the perfect link between exclusive luxury and the allure of Mother Nature. It’s not uncommon to stumble across an elephant as you master the art of R&R either.
The Sleep Out
For those who need no convincing that a digital detox is good for the soul, Garonga’s Sleep Out is a magical experience. After a 20-minute drive through the bushes, the Sleep Out Deck can be spotted, set over a canopy of trees. This is where nature-loving guests can choose to spend a Wi-Fi free night under the stars.
The viewing deck overlooks a waterhole that attracts wildlife all year round and is equipped with a four-poster bed, a ‘loo with a view’ and a simple table setup to enjoy a private 3-course dinner. As the day turns into night, the most spectacular sunset can be witnessed and then shortly after, the sky bursts into a glistening display of twinkling stars. On this special evening alone in the bush, time stands completely still.
The Bush Bath & Sala
What’s a digital detox without a little pampering? The Garonga outdoor bush bath and massage sala make for faultless treats in between game drives or at sunset. Both activities can be arranged on arrival. Each experience promises wonderful views and lives up to the camp’s philosophy of providing a ‘safari for the soul.’ The sunken bath, adorned with hurricane lamps and candles is most commonly enjoyed with a glass of wine or bubbly. As for the sala, the resident therapist is available during the day and offers a range of relaxing massages and therapies to decompress amongst the wild things.
Whether we switch off or not, the sun will still warm the earth, the elephants will still feed and the grass will still grow. Do yourself a favour and reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and with nature on an African safari.
Looking for a digital detox holiday pronto? Celebrate Garonga’s 20th anniversary with 20% off when you book and stay before the 31st of July, 2017. Limited spaces available, so get in touch!