START PLANNING YOUR SABBATICAL >>

Step out of your normal routine and see the world through a lens of possibility.

“Being immersed in new experiences and natural settings replenishes the whole person. It’s the best remedy to re-inspire minds, rejuvenate bodies, and re-ignite spirits. When my kids were young, I took them on a sabbatical for a month to Mauritius. It is an experience we often talk about and dream of repeating.” Marco van Embden, CEO, Timeless Africa Safaris

A sabbatical is a personal gift to reconnect to self, to loved ones, and to the world around you.

Timeless Africa Safaris brings a curious and creative approach to understanding individual needs, interests and desires to create once-in-a-lifetime sabbatical experiences. We match Africa to people’s palate and wallet; ensuring sabbatical-travellers can take full advantage of the gift they give themselves by taking an extended break from their normal lives.

We help you streamline and save on your sabbatical so you can really go wild.

Sabbaticals are on the rise as more and more people recognise how rewarding and beneficial time out can be. Couples, families and solo travellers are typically spending 1-3 months exploring Africa, and doing it in style. “Your sabbatical should be as unique as you are,” says Marco, CEO and lifelong traveller. “It can be intimidating trying to filter through the options and match them to your budget.” He and his team have over 20 years of on-the-ground expertise in sabbatical planning.

Understanding the what/where/when/why of sabbaticals.

Many modern-day people struggle to know where work ends and life begins, as they spend the bulk of their time in their working environment. Sabbaticals are essentially an extended break away from work that creates the space to reset, put health and family first, and reignite passions.

TAS tips to make your sabbatical even more meaningful and memorable:

  • Choose a unique destination
  • Invite friends to join you along the way
  • Learn new things
  • Pursue authenticity
  • Stay in as few hotels as possible
  • Employ a photographer to capture the most precious moments
  • Make time to write
  • Share your journey on a personal sabbatical website that links to social media
  • Slow down the pace
  • Stay flexible

The reasons for taking a sabbatical

You could be at a career crossroad, suffering burnout, want to explore self-development, live with less, reconnect with people, or come to terms with big life changes.There are numerous proven benefits, including preventing stress and improving health and productivity.

You may find yourself wavering over work, family, home, finances and health; but remember fear is normal and almost all challenges can be overcome. Time out from your regular routine allows you to gain perspective, gather strength, contemplate, recharge, and return with new energy. Career, kids schooling and all the other complications have a way of working out, with a bit of time and distance.

The freedom to pursue unique experiences

For many people, a sabbatical is the one time that they can do the things they have always dreamed of, unhindered by the constraints or circumstances of everyday life. It differs from person to person. Some want sleep, downtime, self-nurturing. Others are looking to reawaken curiosity, gain new skills, and get fresh insights into what they offer the world. If you have young kids or teenagers, we can work them into your plans and their lives will be infinitely richer for it.

Do you dream of adventure such as tracking big game, scuba diving in a fresh water lake, climbing a mountain? Or do you just want to relax on the beach for days, read all the books you never had the time for, loll in a hammock, and do very little? Some of the awesome sabbaticals goals we’ve seen include:

  • Be immersed in a different culture such as the San first nation’s people in the Kalahari, Botswana
  • Run with a tribesman through the wild Maasai Mara
  • Learn a new skill, like sailing traditional dugout boats in Kenya
  • Get back to nature through walking safaris, kayaking with hippos or diving in Mozambique
  • Seek out wellness and mindfulness in a remote retreat
  • Give back by getting involved in conservation and community initiatives such as building a school or rhino tagging
  • Spend time with family taking part in activities that show kids a broader perspective and keep them grounded

Best of all, as sabbaticals give you the luxury of time, you don’t need to choose and can combine them all.

DREAM SABBATICALS DESIGNED BY OUR TEAM

BELINDA, Luxury Travel Manager

“For my upcoming sabbatical, I want to experience something different; a trip that will take me somewhat out of my city-life comfort zone, allow me to have a bonding experience with my young adult son and enable us to relax, learn and grow together.” Belinda and her son plan to go Gorilla-trekking in Congo, have breakfast with giraffes in Kenya, sleep in the wild under the African stars, and swim with dolphins in the tropical Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. See Belinda’s Sabbatical »

CASEY,  Business Development & Marketing Manager

“I have two young children and my ideal sabbatical balances time with them with the space and freedom to delve into my own personal wishlist activities. I include time for learning, new experiences, re-visiting lost loves like horse-riding, meaningful moments, relaxation, rejuvenation. Time for myself, for my husband and for my kids.” See Casey’s Sabbatical »

ROBIN, Product & Operations Manager

Robin’s biggest passions are food, nature, shared experiences and photography. He aims to spend some solo time in Cape Town, dining with chefs, taking a photography class and journeying to the Karoo and the Garden Route. He will walk the iconic 4-day Otter Trail and experience vibey Johannesburg, before unwinding for a week on an Indian Ocean island with a few favourite friends. See Robin’s Sabbatical »

KIM, Luxury Travel Manager

“Bush and beach are my perfect combination…” For her dream sabbatical, Kim seeks beauty and inspiration over a month-long journey through South Africa and Madagascar. Major themes include soulfulness, learning, self-development, digital detox, giving back, creativity and active adventures, with pockets of relaxation. See Kim’s Dream Sabbatical »

HOLLY, Luxury Travel Manager

“I am incredibly passionate about Africa and the wildlife and people that reside here. Having travelled solo to many African countries over the last few years, I would absolutely love to do an Epic African Adventure with my partner, an action-packed itinerary that embraces education, exploration, escaping, experiences and self-enrichment.” See Holly’s Sabbatical »

LOUISE, Luxury Travel Manager

My sabbatical combines my love of solo exploration; hiking; time in nature; authentic experiences; meeting local people; learning about other cultures; and pure relaxation on the water’s edge with my family. Remoteness is the perfect way to leave behind the rush of everyday life and reconnect to what is important. See Louise’s Sabbatical »

NWABISA, Luxury Travel Co-Ordinator

A diverse sabbatical that combines relaxation, beach walks, adventure and giving back. See Nwabisa’s Sabbatical »

 

FAQ's

  • Where do I start?

    Take our Sabbatical Questionnaire.
    We will then work with you to give your sabbatical a focus. We’ll start by asking you what do you want to think about, move towards or away from? Do you want to learn something new? We’ll also check in on your state-of-mind. Are you burnt out and needing down time or revved up and ready for anything? We’ll ask you about what you love doing in your free time. And what interests, passions and pastimes you’ve set aside that we may include.

  • What are you waiting for?

    Most people who take time out report returning happier and recharged for the next chapter in their life. No matter the itinerary, simply by stepping back from your ordinary life, you will gain perspective of the things that hold you back and realise the potential of what beckons you forward. Wherever you are in your work and private life, a sabbatical will have positive ripple effects throughout your life, for many years to come.

  • How long should you go for?

    As long as possible. Go out there and see as much as possible, seize the opportunity. Who knows what the future has in store? Make the most of it. That said, we have seen that sabbaticals average around 1 to 3 months.

  • Will it cost more to plan with a Tour Operator?

    Quite the opposite. We specialise in searching for the best rates and deals, leveraging our wide network to secure offers that are not available to the public. Our ideal sabbatical mixes some budget-stretching accommodations and activities with a touch of luxury and opportunities to give back to the people, places and conservation initiatives travellers visit.

    Best of all, you have back up. Whenever you have any challenges, your Luxury Travel Manager is available to assist with tips and insights to make even the bumpiest of African roads travel more smoothly.
    There is no additional charge for this planning, as we make our income through commissions, as per industry standards.

  • Should you volunteer?

    First off let’s clear up that “giving back” does not need to mean: “roughing it.” There are many high-end ways to support the wildlife and communities you explore on sabbatical. Timeless Africa Safaris only selects eco-minded lodges. This means your accommodation and park fees create employment and fund conservation.

    In some special initiatives, you will see the effects for yourself, like in Rwanda, where poachers are rehabilitated as guides and fierce protectors of the endangered Mountain Gorillas. In the Kruger Park you pass a crèche built by pledges made by Timeless Africa Safaris on behalf of former guests.

    If you want to be more hands-on, there are lots of options. You can work alongside a wildlife vet to help collar a lion, tag a rhino or track a cheetah. You can go into a township and participate in urban gardening for food security or lend a hand to building a school, library or community centre.

    Simply by being here you are uplifting local economies, creating employment, protecting wildlife and making an all-round difference.