Executive Insights

American execs are paying R27,000 a day to learn how to track lions – and to become better at business – in Mpumalanga

Business Insider SA
A Track Your Life group. (Londolozi)
  • US and UK executives are paying up to $10,000 (R135,000) for a five-day men's retreat in the Londolozi game reserve near the Kruger National Park.
  • Presented by conservationist Boyd Varty, the course teaches participants to track wild animals, while also promising to give them personal tools to change their lives. 
  • An American CEO raved about the experience on Twitter last week. 

Last month, a prominent American CEO of a $6 billion asset manager learned to track wild animals in the South African bush.

Patrick O’Shaughnessy, who heads the Connecticut-based firm OSAM, says it changed the way he views risk, and shared the experience with his 50,000 followers:

O’Shaugnessy had been part of a “men’s retreat”, lead by the conservationist Boyd Varty.

Varty’s Track Your Life course costs up to $10,000 (R135,000) and promises to give participants “effective strategies for your life and livelihood” while enjoying “a community of like-minded men to support you on that journey”.

Participants spend five days tracking lions, leopards and rhino in the Londolozi game reserve – “the coolest place on earth”, according to O’Shaugnessy – near the Kruger National Park. They also get private coaching sessions from Varty during that time.

Boyd Varty (Londolozi)

In promotional material for the course, it promises that participants “will return home from this retreat with a reawakened sense of your own wildness, taking with you the tools of a tracker”. This includes, using “your body’s signals as a compass to navigate the uncertain terrain of your life” and deciphering “increasingly subtle signals from yourself and from the environment, allowing you to make faster and finer course corrections along the way”, resulting in the ability to "create what you want in the world".

Track Your Life, Londolozi Game Reserve

Bronwyn Varty, a director at Londolozi and Boyd’s sister, told Business Insider that the retreats have grown through word of mouth over the past three years, and are especially popular among US and UK executives. A number of South African CEOs and managing directors have also participated.

Women-only and mixed-gender courses are on offer as well.


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