Retreat for men – Being a free man

Coach Erik Spaans from the Netherlands takes you on an adventurous ‘inner’ journey to that source from which your beautiful, free potential as a human and man naturally emerges: wisdom; love, authentic leadership, vulnerability, integrity, passion, trust, and camaraderie that arise from a deeper relaxation.

Are you willing to challenge and empower yourself and each other together with Erik, being curious, open, and vulnerable? And how strong is your desire to peel off your roles and masks to become and be the free person you truly are by nature?

“True freedom is not found by escaping the present moment, but by fearlessly diving into its hidden depths. Perhaps there, we find all the peace, love, and acceptance that we have always sought ‘out there.’

Jeff Foster

Review: Wild thing Tanzania

Ron Maas participated in September 2023 and expresses his experience with the men’s retreat with Erik Spaans as follows:

“The journey and the local people showed me that with openness in connecting in the present, and with wisdom in the moment, life is wonderfully relative and a divine comedy. The land, the people, the scent, the color, the sound of Africa, and specifically ‘wild thing’ Tanzania brought me closer to the source of peace within me.”

Truly coming home

Where can a man be more challenged than in Africa? To confront your fears, be tickled by your desires, give them space, and relax in them, and connect with your unique journey towards Being Free on Earth.

During this men’s retreat, you will walk an ancient Maasai path for 6 days through the magical, wild nature of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands in Tanzania. You are invited to take an irreversible step on the road back to inner freedom.

“I have felt a connection with life on all conceivable levels in Tanzania, as well as with the consciousness that we are. It is almost impossible not to be in the here and now and to flow along with what is present in the moment.”

Erik Spaans

The nature in Ngorongoro is breathtaking. In these circumstances, through rituals, meditations, nature exercises, and sharings, you will be brought into contact with the unique man you essentially are. By connecting your rediscovered life force with your vulnerability, a strong sense of connection with your brothers emerges.

“Freedom is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than how you think it should be.”

Wayne Dwyer”

Men Retreat Tanzania

Optional: Serengeti extension

After completing the men’s retreat, you will return to civilisation.

Leaving Tanzania without visiting a game park is actually unthinkable, which is why we offer the option to extend your safari with a three-day visit to the world’s most famous park, Serengeti.

Serengeti is famous for being the ideal landscape (endless steppes) to spot lots of animals in their natural habitat. Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” principle is shown to you in the open here. It mirrors many basic principles of our own mind.

If you extend, you will go from Lake Natron to the Serengeti on day 14 instead of the airport. So your trip is extended by two days but your visit to Serengeti includes three days.

✓ Affiliated with the Association of Small-scale Travel Organizations (VvKR)

✓ Recommended by Lonely Planet

✓ Distinguished as “Best East African Meditation Travel Company” by the Benelux Enterprise Award

✓ Professional coaches who will take you on an inspiring journey within

Ngorongoro Tanzania

This offer is covered by the STO Garant guarantee. You can find the conditions for this guarantee scheme on STO Garant’s website

About Erik Spaans – being a free man

Erik: “Are we as men able to really listen to each other, support, challenge, have fun and dance, but also be sharp and clear to each other, challenge for growth, and authentic strength?

Are we willing to examine our own perspective on truth and take adult responsibility for what shows up next?”

Other men about Erik Spaans: “Erik is very committed to men’s work in the Netherlands. Someone who wants to use his talents to make the world a more beautiful place by bringing men closer to their essence in connection with each other. With his dedication, creative power and entrepreneurship, he organises many wonderful activities and new ideas, such as the Men’s Initiation, the Lotus Fire Sweat Lodge Ceremony (for men and women alike) a Men’s Festival of his own, and what’s special is to have men contribute on the basis of their own donation.”

“Erik is a man with a big, loving heart, honest and opinionated. And he can be a great mirror if, like me, you struggle with authority. Because to me, Erik is both open, vulnerable, loving, but he can also be brief and straightforward. A (bege)leader who likes to be in control and yet creates an atmosphere of openness to other perspectives”.

Erik Spaans

Travel Schedule Men Retreat Ngorongoro Tanzania

Day 1 Men Retreat

being a free man travel

You will arrive this men’s retreat in the evening at Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania. You will be picked up by Mindful Adventure and taken to a beautiful camping spot on Mount Meru. On arrival, you will be welcomed by our safari chef with food and the tents will be ready.

During your trip, you will also go on a 6-day trekking trip. A trekking is an exhausting trip. Every day you walk a distance of about 15 to 17 km. Sometimes through flat areas, sometimes you walk steadily uphill, sometimes up and down hills. Make sure you are in average to good shape.

“Enjoy the ride”

Day 2 Men Retreat

Mount Meru planting treesFor this afternoon, you will need enough fuel to complete your first collective task of planting trees in Tanzania. We are proud to have permission to refurbish damaged areas in this authentic nature reserve. Meanwhile, a nice forest of Mindful Adventure and Soul Quest and now Being a Free Man is already starting to emerge.

This day is all about landing, getting to know Tanzania, your guides and each other. You can think of yourself as a guest donating trees to your host Tanzania and in fact for the whole world because we need lots of new trees to tackle climate change. Moreover, by planting on Mount Meru, the problem of cutting trees is not moved to another area. There was never any felling there. Furthermore, with the right coordinates, you can track the growth of your own trees.

Afterwards, the guide will take you for a walk to Mount Meru’s waterfall for a cooling shower. Take a moment to marvel at the beautiful flora and fauna around the waterfall.

Day 3 Men Retreat

Today you will depart for Lake Eyasi after the morning programme. You will be welcomed here later in the afternoon at Campsite Datoga by our guide Gitew. Campsite Datoga can be called a desolate place in the middle of nowhere, or the old bush of Africa.

It is home to three “tribes”: Hadzabe, Datoga and Black Smith. The Black Smith men have a primitive but professionally run forge, where they forge mainly jewellery but also arrowheads for the Hadzabe tribe.

The Hadzabe bushmen are one of the last tribes in the world to live off and in nature and will take you on a small game hunting trip. You are bound to feel like the hero in an Eagle’s Eye comic book. Datoga will guide you during your first two days of hiking in southern Ngorongoro.

Blacksmith Forge Tanzania

Day 4 Men Retreat

You will first visit the traditional Black Smith tribe, who will show you the universal and ancient craft of iron forging (fire element). Then you will meet the Datoga tribe. Characteristic of this tribe is its polygamous lifestyle. A good time to reflect on male sexuality, for instance. Try to have a sharing. There are still many polygamous tribes in Africa. The rest of the day also has room for a nice men’s programme.

In the late afternoon, I hope you will take a short walk to Lake Eyasi and experience a beautiful sunset.

Hadzabe Hunter

Day 5 Men Retreat

Early in the morning, you will be picked up by Gitew. He will take you to a large Baobab tree where the Hadzabe men and women gather. After a leisurely introduction, you will be allowed to practice making fire using their traditional firebow and receive shooting lessons using their homemade bows and arrows.

Then you will be taken on a hunt for small game. In a sort of eagle-eyed adventure, you will occasionally have to run hard to keep up with the Hadzabe. You will jump over streams, scrape at bushes and climb over rocks. Have fun.

Continuation Day 5 Men Retreat

In the afternoon, you will return together to Datoga base camp. After your return to the Datoga campsite, there will be time to chill and share and integrate your experiences and new insights with each other.

Day 6 Men Retreat

This walking day starts at the small “Gate Endamaghay” in southern Ngorongoro. Here you will meet the Datoga guide and his donkeys. The donkeys will carry the luggage and kitchen utensils for one night for you. You will walk through a rugged area with beautiful views. The walk is about 6 hours to bushcamp Mti Moja. This is where you will spend the night.

Day 7 Men Retreat

Your second hiking day means another distance of 6-7 hours. After a beautiful trek through the extraordinary landscape, you will be picked up by Rama at the road towards Ngorongoro Crater.

He will take you to Campsite Olmoti in the middle/north of Ngorongoro. Olmoti is a bushcamp near a Masai town and named after the small crater on which the town lies. There you can rest from the trekking you have done and enjoy an evening programme undisturbed.

Day 8 Men Retreat

In the morning, you will meet your Maasai guide and donkey caretakers and set off on foot to Bulati. Bulati is an authentic Maasai boma beautifully situated in the sheltered bowl of a mountain range. There you can visit a local school and a traditional boma if you wish.

You will spend the night here in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The advice is to get up early (6.25 am), drink water and sit unwashed overlooking the boma to witness one of the oldest rituals in the world, the awakening of a Maasai village. The light in the evening and morning is often mesmerising. Bulati is the coldest place in your safari. A fire is made to warm you up.

Walk the Rhythm of the Earth

Day 9 Men Retreat

The fourth hiking day will go from Bulati to Empakai Crater. It is about 3.5 hours of walking over 9 hills. After arriving at the crater, there will be time to rest and have lunch, after which we recommend you walk down the tropical rainforest path to the crater and take advantage of that environment below for a nice inner journey. You’ll often be kept company by flamingos, baboons, bushbocks and other gazelles.

At night, you camp on the crater rim in the wild. There are leopards in the area, sometimes lions and definitely water buffalo.

Spiritual travel

Day 10 Men Retreat

It is a 4-hour walk to Akesha Campsite near the Maasai village of Nayobi, where extra water and food will be purchased. You can also get soft drinks here and enjoy the view.

We buy a goat at the market, which will be slaughtered and roasted by a large fire the same evening under the guidance of experienced Maasai men. After the communal meal, we share intense experiences by the fire. In the evening, you will sleep under the acacia trees in the wild for the last time.

Day 11 Men Retreat

Your last hiking day to Lake Natron has arrived. Leave early in the morning because of the heat you will experience down in the valley. Wear a hat or cap. Your walk will run along a beautiful stretch of Great Rift Valley, the rift that runs through Africa. Count on 5 hours.

Down by the river, you will be picked up by jeep and taken to a fine campsite (Lengai Lodge), in the middle of the desert. There, if you like, you can enjoy a cold beer. There is a swimming pool with natural water from the waterfall, in which you can cool down.

Men Retreat

Day 12 Men Retreat

In the morning, hundreds of flamingos await you in alkaline Lake Natron to distract your attention from the particularly beautiful scenery with their snoring sounds and characteristic movements. You may encounter giraffes or even camels along the way.

It’s nice to take the playful and joyful scramble to Lake Natron’s romantic waterfall that afternoon. It might just awaken the playful child in you. Enjoy!

This afternoon/evening you complete the men’s programme and this safari.

Day 13 and 14: The group splits

Inevitably, camp is dismantled this morning. Friendly assistants from Lengai Lodge show up and help Rama and Proches break down and pack up.

For the men not going to Serengeti, this is the day they return to civilisation. We will drop you and your coach at a fantastic campsite in Mto Wa Mbu with a luxurious pool, giant baobab, cosy bar, campfire, good facilities to shake the dust off your clothes and integrate all the experiences.

Tomorrow you return to Arusha, to return home via Kilimanjaro airport.

Serengeti Lion

Day 14-16 Serengeti extension

The men who have extended two days to go to Serengeti for three days say goodbye on day 13 and trek from Lake Natron to the north of the Serengeti. After passing through the gate, the tracking for wildlife begins until they arrive at Lobo campsite.

There are no fences around a campsite in the Serengeti. That’s just how cool it is. That way, suddenly, in the moonlight, a zebra may be grazing next to your tent.

On day 15, the men leave Serengeti and are taken back to civilisation to integrate all their experiences at the same campsite in the evening.

On day 16, they return to Arusha to fly back home.

Eagle Ngorongoro

Costs of this travel

The costs for this travel are € 3.695 per person

Included:

  • daily coaching program personal leadership
  • all park and walking fees
  • all camping and hotel costs in Tanzania
  • full camping equipment
  • all meals, water, tea, coffee and fruit juices
  • all transport costs per Toyota Landcruiser, donkeys
  • all activities and extra guides

Not included:

  • your flight to Tanzania
  • your visum for Tanzania ($ 50,-)
  • tips
  • an extra meal after arriving with your flight in Arusha
  • alcoholic and soft drinks
  • optional bike excursion in Mto Wa mbu

Serengeti extension (3 days)

€ 989 per person from 2 men

Includes:

  • entrance to the park
  • two nights’ accommodation in Serengeti
  • all meals
  • transport by land cruiser

Excludes:

  • alcoholic and soft drinks
  • tips

Dates of this travel

✔ Friday June 21 – Thursday July 4, 2024, Optional: Serengeti extension: your safari ends July 6, 2024. 

Do you have a question about this trip? Ask it here!