Walking, resting, being: a weekend retreat

Friday 17 May (6pm) – Sunday 19 May (2pm) 


This weekend is an opportunity to rest and connect with yourself and nature, in silence. We will offer two guided walks to immerse in nature and find rest in movement. We also offer morning and evening meditation, wholesome vegetarian meals and time to indulge in your own practise/pleasure.

We will hold gentle joyful silence from Friday night until before lunch on Sunday

This retreat will be guided by Maia Marie and Niel van Zyl, co-founders of lalela. a a place of listening and besties. See more here: http://lalela.place/about/



R1300 per person in a single room  or R1100 per person in a sharing room. This includes 2 nights accommodation and all meals.

*If you are keen to join the retreat but this is beyond your means, we do offer discounts and accept other kinds contributions in the form of work, stuff, or a combination of things. 

PlayPlay Retreat 

Monday 17 June 12pm – Thursday 20 June 12pm 


Lalela and PlayPlay will be hosting a 3 day child-led, nature play retreat for 7-12 year-olds over the June school holidays, providing a homely, chilled-out space for unplugging, exploring, playing, learning and making new friends in the beautiful surroundings of the Magaliesberg. The retreat will be facilitated by Maia Marie, Ntsiki Anderson and Bonolo Ratshidi.

We provide a fun, relaxed break, with lots of self-directed play, down-time and walking and exploration around Lalela’s beautiful property. We do not plan structured, adult-led activities, PlayPlay’s ethos is to provide the space, resources and support for imaginative and creative play to flourish. We also see the value in having pockets of time to do ‘nothing’ but simply be and connect with nature, for it is in these quiet spaces of self-reflection that ideas and creativity emerge and our bodies and souls are renewed.

We collectively plan the day over breakfast and see how the day unfolds. A wide range of play and art materials will be on offer for group or individual play, as well as a small library. Toys and books can be brought from home but the retreat is designed as a screen-free break. Evenings may include movies on the projector, shadow puppet shows, story-telling, listening to music, dancing and chilling around the fire. The only compulsory activities are helping with cooking or washing up and keeping the living spaces tidy.

We understand that being away from home in unfamiliar surroundings can be daunting for both children and parents. The retreat facilitators have extensive experience being with young people in educational and therapeutic settings as well as with their own families. We provide a caring, supportive, non-judgmental environment and are on hand to discuss any concerns before and throughout the retreat. Children may bring phones to communicate with home and staff will keep these safe and they can be accessed whenever needed.

Self-selected activities- 
arts and crafts (drawing, painting, junk modelling, clay etc), free play with PlayPlay’s exciting ‘loose parts’ pop-up + play kit, den building, reading, creative writing, music, dance, yoga, hiking, gardening, swimming in the pool/river (weather permitting!), building a mud kitchen, cooking on the fire, movie nights, shadow puppet shows

We will allocate beds according to ages and gender with 4 children per staff member.
We will have a fire in the communal area at night or be outside around the camp fire.
Extra blankets and hot water bottles will be provided, as it is a mid-winter retreat please ensure lots of warm clothes are packed.

We serve 3 delicious vegetarian meals (dairy & eggs incl). Water, fruit and snacks will be available throughout the day. All dietary requirements and allergies can be accommodated, just let us know well in advance.

The retreat is for 12 children between the ages of 7-12 years

The cost for 3 days/nights is R1500, this includes all food and accommodation. Transport is not included, see above.
In the spirit of the gift, we try to keep this work as accessible as possible. We need a minimum of 10 bookings to go ahead with the retreat so please spread the word at your child’s school/network.

We require a 50% deposit on booking and full payment by: 1 June 2019

For further info and bookings please email: hello@play-play.org

‘Your one wild and precious life’: a visioning retreat

Friday 28 June 2019 (6pm) – Monday 1 July 2019 (2pm)

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver


with Mbali Marais and Maia Marie 

We all carry dreams in our bones. This 3 day retreat, in the Magaliesberg mountain region, is a journey into remembering, re-visioning and re-imagining those dreams so we can live more fully through them.

We will begin by creating a space of holding to excavate the stories that have kept us stuck and on automatic – stories that have been passed down ancestrally and those that have been nurtured in this life.

Going into deeper territory and being held by stunning natural surroundings, we will immerse ourselves in gentle practices to reconnect to the thread of our own story, the diamond in the rough and uncover the gifts within us, that we long to share with our communities.

Lastly we’ll integrate these visions into the present, so that we may follow this thread as we bring our dreams into how we live our new story and re-imagine our relationship to our world.

You will be guided in this journey through a range of holding practices: Rituals in nature; Guided Meditation; Poetry and storytelling; Writing; Artwork: Sculpture; Vision boarding; Circle sharing; Nature immersion; Restorative yoga (optional)


About the facilitators:

Mbali Marais

Mbali is a global medicine woman and wisdom keeper, a voice for and awakener of the ancestors.

Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Mbali is a descendant of the Khoi Khoi peoples and the Amaghebe, Xhosa clan. Her ancestors are also French Huguenots, Bushmen, Dutch and Portuguese.

At three years old she was taken by her parents to live in London and in 1998 she moved to the USA. She is an initiated stick diviner in the Dagara tradition and worked with Dr. Malidoma Some from West Africa, who is a brilliant transmitter of African cosmology in the west. She is an also initiated an Igqira in the South African Xhosa tradition. Other teachers include, the late Dr Angeles Arrien, cross cultural anthropologist, and Michael Meade, mythologist and storyteller.

For the last 15 years Mbali has facilitated workshops, retreats, and deep nature quests that draw from ancient African practices. She has also spoken and taught internationally on holistic health and indigenous medicine. She is a writer, sacred journey, ritual and ceremony leader. Read more about Mbali on her website: ourdivinemedicine.com


Maia Marie

Maia is a co-founder of lalela. a place of listening and guides its retreat programme. Her spiritual practice is as diverse as her identity, including meditation, writing, yoga, breathwork and being in nature. All these practices are vehicles for listening – to her body, spirit, ancestors and nature so that she can practice living with an open heart in her daily life.

Maia has worked with people in a variety of ways and contexts, in schools, NGOs and on retreats, through storytelling, writing and self expression to bring about connection to the Wild in ourselves and our environment. Her basic aim is to create spaces of holding, gentleness and kindness where we can all just be ourselves. Lalela is a living dream for her – beautiful and challenging.


Your contribution

R2997. This includes: 3 nights accommodation in a shared room and all meals, tea, coffee, snacks; a teaching fee and contribution towards the travel of the teacher.

We have one discounted space available for this retreat. Please get in touch if you would like to attend and this is beyond your means.

Writers’ self-retreat period

Thursday 25 July (6pm) – Sunday 28 July 2019 (2pm) 


We invite writers as well as others who would like to use the space for their own quiet practice.There’ll be no guided writing practice, rather we offer a space to facilitate creativity through:

– 3 vegetarian meals a day

– morning and evening meditation sessions

– guided walks

– silence from after dinner until after breakfast

Amidst the wild silence, lalela offers the perfect environment for resting, settling and getting deeper into your work.



R1860 per person in a single room (R620 a night) or R1560 per person in a sharing room (R520 a night). This includes 3 nights accommodation and all meals. Although the retreat starts Thursday, we also welcome guests who would like to arrive on Friday and pay for one night less. 

*If you are keen to join the retreat but this is beyond your means, we do offer discounts and accept other kinds contributions in the form of work, stuff, or a combination of things.