A Photography Retreat

  • Bodhi Khaya Retreat Bodhi Khaya Retreat
  • Bodhi Khaya Retreat, Grootbos Road, Baviaansfonteyn, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Jul 18 - 21, 2019 (4 days)
  • R 4,800.00 - Program Price

About This Event

A Photography Retreat with South African Photographer Gary Van Wyk. 

Engaging in the world of photography for four days through talking cameras, sharing work, studying the masters and of course – taking pictures. Heading out in a group to document the fishing town of Gansbaai, photographing community life and nature on the farm and time to edit your photographs of the day and relax and/or have a one-on-one session with Gary. The evenings are for show and tell – where everyone has the opportunity to show their best shots of the day and receive feedback from the group.

Interactive discussions, accompanied by slideshows of Gary’s work, will focus on:

Lighting & Equipment

Portraiture & Documentary Photography

The Masters of Photography to be studied & discussed include:

William Eggleston

Joseph Kodelka

Ernest Cole

Mary Ellen Mark

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Larry Towell

David Goldblatt

Diane Arbus

Comfortable rooms & indoor fireplaces in the Bodhi Khaya Farmhouse will allow for an intimate retreat that feels like a chilled time away with photographer friends. The all-inclusive retreat price includes lodging (shared), 3 vegetarian meals per day and refreshments. Space for 13 people.

Retreat Schedule

Thursday 18 July

2 – 5 pm           Arrival at Bodhi Khaya

6pm                  Dinner

7 – 9.30pm     Introduction, lighting & equipment (interactive discussion)

Friday 19 July

6.30 – 8am    Early morning shooting & Mindful work on the land

8am                 Breakfast

9 – 11am         Portraiture & Documentary Photography (interactive discussion)

11 – 1pm         Free time / Editing time / One-on-ones

1pm                 Lunch

2 – 4pm          Free time / Editing time / One-on-ones

4 – 6pm          Taking photos in Gansbaai

6pm                 Dinner

7pm                 Slideshows & Critique

Saturday 20 July

6.30 – 8am     Early morning shooting & Mindful work on the land

8am                  Breakfast

9 – 11am          Masters of Photography (interactive discussion)

11 – 1pm          Free time / Editing time / One-on-ones

1pm                  Lunch

2 – 4pm          Free time / Editing time / One-on-ones

4 – 6pm          Taking photos in Gansbaai

6pm                 Dinner

7pm                 Slideshow & Critique

Sunday 21 July

7 – 8am           Walk & talk

8am                  Breakfast

9 – 1pm            Free time / One-on-ones

1pm                   Lunch

3pm                  Check-out


Bodhi Khaya is pure magic. A place of deep healing and introspection. Truly a place for renewal. ~ Tanya Hagen, guest & facilitator


Venue Highlights

It is the land that provides the sanctuary, the air the clarity, the water the healing. Our faculty, programs and community provide the support and security for your unfolding.

The land sustains us naturally. The water here is pure and unfiltered. We operate a bio-digester and biomass generator to recycle waste and supply all our energy. The vegetable garden and wilderness provide abundant nourishment. We are committed to all beings and their future generations.

Living, working and connecting with the land, these are the people who hold the space whilst you explore your surrounds and inner landscape. You will experience a coming home to community and nature, of which we are all a part.


After a good day of deep transformative work there is nothing like being held in a cosy, comfortable room for one's journey through the night world. Our beds and linens and spaces exemplify a simple zen aesthetic and our commitment to service. Bodhi Khaya has 5 different styles of lodging , each unique and satisfying particular needs. We believe the spiritual sanctuary of Bodhi Khaya can be accessible to everyone, we have therefore valued all our beds equally.

Around a central courtyard, we have 14 beautiful, monastery style single rooms. The first six rooms, in the front section of the Cloister, share two showers and two toilets. Each room contains a bed, small cupboard space to hang clothes and side table. These rooms lead into an open plan living space that looks out across the gardens and labyrinth. The eight rooms at the back (rooms 7 – 14), each has a bed, side table, cupboard and a basin. These rooms share 3 showers and 3 toilets and a treatment room for soaking baths.

The courtyard rooms are new and modern, and are conveniently situated close to both the Meditation Hall and the main Dining Room. Each room is a twin, with an en suite bathroom. We have named them after the beautiful flowers growing in the garden: Orchid, Poppy, Fern, Wild Olive, Morning Glory, Rose, and Honeysuckle.

Also on the Courtyard, is Garden Room (usually reserved for teachers), a luxurious double room, with a king-size bed, a Victorian bath and open plan bathroom. This beautifully restored building used to be the old dairy and has high ceilings with rustic wooden rafters and a working fireplace.

Aloe Dorm, with 5 single beds, has its own fireplace, en suite bathroom with two showers and a separate entrance leading to the lush garden.

Being under the stars, on the earth, and in a location you have found most inviting, can only be experienced by camping. We have a number of locations where we encourage your interface with the wilderness abounding Bodhi Khaya. Join a retreat, or design your own family or personal retreat. Bring your sleeping, tenting and cooking gear and set yourself up in the mountains. Showers and ablution facilities are available.


  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


Our food is imbued with love and prayer by our mindful kitchen crew. We believe food is central to health and well being. Our organic garden gifts our vegetarian menu delicious, fresh veggies every day. Wherever necessary, we supplement with the finest quality ingredients from local purveyors. We adapt our menu according to source and seasonality and are happy to accommodate a variety of dietary needs. Important to note and often overlooked, the water here (an essential ingredient in food growing and preparation) is alive, fresh, clean and very, very tasty and comes from our own mountain spring.


We are 2.5 hours from Cape Town by car and are able to organise a private shuttle service if need be.


From either the City, or the Airport, take the N2 towards Somerset West / George. Continue on the N2. After Grabouw, at Bot Rivier, turn off the N2 onto the R43 towards Hermanus.

Continue on the R43, through Hermanus and follow signs towards Stanford. Continue past Stanford (for 13 km), and then turn left onto the road signed for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Follow this road (which becomes a dirt road) for 3.5 km until you see the sign for Bodhi Khaya.


From either the City, or the Airport, take the N2 towards Somerset West / George. Continue on the N2 until Caledon. At Caledon Take the R316 towards Bredasdorp.

After 26km, turn right onto the R326 towards Stanford. At Stanford, turn left onto the R43 towards Gansbaai. After 13 km, turn left onto the road signed for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Follow this road (which becomes a dirt road) for 3.5 km until you see the sign for Bodhi Khaya.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE (in case of wet whether/car concerns)

Instead of turning at the Grootbos sign continue straight to Gansbaai (6.9km). Go through town and back onto the R43 for 7km. Turn left to Elim/Baardskeerdesbos.

Continue on the Elim road for another 7km and take the first left turn at the De Uijlenes sign onto the gravel road. Follow the road for 2.7km and turn right at the sign to Bodhi Khaya.

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

Relax & deepen my yoga practice! Kristin

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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