Specialist Trails

With Ian Read

Rites Of Passage & Personal Journey Trails

With over 20 years of experience in facilitating "Rites of Passage" and Leadership Development programs for youth and business leaders from across the globe in wilderness areas such as iMfolozi. Ian Read is one of the most experienced wilderness guides in South Africa. Taking people who are at a crossroads in life, people who want to grow as a person and as a leader into the wilderness for an intense nature retreat. Guaranteed to be a deep transformation towards purposeful living.


Personal & Leadership Development Programs 

Are you at a crossroads in your life, seeking new direction, vision and purpose? These trails are focused on finding a Deeper connection and understanding of yourself, your purpose and meaning as well as your connection to earth.

There are chapters in our lives and when we turn a page, for some it may be a new job or a personal crisis or a major life decision. These are cross roads in our lives and as humans we need time to disconnect and find our own new vision. This process is ancient and been followed by all the "old gurus & masters" .....taking time out, wandering and coming back with new enlightenment.

This process is what our culture has lost. We’re starving for the sacred and need to honor the changes in life. These changes are often seen as negative things rather than the positive opportunities that they are. Taking time out to reconnect is an age old ritual which Ian facilitates in his own unobtrusive, caring way, using signals from nature as a mirror to reflect back at you.  

Rites Of Passage Trails 

Across cultures for time immemorial young people have always been through some sort of ritual to mark the transition between childhood and adulthood. 

There are five times in one's life that are often considered to be the most significant times of change. They are: birth, leaving childhood and becoming young adult, leaving home, weddings, and death/funerals. To recognize these significant times in our lives, societies typically hold elaborate ceremonies. The transition to adulthood is a critical time in the life of a young person and celebrating this is something our modern day western cultures have largely lost.

A Rites of Passage Trail with Ian is aimed at youth from the ages of 16-22 and focuses in on helping young people discover their authentic self. Gain a sense of independence, confidence, vision and develop powerful ideas that can create positive changes in homes, workplaces and social settings. 


Trail Benefits


Ian takes our usual wilderness experience to a special level with his years of experience facilitating Rites of Passage for young people and personal and leadership development for adults. Trails with Ian include pre and post trail workshop sessions as well as pre and post trail Skype support. 

  • Chance to destress and reconnect with who you really are
  • Amazing bonding, team building and relationship building
  • A Digital Detox, no cell phones, social media
  • Detox - healthy food, no alcohol or artificial stimulants, exercise and personal space
  • Tranquility - solitude and meditation. Stimulates flow of creative thinking
  • Different stimulus of adrenalin and responsibility in looking after and working with peers
  • Test personal boundaries and comfort zones
  • Learn new skills- flora, fauna, bush craft, astronomy, ecology, tracking
  • Become ambassadors for a cause - protection of wilderness areas, anti- mining and anti-poaching lobbyists,
  • Rewild yourself and develop a language of wilderness and wild spaces
  • Explore the spirituality of wilderness
  • Wilderness immersion has a significant psychological healing properties
  • No hierarchical pressure
  • Leadership quality development
  • Provides neutral space in which to explore personal issues and group dynamics
Logistics & FAQ

The Wilderness Leadership School Trails are all inclusive, meaning you do not need to worry about anything! Our trails include transport from Durban (or the nearest airport) and all your trail equipment. You just have to get yourself here.

Q: Special Dietary Requirements & Allergies?

A: Our guides are master cooks and we have catered for all sorts of allergies and special dietary requirements. Just let us know prior to trail if you have any special requirements and we will get it arranged for you.

Q: How many people can go on a trail?

A: Each trail accommodates between six and eight trailists. 

Q: Are the trails guided and safe?

A: Two experienced, armed guides lead each trail. These guides are highly trained and in over 60 years we have never had a trailist hurt by an animal.

Q: Where do we sleep?

A: You set up camp in an area chosen by your guide and sleep under the stars, a once in a lifetime experience in its own right. Each trailist is expected to also stand night-watch and guard the fire while others sleep.

Q: How fit do I need to be to do a trail?

A: You do not need to be especially fit, provided you are over 15, healthy and can carry a rucksack and manage a few kilometers walking each day you should be fine. The duration of the daily walks are customized for your comfort. A trail is NOT an endurance test, in fact, it's rather relaxing!

Q: Is there cell phone reception on trail?

A: No sophistication (including cellphone, watches, music or liquor) is allowed on trail. Trust us, you’ll love the experience of being away from that for a few days anyway.

Q: Is this a malaria area?

A: Although we do recommend mosquito repellent, our trail venues are not malaria risk areas, with the exception of Okavango Trails in Botswana

Dates & Costs

Trails with Ian, Rites Of Passage & Personal Development Trails are all 7 days. A day on each side of the five day trail is spent in workshop sessions preparing for the wilderness experience and a period post trail debriefing and reconnecting. 

Dates & Costs: 

Personal development & leadership trail: 26 August -1 September 2019

(ZAR 22 000 | 20% discount applies to South African Residents) 

Rites of Passage: 4-10 January 2020

Custom dates can be arranged for groups of six or more people. 

(ZAR 18 500 | 20% discount applies to South African residents) 

What Is Included


  • Personal attention: trails limited to eight people
  • All camping equipment including ground sheets, foam mattress, sleeping bags and rucksacks, cooking utensils, eating utensils, toilet-paper, spade, water containers.
  • Food - three meals a day. Seriously good food!
  • Transport from a designated meeting place to the wilderness area. 
  • trail fees cover all gate fees, overnight fees etc... so no hidden costs
  • Two nights accommodation (pre and post trail) 
  • Ian Read specialist guides fees as well as ongoing Skype or telephonic support pre and post trail. 

You just need to bring your clothes and items of a personal nature, we will provide you with a detailed suggested packing list prior to your trail departure.

Wilderness Leadership School Trust

90 Coedmore Ave
Yellowwood Park, Durban
South Africa
+ 27 (0) 31 462 8642 / +27 (0) 832 255960

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