Wonder-full nature guiding
Personalised nature adventures for groups and individuals of all ages in a wide range of natural environments. Since 1989 I have been helping people experience the wonder and beauty of nature.
Intentionally therapeutic guided experiences to help you find the healing power of nature. Everyone benefits from this kind of transformative time in nature, especially those recovering from trauma and experiencing stress.
Strong Heart retreats
Long or short nature-based experiences to help you find direction and clarity on life’s journey. We include time for silence and reflection, and opportunities to talk when needed.
All people, of any or no religion, are welcome on our retreats.
In many spiritual traditions, men find enlightenment outside the city, in the wilderness.
Where we work
Retreats require an intentional withdrawal from busy work and life routines.
Some places we work
Cumberland Nature Reserve
Karkloof forests and private nature reserves
Pietermaritzburg Botanical Garden
Durban Botanical Gardens
Makaranga garden lodge
Hilton College private nature reserve
Umgeni Valley nature reserve
Any other natural areas which have the right sense of place.
My name is John Roff. I’m married to Jo, we have 4 children, and live in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Since 1989 I have been a nature guide and environmental educator, sharing the beauty and wonder of the natural world with thousands of people.
We are Christians, finding meaning and hope in a strong-hearted, playful and welcoming Creator. Please note that all people, of any or no religion, are welcome on our retreats.
‘Finding meaning, beauty, and strength in nature is something that has become second nature to me, thanks to many a walk in the bush with John. As a result, a 5-minute walk in a garden is all it takes to get me back on track when I’m feeling overwhelmed.’
More about John:
As a boy growing up in rural Zimbabwe, I was always happiest outdoors, exploring and learning as much about the bush as I could. That led to a career in nature guiding and environmental education, and I have been privileged to share hundreds of natural places with thousands of people in the last 30 years.
During this time, I have seen a man weep from simply being in open grassland, I have seen a woman overcome fear through encountering a snake in a forest, I have seen children and adults discover who they are through exploring wild places, and I have seen many, many people changed and healed through experiences in nature.
I am a person of faith. I follow Jesus Christ and have found freedom, hope, direction, and purpose in this deepening relationship and mystery. I have an ecumenical church background and have experienced depth, richness, and insight through many church denominations and expressions.
I am a published poet, musician, craftsman, educator, and life-long learner.
I am a qualified and registered Nature Guide for KwaZulu-Natal.
My continually expanding range of interests includes exploration, knives, jewellery-making, poetry, playing a range of musical instruments, writing (especially with fountain pens), good tea and coffee, spiders (I have described 2 new species), insects, orchids, bushveld, trees, forests, and geology.
Striving and falling. Trying and failing. All these have been part of my journey. I’ve found that a fulfilling life is less about striving for perfection, and more about living authentically. I’m able to do that much better when I’m outdoors. I hope you’ll join me.
John Roff 083 6622306
We live in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.