General Retreat Information

General Retreat Information2018-06-21T15:54:12+00:00

General Retreat Information

Unless stated otherwise, retreats start at 6pm on the first day, and end at lunchtime (1pm) on the last. Please plan to arrive between 4pm and 6pm so that someone is on site to show you to your room. If you are already familiar with the Centre, you will find an accommodation plan on the noticeboard, and can settle in as soon as you arrive.

If you requested to car pool or offered a lift on the booking form, then TRC will send out an email a few days before the retreat to match you with someone coming from your area.

The pricing of retreats includes accommodation, bedding and towels, soap and three good quality ovo-lactarian vegetarian meals per day, including snacks and beverages. Please ensure that all final payments for the retreat have been made before you arrive, as we are a no-cash retreat centre. The only cash we accept is tips for the staff at the end of your retreat.

There is a pin in Google maps if you search for Tara Rokpa Centre (Click for map). From Johannesburg, please select the route via Swartruggens, if you want to take the 12km gravel route. Otherwise, you might be directed via the 60km gravel road (via Bokkraal). Make sure you cache the map on your phone, as you will go out of cellphone range before you arrive. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you print out the directions as a back up: Printable directions to TRC.

Please drive very slowly on the 12km gravel section as it is seldom graded. Rain regularly washes away the topsoil, and it is a slate area. We want to prevent the likelihood of punctures.

If you would like to visit for a personal retreat, or stay on for an extra night or two before or after your retreat, the pricing per room is below. Accommodation includes all meals and snacks:

  • Twin/double room with en suite bathroom (per person): R660
  • Twin/double room with shared bathroom (per person): R550
  • Single room with shared bathroom (only 3 available): R750
  • Single use of twin/double room (if space available): R770
  • Dormitory R440
  • Camping (own tent) R340
  • 30 days or more R250 per night
  • Self catering accommodation: R250 per person per night

TRC members receive 10% discount on all retreats. For membership options, please see the Membership webpage.

For family-friendly retreats, children under 3 years old are free and children under 10 years old are half price.

It is important to us that everyone who wants to attend teachings is able to. Please do not let your inability to pay prevent you from attending retreats. Contact the TRC office (tararokpacentre@gmail.com) for volunteer opportunities and potential discounts or payment plans.

There is no cell phone coverage at TRC, unless you climb to the top of Temple hill. The office phone at TRC is a satellite phone, and does not work during power cuts. You can give the number out as an emergency number for family: 014 503 8901, or in the case of an emergency, it is possible to email from/to TRC at tararokpacentre@gmail.com. Email is usually checked daily during retreats.

  • Three healthy vegetarian meals – around a staple of brown rice and vegetables and salads. If you have particular dietary needs, please bring your own supplies with you and complete your requests on the booking form – we will do our best to assist you;
  • Tea, coffee and assorted refreshments available morning to night in the dining area;
  • A small but diverse collection of books in the library, including many reference books on fauna and flora;
  • A little shop for emergency supplies and other fun things to buy;
  • Clean and healthy mineral borehole water (filtered by the rocks of the earth) for drinking, cooking and washing.
  • A swimming costume if you would like to swim;
  • A torch and extra batteries
  • A raincoat and/or umbrella for summer thunderstorms;
  • Mosquito repellent, although the area is malaria-free;
  • Sunscreen lotion;
  • A hat;
  • Socks and sturdy shoes for if you go on a walk.
Bring stretchy, comfortable clothes. It is a good idea to dress in layers that can be removed or added during the day and evenings, as there is a wide temperature range, particularly in winter. Light long sleeved tops or long pants are recommended in the evenings to minimise mosquito bites. Long trousers for walks in the bush will reduce the chance of scratches or tick bites. A jersey or light jacket will be needed.
The shop sells, besides emergency toiletries and basics, the following: Meraki herbal products, Shwe-shwe aprons, yoga mat bags etc, Postcards of Tara Rokpa Centre and its surroundings and scenic SA ones, Yoga clothing, Dharma cards, Green Tara texts and CDs, Dharma books, Mala beads, Kalachakra hangings, Shoulder bags from Zimbabwe and lots of excellent crafts from the Rokpa project in Harare, Kaftans, Local bottled produce, Books, Some needed practical items and much, much more!
There is electricity in all the houses on the property (Eskom permitting!). Our plug pins are round so you may need an international adaptor if your appliances have square plug pins.
For Buddhist dharma retreats, dana (a donation) will be accepted by the retreat leaders in appreciation of their teachings. A surcharge may also be added for international teachers in order to cover flight costs.

For other retreats and weekend events, an additional facilitator fee will be included in the cost of the retreat.

In order to support environmental sustainability at the Centre, TRC charges a voluntary Environmental Levy. This is based on the distance people travel to the Centre and their mode of transport.

  • Local car travel: R60 per person.
  • Regional/local flights: R375.
  • Long-haul flights: R875.
  • Transport Options

For bigger retreats and if numbers warrant it, TRC will arrange a shuttle between OR Tambo/Johannesburg and TRC on the day the retreat starts and on the day the retreat ends. The cost is usually around R500 per person one way, to be paid directly to TRC. TRC pays the transport company in advance in order to secure the booking for the shuttle. Flights should be booked to arrive at OR Tambo by no later than 11:30 and departures from 17:00 for local flights and 19:00 for international flights.

The Intercape bus leaves JHB Park Station daily at 12 noon and arrives at Groot Marico at 15.50, cost approx R300. Tickets can be bought online www.intercape.co.za
It is now possible to take the Gautrain from OR Tambo to Park Station (with a change at Sandton). (Cost approx R125).
TRC will do a pickup from the bus stop at Groot Marico, at a charge of R100 to cover petrol costs (R120 from Zeerust).
(Total cost for this option –trian/taxi, intercape bus/trc pickup – around R500 one way)

If not the Gautrain, then Sam Khumalo (trusty taxi driver) ‘s number is +27 (0) 73 106 2806. He has proven to be very reliable and trustworthy, and he keeps his fares as low as possible for us.