The inaugural Chōsen South Africa Experience hosts attendees from some of the most urbanized locations in the world, from London and Hong Kong to Mumbai, Los Angeles and New York. Their collective goal: Self-optimization.For such an important personal journey, the right environment is everything. That’s why South Africa was selected for this particular experience. “The difference between the home cities of our clients and ‘the bush’ in South Africa could not be more marked,” says John Stanton, co-founder of Chōsen Experiences. “This ‘alien environment’ influence on the learning process is heightened in locations of great beauty like South Africa. Also, we believe that the further removed you are from your normal urban environment, the more impactful the environmental influence. All our Chōsen locations are selected based on their potential to support an emotional breakthrough during an Experience.”During the Chōsen Experiences South Africa program, attendees will participate in activities that are focused on functional fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and adventure challenges. They will also go on guided safari drives to see Africa’s “Big Five” – elephants, lions, Cape buffaloes, leopards and rhinoceroses – while connecting with the environment on a more meaningful level.Conservation is a key component of the Chōsen Experiences South Africa program, with conservation-themed activities a major part of the weeklong itinerary. It’s no surprise, then, that the Experience takes place at Founders Lodge by Mantis near Port Elizabeth in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Founders Lodge is the home base of the Mantis Group and its visionary conservation philosophy. John and his Chõsen Experiences co-founder Robin Connelley decided to work with Mantis, not only because it is an exceptional hospitality partner, but also because of the company’s strong conservation and education focus.Both John Stanton and Robin Connelley believe that conservation and self-optimization go hand-in-hand. “Like all Chõsen programs, this one combines both the Chõsen and the Mantis concepts and was designed to actively leverage the natural environment for increased learning impact,” John explains.A Chõsen alumnus is someone who decides to make themselves a priority and to live a life of learning, and therefore, improvement. This inherently ties in with conservation because our lifestyle decisions – from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to the way we choose to travel – have a greater impact on the world around us than we might think. When we understand exactly how these decisions affect the environment and wildlife, we become more informed, more conscious, more empathetic consumers who are in a better position to make a positive impact. At the same time, we are inspired to check our own values and see how we can continue to refine our habits and behaviors for both the short- and long-term health of the environment.When the Experience is over, attendees will have a better understanding of what it means to live a sustainable lifestyle. Curated activities, learning how to protect endangered animals like the South African rhinoceros, for example, will further shed light on the issue of conservation and demonstrate the impact of humans on the natural world.In addition to being a unique way to deliver the signature Chõsen philosophy, this Experience will leave attendees with a depth of information, practical skills and an awareness that they can apply to their lives when they return home.