The wildlife and literacy activist Boyd Varty, author of the memoir Cathedral of the Wild, had an unconventional upbringing. Born to a family of conservationists, Boyd grew up on Londolozi Game Reserve in the South African wilderness, a place where man and nature strive for balance, where perils exist alongside wonders. Founded more than 90 years ago as a hunting ground, Londolozi was transformed into a nature reserve beginning in 1973 by Varty’s father and uncle, visionaries of the restoration movement. But it wasn’t just a sanctuary for the animals; it was also a place for ravaged land to flourish again and for the human spirit to be restored. When Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment, he came to the reserve to recover.
Since childhood, Boyd shared his home with lions, leopards, snakes, and elephants and has spent his life in apprenticeship to the wisdom of nature. Boyd survived a harrowing black mamba encounter, a debilitating bout with malaria, even a vicious crocodile attack, but his biggest challenge was a personal crisis of purpose. As a university student, he studied psychology and ecology, supplementing his education by learning martial arts in Thailand, hiking through the jungles of the Amazon, and apprenticing to a renowned tracker from the Shangaan tribe deepening his intimate knowledge of the natural world. Boyd grew up speaking the local language and learning the true meaning of coexistence between people and with nature.
Village life was also a central part of Boyd’s upbringing and now forms his core driving philosophy. He understands the benefits and fulfilment village life offers, and wants to help others create this effect in their lives, communities and businesses.
Boyd Varty is a major voice of the new consciousness. He engages audiences across the world on the subject of forging connections in ourselves, in our communities and with the earth. He speaks to those who long for a way of interaction both simpler and more profound than the way most of us live in the world today.
Boyd has a psychology degree from the University of South Africa. He is a certified Master Life Coach, the author of two books and a TED speaker. Boyd has spent the last ten years refining the art of using wilderness as a place for deep introspection and personal transformation. Having taught his philosophy of “Tracking your Life” to companies and individuals all over the world he has been featured in the New York Times and NBC.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.