Exploring Gross National Happiness

Join us on a 10-day adventure into this remote Buddhist Kingdom, where happiness and wellbeing are at the centre of politics, economy and culture.

Apr 22, 2025
May 1, 2025
10 days
Nature & Environment
Self & Belonging
Equality & Democracy

Impact Safari Bhutan: Exploring Gross National Happiness

Inspired by the Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s focus on Gross National Happiness (GNH), Bhutan has chosen to define prosperity very differently to most other nations, putting happiness and wellbeing at the centre of their politics, economy and culture.

The contrast is stark compared to so many other nations, including our own, that put financial metrics such as GDP, growth and profits as the key measures of success.

In partnership with the Bhutan Centre of Gross National Happiness, we will investigate the revolutionary Gross National Happiness index, spend time in local schools, monasteries, farms and businesses as we bask in the majestic natural landscape of this tiny, magnificent Himalayan country.

Read last year traveller, Kirsty De Garis’ reflection here: The Good Society: A journey through Bhutan exploring Gross National Happiness

Who is this program for?

Impact Safari Bhutan is for humans curious about creating shifts in personal, organisational or cultural identities.

Whether you’re a public speaker, executive, community or organisational leader, artist, politician, activist, or marketing professional - engage in Impact Safari to be guided through self-exploration to mobilise wisdom into action.

Bhutan offers a sacred space for inner-contemplation and exploration of a Kingdom built on the fundamentals of happiness. How has this been prosperous and where have challenges of the modern world taken effect?


Explore Gross National Happiness in context with deep dives into integrated leadership, systems change thinking, active hope, happiness and purpose. Centred around the Four Pillars of GNH, Socio-Economic Development, Preservation & Promotion of Culture, Good Governance & Ecological Sustainability.

Read 2023 Participant, Kirsty De Garis's, reflective essay: The Good Society: A journey through Bhutan exploring Gross National Happiness

Listen to Guide Dr. Julia Kim and Head of Programs, Tamsin Jones discuss Unlocking Enough

Read Bhutan: The Home of Happiness by Mele-Ane Havea

April 22, 2025
May 1, 2025
10 days




Arrive in colourful Bangkok, where we will come together to begin our journey. Land in an opening circle, setting intentions and sharing what drew us to Impact Safari. Enjoy relaxing by the pool before a warm welcome dinner with your fellow travellers.



We will fly to Paro today and travel to Thimphu. After lunch we will be welcomed at the Gross National Happiness Centre, to hear Bhutan’s rich history, contextualising the place we will uncover in the following days. We will visit the Golden Buddha and then we will share our first of many dinners together in Bhutan.



Good morning. Rise in Thimphu with morning meditation followed by a light breakfast. Visiting the Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan, we will explore how the GNH index works, its 9 domains for a good society and begin to understand how this model is applied as a measurement across the country from policy to business. A special guest will join us for lunch before an afternoon circle to connect on our landing in Bhutan and a fun afternoon exploring the local markets.



After morning meditation we will travel to Phobjika Valley and begin a silent hike through the farmlands to a sacred temple. We will stay in the valley, taking part in a sharing circle and rest before a shared dinner.



After morning meditation to begin the day, we will travel to Punakha. After time to settle in we will enjoy a walking tour to orient ourselves and opt in to an activity such as archery, painting or self reflection time. We will spend the afternoon in workshop with time for rest before a delicious local dinner.



Wake in the stunning Punakha, after morning meditation settle into the day with breakfast and prepare for a morning of local exploration. Come together in the afternoon in workshop, followed by time to rest and dinner.



Following morning meditation we will travel back to Paro, visiting Punakha dzong, Temple of Divine Madman on the way. Once arrived and checked-in, we will begin a walking tour of the local town. We will spend the afternoon in workshop before a local dinner.



Wake in Paro and meet for our daily morning meditation. We will share breakfast before solo reflection time leads us into workshop for the morning. Over lunch we will be briefed on our Tiger’s Nest hike for the following day. Spend the afternoon exploring Paro’s local culture, food and markets. Dinner will be followed by a very special experience of local culture.



Today we will be hiking the remarkable icon of Bhutan, Tiger’s Nest. Sitting precariously 3,000 metres above the Paro valley, the Paro Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest Monastery) was built in the late 17th century on the site of a cave set into the cliff. We will accomplish this together as a group, reflecting on our shared journey. We will rest in the afternoon before honouring each other during our closing ceremony over dinner.

DAY 10


We will connect with our final morning ritual meditation followed by a delicious local breakfast and our last circle. Celebrating our newly formed relationships and reflecting on our immersive experience in this incredible landscape, we will travel transformed and inspired as we take our learnings back home into our communities, businesses and leadership.

Your Guides

Dr. Julia Kim

Dr. Julia Kim is the Program Director of the Gross National Happiness Centre Bhutan. She joined the GNH Centre after serving as a member of the International Expert Working Group for a New Development Paradigm, convened by the Royal Government of Bhutan. Prior to living in Bhutan, Julia worked as a physician and HIV researcher in Africa and Asia, before serving with the United Nations (UNDP and UNICEF) in New York. She brings a background in leadership development, research, and policy in the fields of wellbeing economics, global health, and sustainable development, and is an Executive Committee member of the Club of Rome, and an associate of the Presencing Institute – a global network that views awareness-based systems change as a core capacity for 21st-century innovation and leadership.

Matthew Nation

“I grew up in Tasmania and the environment has always been important to me. I studied environmental science and have travelled the world to better understand how we interact with our natural environment.

My curiosity for better understanding our environment and how we can protect the planet, led to founding Nation Partners in 2013; a certified B-Corp, purpose-driven business that has implemented progressive Teal principles to fully unlock human potential.  I have created a business that directs its energy towards saving the planet and provides a blueprint for a new business model that recognises the importance of the environment and society, and ensures they are considered in every business decision we make.

More recently, I have been exploring my own inner-wisdom and wellbeing and considering how I can be emotionally healthy and best positioned to lead others.  At Nation Partners, we talk about wholeness and leaving your ego at the door, and I have found a place of greater contentedness through the work I have done with the Small Giants Academy in the Masters of Business Empathy and from the time I have spent in Bhutan.”


Anna Yelland

Anna is the Head of Impact Safari at Small Giants Academy. She joined the Small Giants team following her death-walker training with DumboFeather Alumni, Zenith Virago. With a yearning to better understand human nature, behavioural change and the cyclical rhythm of our lives.

Her work is informed by her study and practice in the fine arts. She feels grateful to deliver these transformational programs, supporting the guides and the cohorts wellbeing before, throughout and after the Safari. She has now produced Impact Safari through, Israel/Palestine, lurtuwita/Tasmania, Bhutan and Scandinavia. In her downtime you can catch her writing, wandering galleries and creating spaces for humans to rewild.

Tsoki Tenzin

Tsoki currently serves as the Director, and oversees the Centre's overall management in Bhutan. She believes every Bhutanese has a responsibility in nurturing the values of Gross National Happiness. Prior to joining the GNHCB in 2015, Tsoki worked with the UNDP for over a decade under different portfolios including operations and program administration.

"Impact Safari Bhutan masterfully wove content, conversation, immersion, play and connections that nourished our physical, spiritual and intellectual lives within the beauty and awe that is Bhutan. The spirituality and beauty of this country, along with its commitment to the vision of GNH, permeates everything, and it is impossible not to be changed by this experience.. Impact Safari Bhutan filled my cup on every level - mind, body and spirit, and its gift will be to shift us towards our potential as humans working collectively towards a better future for our planet.” — Alicia Kennedy, 2023 Impact Safari Bhutan
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Join us on a transformational journey in redefining prosperity.

This immersive is an investment of $12,895 AUD.

This is an all-inclusive cost for the duration of the program, including accomodation, in-country travel, meals, access to Bhutanese parliamentarians, intimate workshops and an immersive leadership experience delivery by the faculty at Small Giants Academy.

This cost is exclusive of flights from your origin to Bhutan.

Bhutan is committed to high value, low impact travel experiences which is reflected in the cost of this journey. Following sustainable tourism practices is made possible by daily government travel permit charges and independent operators.

Cancellation policy

Impact Safari is an initiative of Small Giants Academy, which is a registered not-for-profit charity. Our cancellation policy is intended to provide you with maximum flexibility while ensuring our team can make preparations to deliver the incredible experience you’re expecting.

Please notify us of a cancellation by email so we can provide you with a refund minus the following cancellation fees:

  • Up to 8 weeks prior to the trip: Deposits and any balance received are refundable minus AUD$1200 cancellation fee
  • Within 8 weeks of the trip: All funds received are non-refundable and can not be used as a credit.

I'm in! What's next?

Smart move. To secure your place or ask any questions, please email Impact Safari Producer, Anna here:

Frequently asked

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