An 'African spa' can mean anything from a therapist setting up a massage table on the deck of your tented bush suite for a treatment (as antelope graze nearby and bulbuls sing in the acacia trees above), to a full-on series of steam rooms, Rasul mud treatments, hammams and other specialist wellness elements. These tranquil spaces offer guests a chance to refresh, reflect, and renew while melting into the aromas and textures of Africa.
After the thrill of an early morning game drive, nothing beats pampering yourself with a rejuvenating Africa spa experience. We’ve rounded up our favourite lodges, camps, hotels and resorts where the concept of an 'African spa' is taken to new levels…
Southern Africa Spas
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Botswana?
Chobe Chilwero, Chobe National Park
- Elements of Africa – like traditional weaving and carving – are suffused throughout the Chobe Chilwero’s African spa.
- Facilities include an elevated treetop treatment room, hydrotherapy, Vichy showers, an indoor spa bath and a plunge pool.
- African ingredients like marula and wild potato are found in the Africology range used, while beneficial marine algae form the basis of the French Thalgo collection of products.
Jao Camp, Okavango Delta
- This Botswana spa is set in the very heart of the pristine Okavango Delta amid ilala palms, herds of red lechwe and watery channels banked by thick reeds.
- One of the most exclusive camps in Botswana.
- The Jao Spa is tucked away behind mature ebony trees and offers discreet treatments between safari activities like mokoro rides, sundowners and game drives.
Xigera Safari Lodge, Okavango Delta
- Winner of the 'Best Safari Spa in Africa' at the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards 2022.
- Meticulously designed to frame the gorgeous views of the lush riverine forests and seasonal flood plains.
- This Botswana spa features an extensive selection of body and facial treatments.
- The signature B|Africa spa treatments are enhanced by an exclusive Tata Harper collection.
- All treatments feature wellness products that are 100% natural and non-toxic.
- Xigera also offers an extensive wellness program that features international experts and pioneers in the fields of holistic healing, wellness and mindfulness.
Where Are the Best Spas in Malawi?
Kaya Mawa, Lake Malawi
- 'Kaya mawa' means 'maybe tomorrow', which perfectly captures the lazy sense of having to do absolutely nothing at this lodge on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi.
- Savour a full-body massage in one of the secluded 'sea huts' that are connected to the island by a swing bridge and lapped on all sides by the calm waters of Lake Malawi.
Where Are the Best Spas in Mozambique?
Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort, Bazaruto Archipelago
- Located in the beautiful Bazaruto Archipelago off the southern coast of Mozambique in the warm Indian Ocean.
- There are five treatment rooms at this Mozambique spa, as well as an ice-plunge pool, health bar for juices, smoothies and shakes, and a swimming pool overlooking the sea.
- Tropical ingredients like coconut, sea salt, fine Mozambican beach sand and ylang-ylang are incorporated into treatments.
- Try the intoga massage during which various wooden sticks are used to roll out knots and kinks
Coral Lodge, Ilha de Mozambique
- Charming beach lodge on the northern coast mainland just opposite the magical and historical Ilha da Mozambique, where Portuguese ruins date back to the 1700s.
- Relax with in-room massages and other treatments on the privacy of your suite’s spacious wooden deck, which overlooks the azure Indian Ocean.
- Therapists hail from the nearby village where water is still drawn from an old well and lime is still extracted from age-old kilns.
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Namibia?
GocheGanas, GocheGanas Nature Reserve
- Situated on a hilltop outside Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.
- The GocheGanas Wellness Village has 11 treatment rooms and state-of-the-art amenities like a Vichy shower, crystal and hydrotherapy baths, Kneipp showers, a cave sauna and a heated indoor swimming pool under a vaulted stone ceiling that has a spectacular view over the peninsula.
- Natural spring water from GocheGanas Nature Reserve is heated by fire to fuel the cave sauna (also known as the granite bath) and Kneipp showers at this Namibia spa.
- Omaanda is one of the country’s most luxurious lodges and it built entirely from natural materials to a design that takes inspiration from age-old Namibian building techniques.
- The two double treatment rooms are housed in the spa ‘hut’, which has a reed ceiling, adobe ochre walls, and immense wooden and brass artefacts.
- Try the Miracle Tree Divine Facial that uses moringa, an anti-aging multi-vitamin that is rich in zeatin.
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in South Africa?
Londolozi Varty Camp, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- A leader in wellness safari retreats, Londolozi partners with the world’s leading wellness experts, life coaches and shamans.
- Londolozi Healing House, a wellness space situated at Varty Camp, is one of Africa’s most forward thinking wellness safari retreats.
- Wellness practitioners include sound healers, enneagram practitioners, bodywork specialists, aromatherapy technicians, Martha Beck master life coaches, reiki masters and yoga instructors.
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
- An award-winning, eco-sensitive lodge that seamlessly integrates with its natural environment.
- Meaning ‘peace’ in Swahili, Amani Spa offers unbeatable physical, mental and emotional wellness experiences.
- Treatments at this South African spa include holistic skin, body and beauty rituals, and rejuvenating massages.
- Amani Spa at Earth Lodge has two single treatment rooms, one double room, and a zen meditation garden with outdoor shower.
- A working 'farm' in the Franschhoek Winelands outside Cape Town, where the emphasis is on organic practices and garden-to-plate eating.
- The architecture effortlessly combines traditional Cape Dutch vernacular with high-tech glass and climate-control.
- The Garden Spa is hugged by a thriving bamboo forest and features a hammam, a chill room, a hot spa and a gym.
- The lavender, rosemary and lemon thyme used in treatments at this South African spa are picked fresh from the garden every day.
Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch
- One of the best spas in Cape Town at one of the most luxurious and pampering boutique hotels in Africa, with spectacular views over the mountains and vineyards of Stellenbosch.
- Part of the Graff diamond family fortune, it is no surprise that state-of-the-art techniques such as diamond-tipped micro-dermabresion are on the spa menu.
- Aromatherapy Associates of London and Swiss Perfection from Montreux in Switzerland supply special services.
- Rituals change seasonally: the winter ritual (to coincide with peak safari season) may include a Margaret Dabbs express pedi, a Knesko collagen eye mask and a hydrating pressure-point facial topped off with a signature wine tasting.
Leeu Estate, Franschhoek
- One of the best spas in Cape Town, situated at a very exclusive boutique hotel in the Franschhoek wine valley.
- Exceptional art and statuary dot the spa rooms and grounds, enhancing the view over the massive, manicured garden and lily pond to the craggy mountains beyond.
- Special treatment menu for children aged six to 12.
- OPI, TheraNaka and Esse products used throughout.
Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town
- Arguably Cape Town’s oldest and most venerable hotel that has hosted the rich and famous since 1743.
- Lovely gardens, sun-splashed terraces and views of Table Mountain.
- The Librisa Spa has two couples’ rooms, a Finnish sauna, a plunge pool and conservatory for enjoying a cup of herbal tea after your treatment.
One&Only Cape Town
- Luxurious hotel in the heart of the V&A Waterfront with magnificent views of Table Mountain.
- A dedicated ‘spa island’ lies in a canal that flows into Table Bay Harbour and houses a yoga pavilion, a hair-dressing salon and multiple treatment rooms.
- Indulge in the vitality pools, aroma steam room and ‘experience showers’ for a strong focus on the healing powers of water.
- The menu at this South African spa changes seasonally to reflect new ingredients and different mind-and-body needs throughout the year.
The Oyster Box, Durban
- Perfect stop-over in the semi-tropical seaside city of Durban, before moving on to the KZN Battlefields, Phinda Private Game Reserve, or the superb diving destinations to the north of the province.
- This award-winning South African spa is secluded amid lush gardens that are home to songbirds and acrobatic vervet monkeys.
- The hammam is especially pretty, while the plunge pool and ‘tranquillity lounge’ are also exquisite, with subtle hints of North Africa here and there.
The Saxon, Johannesburg
- Arguably Johannesburg’s most discreet and luxurious hotel, which has hosted scores of celebrities and was the home of former president Nelson Mandela while he was writing his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
- Only top products are used such as La Prairie and Caviar Hair, and there are separate manicure and pedicure lounges, as well as a ‘hair spa’ and a Rasul chamber.
- One of the few spas in South Africa where you can indulge in top-notch sound therapy.
The Twelve Apostles, Cape Town
- This hotel is an historic building that lies outside Cape Town, with one of the best spas in Cape Town.
- Located in the foothills of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, which is part of Table Mountain National Park.
- Its terraces are among the best places to watch the city’s famously brilliant sunsets.
- The main spa swimming pool is fashioned as an ‘underwater cave’, while there are also outside rock pools for guests to enjoy.
- Head to one of the private glass chalets up a nature trail for transporting massages amid the indigenous fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Zambia?
Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa National Park
- An award-winning lodge situated in one of Africa’s last unspoilt wilderness regions.
- Famous for its family of elephants that walk through reception to feast on a wild mango tree between October and December.
- Mfuwe's BushSpa is a tranquil retreat where guests can rejuvenate body, mind and soul.
Royal Zambezi Lodge, Lower Zambezi National Park
- A regular winner on the 'World’s Best Spa' awards lists.
- Situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi, with the chortling of hippos and cries of African fish eagles in the air.
- Its minimalist design of this Zambia spa – simple white floors and drapes under a traditional thatched roof – allows the natural beauty of the surrounding bush to take centre stage.
- The age-old Zambian ukuchina massage technique is a speciality here.
- Royal Zambezi is the flagship for Dermologica in the region.
Sussi & Chuma, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
- Situated in Mosi-ao-Tunya National Park, close to Victoria Falls.
- Specialist-guided walking safaris will let you get exercise, clear your head and be amid Zambia’s abundant flora.
- Treatments make use of traditional African plants like rooibos (red-bush tea), aloe ferox, marula fruit (used to make Amarula, a liqueur often enjoyed on safari) and wild African potato.
- Try the Imkovi Sloughing Process to get rid of dead skin cells using walnut shells or the Ukincha massage, a traditional Zambian treatment that sometimes involves two therapists working on you simultaneously to improve circulation and reduce stress.
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Zimbabwe?
Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, Lake Kariba
- A luxury safari lodge set on a range of hills overlooking the shimmering waters of Lake Kariba.
- Indulge in soothing and rejuvenating treatments at this Zimbabwe spa, while savouring the gorgeous views over the lake.
Singita Pamushana, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve
- Luxurious lodge in the large Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in southern Zimbabwe, with very few other visitors.
- Treatments at this Zimbabwe spa take place overlooking the beautiful Malilangwe Dam, or in the privacy of your designer room. Couples’ options are available.
- Ingredients used include baobab seeds (from the famous ‘upside-down trees’ that dot Zimbabwe) and omumbiri body butter.
- Try an aromatherapy session where African essential oils have been blended to evoke the fragrance of early morning dew on the savannah or the iconic smell of freshly crushed fynbos (heather and wild basil).
East Africa Spas
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Kenya?
Sanctuary Olonana, Masai Mara National Reserve
- An exceptional safari lodge set on a private stretch of the Mara River.
- The lodge’s spa offers a range of treatments like full body sweet and savoury scrubs, pure collagen velvet masks, Indoceane treatments, and Africology massages.
- Enjoy a treatment at this Kenya spa while savouring the spectacular views over the Mara River and the soothing sound of the water below.
- Spa products comprise healing essences of some of South Africa's indigenous plants, and are natural, organic and chemical free.
SaSaab, Samburu National Reserve
- Africa meets Arabia in the heart of Samburu, a haven for some of Kenya’s more unusual animal species.
- An airy, laidback lodge spread out over a hill over several levels that gently slopes down to the life-giving Ewaso Nyiro River.
- One of the best spas in Kenya, centred on a reflection pool with a small fitness area to one side and a treatment space to the other, all overlooking the river and Samburu scrubland beyond.
- Enjoy yoga sessions under the thatched dome and soaring Moroccan-inspired arches.
Governors’ Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve
- Africa’s first permanent luxury tented camp, nestled in a riverine forest along the banks of the Mara River.
- Occupies one of the best wildlife viewing locations in the reserve.
- Awarded a Silver Eco Rating from Eco – Tourism Kenya for sustainable tourism practices.
- The camp’s tranquil spa offers a range of treatments such as massages, facials, body scrubs, manicures and pedicures.
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Rwanda?
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, Volcanoes National Park
- Luxurious lodge nestled in the foothills of the breath-taking Volcanoes National Park, one of Africa’s best gorilla trekking destinations.
- An Africa spa that boasts a collection of experiences in partnership with Terres D'Afrique.
- Highly specialised massages to refresh, renew and rebalance after trekking for gorillas in the jungle.
- Terres D’Afrique facials that blend ancient African wisdom with modern science.
Virunga Lodge, Volcanoes National Park
- An iconic property that boasts magnificent views of the Virunga Volcanies, Musanze valley, Lake Bulera and Lake Ruhondo.
- The Ikirunga Spa offers complimentary treatments and massages, including the famous Rungu massage – a deep pressure, long-stroked massage that reduces aches and pains, improves lymph drainage and blood circulation, and provides immediate relaxation.
- This African spa features two treatment rooms with open fireplaces, a wood-burning sauna, and relaxation zones where guests can de-stress and rejuvenate.
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Tanzania?
Sayari Camp, Serengeti National Park
- An award-winning camp in the northern Serengeti.
- A prime location to witness the Great Migration’s river crossings.
- Professionally trained therapists offer massages in the comfort of your room, or in the dedicated Asilia Spa.
- An African spa that uses world-class products and organic African ingredients to create its signature treatments.
Gibb’s Farm, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- A historical working farm – with a piggery and a coffee plantation – near the very sought-after Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
- Following a personal consultation, the therapists at this Tanzania spa will design a special series of treatments to soothe and revitalise, are all based on Maasai herbs and rituals.
- Ojingai involves heating a special mixture of indigenous herbs in muslin bags to induce relaxation while the ‘After Safari Relaxer’ provides a bliss out over early mornings and long days on the road.
- Local elements – like arabica coffee beans and olkaria red clay – are used as well as over 50 indigenous plant species.
Mpingo Ridge Lodge, Tarangire National Park
- The onsite Melegali Spa offers the popular African Rungu Massage using the Maasai rungu – a small, carved baton, traditionally used for hunting and combat – to provide a deep tissue massage that is therapeutic and relaxing.
- Pamper sessions are always carried out in tranquil spaces at this Tanzania spa. Your treatment will take place either in an authentic canvas tent, serving as a gentle reminder of your location in the middle of the bush, or out on the deck, with the soothing sounds of nature and majestic view of the sprawling plains lulling you into a state of pure bliss.
- Perfect way to unwind after a day of game drives through Tarangire.
- Melegali Spa can also be enjoyed by guests staying at Lemala’s Nanyukie Lodge and Kuria Hills Lodge.
Baraza Resort & Spa, Zanzibar
- A five-star, all-inclusive boutique resort in Zanzibar with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean.
- The Frangipani spa at Baraza is a tranquil sanctuary featuring a lap pool with indoor and outdoor relaxation rooms, and the Sultan’s Bath – this African spa’s signature treatment.
- Enjoy a variety of treatments and therapies enhanced with candlelight and spice scented aromas.
- Professional therapists from Thailand, Bali and India.
- High quality, natural skin care products are used, as well as a selection of local spiced essential oils.
Where Are the Best Safari Spas in Uganda?
Bwindi Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
- An award-winning lodge with dramatic views.
- Start your gorilla trek from the lodge via a direct, private footpath into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- The Forest Spa Humula mw’ Ishamba features a sauna and offers complimentary spa treatments and massages.
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