Wellness retreats in Africa promote your health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally – through dedicated activities that you can incorporate into your explorations of Africa.
Whether you are practicing yoga, meditating in the midst of African plains, indulging in a spa treatment, or taking a dip in the azure waters of a private beach (immersing yourself into the healing properties of the natural world) – the ultimate goal is to return home feeling healthier, happier, and more relaxed than when you arrived.
From East to Southern Africa, our hand-picked list covers the best wellness retreats in Africa…
Where Are Some of the Best Wellness Retreats in East Africa?
Finch Hattons Luxury Tented Camp
Tsavo West National Park, Kenya
Finch Hattons Luxury Tented Camp delivers no ordinary safari experience, it’s a transformative travel adventure. This luxury safari camp is set in the heart of a 35-acre concession, with Mount Kilimanjaro to the west and miles upon miles of untouched African wilderness as far as the eye can see.
The Chyulu Wellness Spa is the largest spa in East Africa and is equipped with two outdoor massage pavilions, a hammam, a spa pool, a gym, and a yoga room with serene views of the Chyulu Hills. All the therapy products used in the spa are organic, in line with Finch Hattons’ policy on sustainability.
Finch Hattons is not only one of the best yoga retreats in Africa but plays host to several wellness retreats throughout the year, with a strong focus on self-awareness, sound healing, mindfulness tools and techniques, as well as Wim Hof master instructors facilitating the breathing techniques made famous the world over. For an even deeper African immersion, you could join local Maasai tribes for powerful cultural rituals.
One&Only Nyungwe House
Nyungwe Forest Reserve, Rwanda
Journey to a dramatic mountain landscape that is carpeted in greenery and settle in at a luxury accommodation on a working tea plantation. One&Only Nyungwe House is where verdant jungle terrain not only entices you with profound gorilla encounters, but it’s also a wellness retreat in Africa that offers a boundless sense of freedom in connecting with the natural surroundings.
The jungle spa is suspended over the slopes of the forest and is where you can experience some curated spa delights, including the signature African Potato treatment – rich in anti-inflammatory and immune strengthening properties, as well as moisture replenishing treatments using Marula oil, known as ‘Africa’s own miracle fruit.’
One&Only Nyungwe House is where emphasis is firmly placed on slowing down the pace of everyday life, and under the expert care of leading therapists, a place where you can unwind, restore, and elevate mind, body and soul.
One of the highlights at Zuri Zanzibar is its private beach, a 300-metre (980 feet) stretch of soft sand, lapped by tranquil turquoise waters and fringed by palm trees. But the wellness factor of Zuri Zanzibar is accentuated by its ‘Wellbeing by Elements’ program.
It’s a well-designed program, paired with increased Vitamin D intake from both the sunlight and Zuri’s nutrient-dense, low-fat cuisine. Your day could start with a pre-breakfast energy-boosting yoga class, and then continue by joining an art therapy session in the Spice Garden, also the ideal setting for meditation.
Whatever you choose to participate in, you can be sure that the program will provide you with an all-encompassing wellness experience to add on to the ideal beach holiday. Plus, the MAUA Wellness Centre offers three massage rooms, a salon, and a Jacuzzi deck.
Jafferji Beach Retreat
Jafferji Beach Retreat is built mere metres from the beach, where the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean gently laps your feet as you savour canapes and cool refreshments. Go for walks along the powdery coastline, take a dip in the warm ocean, or enjoy a private yoga session, leaving you fresh and re-energised.
Head to Jafferji's Cinnamon Spa for relaxing beauty treatments with the finest natural and local ingredients. The spa offers holistic therapies inspired by the rejuvenating practices of various cultures, philosophies and techniques. For complete privacy, your spa treatments can also be enjoyed in your room.
At Matemwe Lodge, you may want to do nothing except soak up the sun beside the pool or in your hammock with a cocktail from the bar. But as one of the best wellness retreats in Africa, there is a great deal to get involved in that will promote your overall health and wellbeing. Ranging from fitness activities and pampering spa treatments to mindfulness practices, Matemwe’s staff are on hand to curate the perfect experience.
Spend your days practising your sun salutation with the sunrise, keep your fitness levels up with a run of up to 50 kilometres (31 miles), or enjoy stand-up paddle boarding on calm ocean waters – all at your own steam. End your day with a sunset pranayama or meditation session in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Where Are Some of the Best Wellness Retreats in Southern Africa?
Stellenbosch, South Africa
The Hydro has been pegged as South Africa’s premier natural health destination, in the heart of its wine country. Daily activities include guided walks, yoga, pilates, progressive relaxation, and meditation as well as aqua aerobics.
Nutritional well-being is a true highlight of the Hydro with a range of vegetarian options, featuring local ingredients sourced farm fresh. Peruse the cultivated gardens detox with energy-restoring treatments or take a revitalizing dip in the freshwater swimming pool.
Beyond the many massages, wraps and cleansing treatments on offer, the Hydro specialises in stress-eliminating therapies that significantly boost both physical and mental well-being. From the tension-releasing ‘Liquid Body’ technique to the ultra-slow and soothing movements of Aquarelax (a warm water treatment), there is a unique range of facilities to make it one of the best wellness retreats in South Africa.
Angala Boutique Hotel
Franschhoek, South Africa
Angala Boutique Hotel is where homely luxury blends with the pristine natural beauty of its surroundings. Angala is a retreat for mind, body and spirit, and is the ideal base from which to explore the Cape Winelands after indulging in a variety of wellness activities, therapies and treatments.
Angala Boutique Hotel features a range of wellness and hydro facilities, and believes in the powerful healing of water therapy – also referred to as ‘aquatic physiotherapy’ or ‘hydrotherapy’. You can choose to soak away your stress in their ozonated pool, heated plunge pool or their eco-pool, an alternative to the sparkling blue swimming pool with no salt, no chemicals, and no sterilisation equipment.
The biggest drawcard of the hotel is having one of the best spas in South Africa. It offers a range of quality treatments as well as private yoga sessions, or specialised Shiatsu and Reflexology treatments – all of which can be enjoyed from the comfort and privacy of your room.
Silver Forest Boutique Lodge & Spa
Somerset West, South Africa
Nestled in a lush forest setting on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, Silver Forest Boutique Lodge & Spa is located a mere 10 minutes’ drive from the start of the renowned Stellenbosch wine route. This hidden gem is on the doorstep of the Cape Winelands and provides a tranquil and luxurious haven for guests.
The spa’s magnificent Thermal Suite includes a steam room, sauna, Rasul chamber, Jacuzzis, and a hydro-jet massage pool. In addition, there are four treatment rooms: two single rooms and two for couples. Take an invigorating dip in the outdoor swimming pool, enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity, a butler service, and a manager to assist you 24/7.
Future Found Sanctuary
Cape Town, South Africa
Future Found Sanctuary is situated in the quaint village of Hout Bay, a short drive from the city centre of Cape Town. It features ultra-luxurious exclusive-use villas and boutique-style private suites, where the primary focus is to harmoniously blend luxury surroundings with wellness experiences that exceed expectations.
Each wellness experience has been designed to reconnect you with nature and her healing elements. From sound journeys and therapeutic forest bathing to farm-to-table foraging and sharing stories fireside, it promises a restorative Cape Town sojourn.
Creativity is at the heart of Future Found Sanctuary, and you can also partake in painting, photography, drumming, Japanese Raku, Tai Chi and more. This is a celebration of life, where health and well-being take centre stage, leaving you with lasting insights into techniques of beneficial mindfulness practices.
Londolozi Healing House
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
Londolozi Healing House is found within the Londolozi Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands, a region famed for its incredible Big 5 sightings. It is by far one of the superior wellness retreats in South Africa, standing on ancient land and overlooking what is known as the ‘place of stars’, the confluence of the Sand and Manyelethi Rivers.
Be nurtured back to harmony by massage treatments, aromatherapy and reflexology, sound therapy, Reiki, crystal healing, shiatsu, halotherapy, yoga, meditation and breathwork. Londolozi Healing House has partnered with the world’s leading wellness experts and life coaches that will match treatments and activities to your individual needs.
Kapama Game Reserve, South Africa
This beautifully designed contemporary lodge sits on the banks of the Klaserie River in the Kapama Game Reserve. Its steady flowing waters impart a sense of tranquillity as you stand on the lodge's deck, chilled drink in hand, admiring the awe-inspiring views.
After a day out in the wild, in search of Africa’s famed Big 5, you can retreat to the Karula Spa and Wellness Centre. Surrounded by glass, this award-winning spa in South Africa creates an intimate connection with the surrounding landscape. It features four deluxe treatment rooms and a spa pool that has built-in loungers and underwater jets, or you could take advantage of the hydrotherapy room complete with a steam room and cold-water plunge pool.
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is a pioneering camp situated in the world-renowned, 65 000-hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve next to the Kruger National Park. The multi award-winning Earth Lodge is sculpted into the ground and took its design and structure inspiration from the natural world.
The lodge's Amani Spa, exercise centre and meditation garden form a unique and luxurious part of Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge. It offers a variety of relaxing or energising massages, and a host of other traditional therapeutic body, beauty and skincare treatments.
Thornybush Game Reserve, South Africa
Royal Malewane is an exclusive escape in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger. The African thatched-roof main complex is the heart of Royal Malewane where you will find the library, a shop and the dining areas. Furnished with rich antiques and Persian carpets, every fitting creates a feeling of luxury.
There is a swimming pool, a gym and spa facility offering health and skincare therapy by an internationally qualified in-house therapist. You can enjoy a treatment of your choice at the luxurious spa or in the sala completely surrounded by nature. Alternatively, you can relax with a treatment in the complete privacy of your safari villa.
Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
San Camp is a strikingly beautiful, tented camp that is located on Botswana’s vast Makgadikgadi Pans. The camp is set on the edge of the Ntwetwe Pan, which covers an area that is about the size of Northern Ireland.
In this mysterious landscape, guests can rejuvenate mind, body and soul by retreating to a yoga and meditation pavilion, and simply absorb the energy of the surroundings while practicing their downward dog.
This is a refined and remote camp experience, where you can expect to be graciously hosted, and enjoy a range of activities that include night game drives, meerkat encounters, stargazing and cultural immersions with the local San Bushmen on insightful walks.
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