Covid fatigue, anxiety, fear, stress and the constant reports of loved ones, friends and family members contracting the virus and others dying from Covid-19-related illnesses are taking a toll on most of us.
And the third wave of the Covid-19 driven by the vicious Delta variant is making many South Africans more anxious.
But it’s not all gloom and doom – there are few places you can visit, just to unwind while keeping the winter chills and lockdown blues at bay.
So, we have compiled five of the best hot springs to visit in South Africa during the chilly winter season.
Besides relaxation, hot spring waters can offer health and therapeutic benefits, including improving some skin irritations and infections, relieving arthritis, helping with blood circulation, reducing stress and boosting your immune system.
So soaking in hot spring water may well be what the doctor ordered.
Let’s check out some of the magical places to visit for a much-needed therapeutic experience, while blissfully enjoying the majestic landscapes mother nature has to offer.
Bela Bela (Forever Resort)
Bela-Bela translated in Northern-Sotho means “Boiling-Boiling” and the name is synonymous with the town's world-famous hot water springs, discovered in the 1800s. The town was previously also known as Warmbaths or Warmbad.
Situated in Limpopo, the resort is in an African bushveld atmosphere and provides guests with an unusual and unforgettable holiday experience.
The hot springs at Forever Resort are a must-see and enjoy.
The resort offers a wide array of health and beauty treatments to help guests feel revitalised and rejuvenated, while overlooking the beautiful and tranquil surroundings.
Other features include pool slides, a hydro, archery, putt-putt, bikes and boats, game drives, horse riding, cable ski, restaurants and more.
The Baths Natural Hot Springs
The Baths is a hot spring resort on a citrus farm near Citrusdal, Western Cape. There arecold and hot pools, with the waters reaching 43˚C at the source.
The resort offers other activities, including mountain rock pools, spa baths, a tennis court, trampoline, pool table, and kiddies’ playground.
Accommodation is available in chalets, flats, and caravan and camping sites.
Riemvasmaak Hot Springs
Riemvasmaak is near the Orange River, close to the Namibian border. It is north of the Augrabies Falls, about 60km from the small Northern Cape town of Kakamas.
It covers a large area and has imposing mountains, extensive desert plains and unspoiled wilderness.
Dating back millions of years, Riemvasmaak is a place of haunting beauty. The Riemvasmaak Hot Springs are the product of volcanic eruptions.
Though these have long since ceased, deep underground activity still heats the waters of these springs.
Riemvasmaak Hot Springs invite guests to relax in the natural wonder of these therapeutic waters.
Cliff faces surround the springs, towering 80m above, and two swimming pools have been constructed at the springs.
Caledon Hot Baths
Caledon is home to the Western Cape’s famous Natural Warm Mineral Baths. These natural springs produce over a million litres of water daily and have an average temperature at 65˚C.
The distinctive brown colour of the water is due to the rich iron content, known as chalybeate.
The oily layers found on the surface of the pools is due to the high mineral content of the spring waters and varies in density from time to time depending on the weather.
Facilities at the Caledon Hot Baths include an elegant Victorian Bath House (erected 1897), cascading hot pools, a steam room, sauna, frigidarium pool, swiss shower and jacuzzi.
Warmwaterberg Spa is a mineral hot spring between Barrydale and Ladismith on Route 62 from Montagu to Oudtshoorn.
The main attraction is the hot water (43.5˚C at the source). It has a high iron content, making it extremely healthy and sweet tasting.
According to the website, visitors claim to experience a soothing and calming effect after bathing in the water, which is completely untreated and fresh from the artesian spring.
Other activities include two hiking routes giving picturesque views, ideal for sundowners on top of the koppie and romantic sunsets with undisturbed views.