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Retreats for your mind, body & soul

Five of the best wellness destinations in Africa to go to when it’s time to get away from it all

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By Clinton Moodley | September 24, 2021 | Travel Leisure

In Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, a series adaptation of the New York Times best-seller book by Liane Moriarty, nine travellers go on a once-in-a-lifetime 10-day health and wellness retreat.

The guests check into Tranquillum House, a luxury wellness retreat set in the fictional town of Cabrillo in California. Upon arrival, they turn in their phones, eat healthy and wholesome food and engage in intriguing, and sometimes creepy, activities.

With no communication from the outside world, they begin their journey of healing and soul searching. The show was filmed at two locations in Byron Bay in Australia, namely Lune de Sang, a 146-hectare registered cabinet timber plantation, and Soma Retreats, a wellness and yoga centre.

Travellers like the fictional guests at Tranquillum House want a place to escape, unwind, and discover themselves.

They yearn for bespoke experiences coupled with all the perks of a lavish holiday.

Here are wellness destinations in Africa you can visit to get away from it all:

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, Western Cape, South Africa

Dubbed “an oasis in the wilderness”, Bushmans Kloof is set on a 7 500-hectare private reserve. Getting there is an experience in itself, showcasing the charming seaside town of Paternoster and one of the oldest towns in South Africa called Clanwilliam.

The three-hour drive from Cape Town stretches along the rugged Cederberg mountains. Alternatively, guests can fly to the reserve via a private airstrip.

Bushmans Kloof offers 16 rooms and suites as well as two private villas.

Here, you will find more than 130 ancient San rock art sites and the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site.

The pièce de résistance is The Spa at Bushmans Kloof that showcases soothing whitewashed walls, vernacular architecture and reflexology-inspired pebbled floor. Guests can savour in the bespoke spa experiences and world-class facilities like crystal steam room, tranquillity lounge and more.

Rates start from R10 360 a night, including all meals, evening game drive, morning rock art tour and select activities.


Kisawa, Mozambique

Kisawa, located on Benguerra Island in Mozambique, celebrates culture and nature. To get there, travellers take a flight to Vilankulo Airport with the option of then travelling via helicopter charter or a private boat.

Kisawa features the renowned Natural Wellness Centre that boasts a spa specialising in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic offerings.

With a selection of treatments and yoga rituals, including the 5 Element Ku Nye and Inhambane Honey, guests leave Kisawa feeling renewed and rejuvenated. Other activities for guests include diving, paddleboard yoga, birdwatching hikes, breakfast with reptiles at Crocodile Lake and more.

There are 12 bungalows at this 5-star resort that overlook forest, beach, and dunes. Each luxury villa boasts a private beach, a sundeck, an infinity pool, an outdoor day area, a kitchen and other amenities.

Rates start from €5 000 (R83 761) per night for two adults. Visit

Gocheganas, Namibia

Perched on a hilltop, Gocheganas offers a perfect blend of wilderness, nature, and wellness, and the views are out of this world.

The 6 000-hectare nature reserve is a short drive from Windhoek, Namibia's capital. Besides the game drives and walking activities on offer, guests come here for their state-of-the-art Wellness Village.

Its 11 specialist treatment rooms, an indoor heated pool enclosed under a cathedral-like masonry vault, and Granite Baths (cave saunas) invite guests to escape into tranquillity. There are 16 secluded Private Chalets, 15 Elegant Chalets and a Family Chalet designed to celebrate Namibia's culture. Rates start from R3576. Visit

Baraza Resort and Spa, Zanzibar

Baraza Resort and Spa is Zanzibar’s most exclusive boutique resort. The 5-star all-inclusive hotel boasts 30 villas with Arab, Swahili and Indian architectural styles; think Swahili arches, intricately carved cement, antiques, handmade furniture, and intricate brass lanterns.

A stay here brings solitude with The Frangipani spa boasting treatments and therapies to relieve stress and exhaustion. The spa features a lap pool with underwater music, indoor and outdoor relaxation rooms, and the Sultans bath. Rates start from $1 104 (R15 668) a night. Visit

Brookdale Health Hydro, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

An hour’s drive from Durban will take you to Brookdale Health Hydro. The Nottingham Road attraction in KwaZulu-Natal Midlands offers a holistic health package designed to bring balance to your life.

The property encourages guests to invest in their well-being, with their Nutrifit Lifestyle Management programme based on healthy eating, moderate regular exercise and stress management.

Brookdale prides itself on offering one of a kind activities to keep travellers gainfully occupied. These include guided morning walks, aquacise classes, pilates, guided relaxation classes, biokinetics and nutrition consultations, cooking demonstrations and spa treatments.

Other amenities include a heated indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy baths, gym, studio, private mosaic steam room, jacuzzi and sauna.