Africa is well-known for providing exciting experiences (like wildlife safaris) and moments of pure adrenaline (bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, anyone?) – but what if you want some chill with your thrill, or you need to slow down more than throw down? Perhaps your partner feels the need to go on every single game drive, whereas your priorities are more along the lines of a massage. Fortunately, a growing number of luxury African properties are now offering superb spa experiences alongside their more traditional activities. We decided to check out some of the best luxury spas in Africa. Well, somebody had to!
BUMI HILLS SAFARI LODGE, ZIMBABWE
Simply arriving at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is an energizing experience as you take in the sweeping vistas over Lake Kariba. Days here typically start and end with glorious displays of color – this region is noted for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets – while the hours in between offer every imaginable shade of blue as the sun plays on the surface of the lake. The shores are rich in game, and you could do worse than sit on your private veranda or by the infinity pool, and watch game come down to drink. The neutral tones and black and white wildlife prints in the spa create a soothing ambiance, and there is something about having such a large body of water nearby that helps to both calm you and recharge your batteries.
MARA BUSHTOPS, KENYA
Any time spent in Kenya’s Masai Mara is good for the soul, but the lodge’s Amani African Spa Village takes the positive effects to the next level. It’s an award-winning spa concept adapted to the beauty and magnificence of the Mara Bushtops setting, and offers massages, hydrotherapy and skin and body treatments. If you’re feeling more energetic, the fitness facility is equipped with the latest machines and something you definitely won’t find at your local city gym: sweeping views out over the animal-rich plains of the Mara. Water (and steam) play a major role here – choose a sensory Rasul treatment (you may already have seen how much wallowing animals enjoy mud) or soak away all your stresses in the Jacuzzi. Relax on one of the ‘beds’ in the heated infinity pool, or find a spot on the deck to stretch out and absorb the endless views.
ROYAL MALEWANE, SOUTH AFRICA
The luxurious experience of visiting the Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa is a result of both the lodge’s beautiful Kruger Park setting and the treatments themselves – many of which make inspired use of indigenous ingredients and draw on the healing wisdom of local people. Your Bush Spa experience can be as serene or as active as you desire: the heated lap pool and fully equipped gym allow you to move and breathe more assertively, while the steam room and hot and cold African baths offer relaxing and invigorating moments. Treatments take place in the exclusive private casitas, with healthy snacks and juices and even complimentary Wi-Fi available – although you’ll probably find you achieve a better connection without it!
SABI SABI EARTH LODGE, SOUTH AFRICA
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is known as one of the best places in Africa for predator sightings, but it can also be a rewarding spot to hunt down moments of pure indulgence. The Amani Spa offers holistic treatments that are entirely in keeping with the tranquillity of the bush setting, and are designed to heal, relax and rejuvenate. You’ll emerge feeling lighter, calmer and perhaps even a little younger! There is even a Zen relaxation area where you can focus on your breathing and reflect in private on your African travels and your amazing safari experiences. Honeymoon, birthday and anniversary-themed treatments are all available, while couples can enjoy a shared treatment as they spend some genuine quality time together.
Also located in Laikipia, Segera’s unique approach to safari style – part ranch, part villa, part modern art gallery – has a wonderfully restorative effect on both mind and body. Their commitment to wellness includes a ‘farm-to-table’ food philosophy, with many of the ingredients used in the kitchen coming from their own organic vegetable patch. The Segera spa offers scrubs, facials, full body treatments and massages in a calming setting, where you can feel the stresses and strains of everyday life simply falling away. Step inside the Rasul Steam Tower (one of two towers at the property – the second is the wine cellar, which could also be said to be therapeutic!) for an Arabian-inspired treatment combining mud, heat and steam – a deep cleanse for mind, body and soul that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
SINGITA SASAKWA, TANZANIA
On the borders of the world-renowned Serengeti, the Grumeti Reserves are an ideal place from which to watch the annual Great Wildebeest Migration. If you stay at Singita Sasakwa, you can also enjoy all the amenities of a five-star hotel, without sacrificing any of the authenticity of your safari experience. The spa here operates according to a philosophy founded on reconnecting with Nature, and it would be hard to find a better setting in which to do this. The three treatment rooms and steam room overlook the Serengeti plains, so you can watch passing wildlife while you enjoy a massage. The products used in the treatment are as kind to the environment as they are to you, and include traditional Swahili medicinal herbs for a grounded, healing experience.
THE SANCTUARY AT OL LENTILLE, KENYA
One of the jewels in the crown of northern Kenya’s Laikipia region, The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille has a well-deserved reputation for delivering exclusive safari experiences, including day and night game drives and even camel safaris. Less well known is the fact that unlimited spa treatments are included in the rate. That’s right – you can spend as much time as you wish in the serene oasis of calm that is The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille’s spa, enjoying a wide range of treatments including Swedish and hot stone massages, and manicures and pedicures. The relaxing, soothing effects of the treatments is enhanced by the setting, and you can even turn the indulgence up a notch by having the therapist come to your villa, so you literally won’t have to lift a finger. Bliss.
THANDA, SOUTH AFRICA
In semi-tropical KwaZulu-Natal, you’ll find the haven that is Thanda Private Game Reserve. As with many of the other destinations we’ve looked at in this blog, there’s a recognition that for the perfectly balanced African vacation, there’s a need to achieve a state of equilibrium between the excitement of being on safari and moments when you can unwind and simply soak up the atmosphere as your senses absorb all that is new and wonderful about the bush. The treatments at the Thanda Spa combine the best of both worlds: western techniques and traditional Zulu healing methods. The Spa is nestled among ancient African rocks, helping to connect you directly to the continent’s restorative energy as you experience treatments that have been passed down through generations of local women. It’s time to surrender to the experience of being in one of the best luxury spas in Africa.
Allow our team to ‘massage’ your safari plans. Contact us today!