KwaZulu-Natal has developed a number of top-notch ‘spafari’ venues, offering packages that combine accommodation with game drives and spa treatments, or day spas near wildlife resorts.
Spa holidays are firmly established in Europe and the US, but South Africa has come up with a new spin – the ‘spafari’ – a bush spa where game viewing is interspersed with pampering and pummelling.
To add an even more exotic flavour, the spas use indigenous African treatments. Open-air massages take place with sweeping views of bushveld or coastal forest, and the only sounds are the call of the wild. An ever-increasing number of luxury safari lodges offer spa facilities and treatments to fill the quiet time between morning and evening game drives.
The safari-style spa experience appeals to couples and honeymooners. The trend at the moment is very much towards wellness in general and a spa and safari combination delivers this.”
KZN’s superlative ‘spafari’ experiences
Falaza Game Park - a private game reserve on the borders of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It offers game drives, bush walks, boat cruises and horse trails. The reserve, in the heart of the Zululand bushveld, promises a rejuvenating experience of up-close-and-personal animal encounters and a wide range of specialised spa treatments.
AmaKhozi - means ‘the Place of Kings’ and the spa regimes that intersperse the wildlife excursions promise to treat you like royalty. The lodge is situated on a river, so treatments can take place on guests’ private deck overlooking the water. The lodge offers night-time frog safaris here guests can marvel at the spectrum of colours and the loud calling of mating frogs.
Wetlands Earth Spa - in the town of St Lucia on the doorstep of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Activities on offer vary from estuary cruises to game drives and turtle tours. The spa bases its treatments on traditional South African products.
Thanda Private Game Reserve - there are few experiences more rewarding than Thanda Private Game Reserve. The Wellness Centre combines the romance of the African bush with unbelievable pampering. The reserve was rehabilitated from degraded farmland in Zululand to make it the top lodge in the country, and to this end it has won several international awards.