Interest in wellness travel has skyrocketed since 2020 – a direct result of the pandemic’s toll on everyone’s mental health.
Forbes reports that anxiety is currently the most widespread disease in the world – affecting approximately 374 million people and counting.
As of 2022, the global wellness tourism market was valued at US$814.6-billion, and this market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 12.42% from 2023 to 2030, according to Grand View Research.
In short, wellness is – and should be – at the top of everyone’s agenda.
What better way to focus on improving your wellbeing than embarking on a vacation exclusively dedicated to R&R?
Explore our list of the 7 most incredible getaways, each offering an unforgettable wellness experience where YOU are the top priority.
What to expect: This 12-day wellness safari in South Africa takes you to the Mother City and the African bushveld, where you can enjoy being surrounded by nature, disconnecting from your devices and indulging in wellness activities designed to help you de-stress. Various five-star properties are at the heart of this getaway, such as One&Only Cape Town and TSWALU The Motse.
Your first stop is Cape Town, a foodie and shopaholic’s heaven, before moving on to the Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve. After a calm and quiet retreat in the bush, you’re city-bound again – this time for a short stay in Johannesburg. Finally, you’ll conclude the adventure in Thornybush Game Reserve with plenty of free time to relax however you wish.
Embark on game drives to encounter Africa’s iconic wildlife up close, further enhancing your connection with nature. Get into the great outdoors on walks and hikes. Wine and dine on world-class cuisine in gorgeous locations. It just doesn’t get better than this!
- Chatting to local guides about the healing properties of traditional African remedies, adding a refreshing cultural dimension to your wellness journey.
- Treating yourself to a Kalahari Red Clay Rub and Wrap at the spa at TSWALU The Motse. The red clay from the desert is known to exfoliate and detoxify the skin, leaving it soft and hydrated.
- Personalised dining at Royal Malewane. Tuck in to a menu tailored to your tastes and dietary requirements in consultation with the lodge’s Executive Chef.
What to expect: Combine the thrill of a safari with the serenity of a beach retreat on this two-week-long vacation. You can look forward to rejuvenating mind, body and soul in the untamed wilderness of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, followed by a sunny retreat in Seychelles.
Your vacation begins in Botswana, where you can enjoy countless exciting yet soothing experiences throughout the Delta. After each day of adventure, you’ll wind down at two separate Wilderness Camps for three nights each, namely Wilderness King’s Pool in the Linyanti Concession and Wilderness Vumbura Plains. Both camps offer various wellness activities such as yoga and meditation sessions as well as spa treatments incorporating natural African ingredients.
From Botswana, you’ll fly to the stunning Seychelles islands, known for their pristine beaches, turquoise waters and lush vegetation. Here, you can de-stress with beachfront yoga classes, indulge in even more spa treatments, or simply soak up the sun on the silky soft beach sand with a pina colada and page-turner in hand.
- Catch-and-release fishing for tigerfish, tilapia and catfish in the delta’s winding waterways.
- Relaxing mokoro (traditional canoe) excursions.
- Taking to the skies on a helicopter flight over the Okavango Delta (at an additional cost).
What to expect: Gorilla trekking, game drives and five-star treatment – our 11-day Rwandan Adventure vacation package promises the ultimate opportunity to replenish your senses in nature.
Gorilla trekking will undoubtedly be the most memorable aspect of your trip. This once-in-a-lifetime experience allows you to connect with these magnificent creatures and witness their gentle nature up close.
In addition to gorilla trekking, you can also explore the rainforests of Rwanda on guided nature walks, visit local villages to learn about the rich culture and traditions of the Rwandan people and indulge in wellness activities amidst the serene natural surroundings.
- Countless cups of freshly brewed, steaming cups of tea enjoyed at the rainforest spa at One&Only Nyungwe House, famous for its working tea plantation.
- Pinda Signature Massage at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest. This massage involves individual heated pindas made of baobab seeds and fragrant eucalyptus. The pindas are used with a combination of heat, deep pressure and massage to increase blood flow and encourage lymph node drainage.
- Forest ‘bathing’ in the lush forests surrounding The Retreat by Heaven in Kigali.
What to expect: Indulge in the perfect blend of bush and beach with this unique 11-day getaway that combines the best of South Africa and Mozambique.
The adventure begins with a safari in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, where you can spot the Big Five and immerse yourself in the beauty of the African wilderness.
From South Africa, you’ll fly to Mozambique’s luxurious beaches, known for their crystal-clear waters, white sand and vibrant marine life. How you relax on the beach is up to you, whether you’re keen on a beach volleyball game or prefer to lie back and let the sound of the waves lull you into a state of total tranquillity.
- Enjoying an African foot ritual in the privacy of your suite or outdoors on your private terrace during your stay at Dulini Moya in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. This treatment is conducted in the tradition of local African hospitality and includes a lavish foot and hand soak, as well as a gentle scrub and nourishing polish.
- A Tribal Traditions massage at Azura Benguerra Island, where olive oil and shea butter are poured all over your body while the massage strokes mimic the beating of African drums.
What to expect: Another 11-day vacation package and the ‘king’ of our combo getaways, this South Africa, Victoria Falls and Botswana itinerary promises a mix of thrilling wildlife encounters, cultural experiences and wellness activities.
You’ll start in South Africa, where you’ll spend time exploring cosmopolitan Cape Town followed by the breath-taking Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve.
Zambia is next on the agenda, with a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls. The awe-inspiring beauty of the falls, combined with the surrounding rainforest, provide a perfect setting for focusing on wellness.
The trip’s final leg takes you to beautiful Botswana, where you’ll enjoy a safari in the Okavango Delta.
- Pamper sessions inside a private treatment suite at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
during your stay in Cape Town. Following your session, you can recline on a lounger and indulge in tasty snacks and drinks.
- The opportunity for ‘me-time’ inside Londolozi Healing House, one of Africa’s most forward-thinking emotional wellness offerings and the home of the pioneering wellness safari retreat.
- Indulging in spa treatments while overlooking the Zambezi River at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma.
What to expect: This vacation package has it all – wilderness adventures, beach relaxation and vibrant city experiences in South Africa and Mozambique.
You’ll spend time in Cape Town (how about a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain?), Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, the Bazaruto Archipelago and Johannesburg.
Shop your stress away at the V&A Waterfront, head out on nature walks and game drives, indulge in yoga at sunrise, relax into sunset spa treatments and, of course, take advantage of a few long, lazy afternoons on the beach – what a way to prioritise wellness!
- Sitting down to afternoon tea at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, While you dine on sumptuous cakes, pastries and sandwiches stacked in tiers, live piano music sets the scene.
- Sipping on South Africa’s finest wine while staying at Ulusaba Rock Lodge. The lodge’s wine lounge showcases an array of vintages and is also suitable for intimate private dinners.
- Taking a breather in the relaxation area at Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort, with expansive ocean views.
What to expect: Another well-balanced getaway, this tour includes the best of South Africa and Seychelles, with 13 days of rest, relaxation and a bit of adventure sprinkled in.
The tour starts in Cape Town, where you’ll enjoy a community tour and lots of free time to explore and soak up the city’s unique history. From there, you’ll head to the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve to reconnect with nature before spending a night in Johannesburg, Gauteng’s ‘City of Gold’.
You’ll conclude your journey in Seychelles for a classic beach retreat and all the indulgent spoils that come with it.
- A refreshing mountain hike in Table Mountain National Park.
- Exploring the Artist Residency, a gallery and studio inside Lion Sands River Lodge where artists showcase their creations whilst sharing their creative process with guests.
- Participating in wellness workshops at the Konekte Shack at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. Popular workshops include making DIY scrubs and lotions and learning the art of meditation.
Ready to put YOU first? Contact team GILTEDGE now for help with planning the ultimate wellness escape, expertly tailored to your desires and unique ‘me-time’ preferences.