As far back as the 6th century BC, philosophers have believed that humans are intimately connected to nature – and the four elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. From ancient Babylonian wisdom to Eastern beliefs, these elements are common to many teachings and traditions around the world, with Ayurvedic practitioners focussing on five elements, including Ether (Space), and the importance of bringing them into balance for greater health and mental wellbeing.

And there is something deeply restorative about sitting around a fire in an African boma, grounding yourself on the red earth among the acacia, jackalberry and baobab, or losing yourself in the wide open spaces of Namibia or the Kalahari.

Here are five good reasons Africa is food for the soul:

  1. Fire

From early morning coffee brewed over the coals, to roasting marshmallows and fireside chats, fire (and lingering woodsmoke) will be a big part of your holiday memories. After all, where there is fire, there is life!

In your element: With nature as their guide and ‘WholeBeing’ as their goal, Future Found Sanctuary in the Cape Town suburb of Hout Bay is the perfect place to rest, reset and reconnect to nature and her healing elements. With sound healing, breathwork, yoga, therapeutic forest bathing, farm-to-table foraging and fireside storytelling, this is a retreat like no other.

  1. Water

Imagine drifting along the ancient channels and waterways of the Okavango Delta, or experiencing the power of the Zambezi River on a white water rafting adventure. In Africa, water soothes, cleanses and energises.

In your element: Kisawa Lodge on the southern tip of Benguerra Island in the Mozambique archipelago invites guests to “discover your own rhythm” alongside the warm (and inviting) waters of the Indian Ocean. Their stand alone spa specialises in Ayurvedic offerings, with individual rituals and treatments rooted in the natural elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Space.

  1. Earth

There is nothing quite like lacing up your boots to hike Table Mountain, climb the dunes at Sossusvlei, explore Volcanoes National Park – or trace the contours of the earth on a walking safari.

In your element: Earth Lodge in the private reserve of Sabi Sabi truly lives up to its name. Sculpted into a slope in the earth, and almost invisible in the landscape, the lodge uses texture, light and space to create a natural haven in the heart of the South African bushveld. Taking its cue from the surrounding environment, it has been described as the most environmentally sensitive lodge in Africa.

  1. Air

Whether it’s the crisp morning air on a sunrise safari, or the change in atmospheric pressure just before a summer storm, there is something special in the air in Africa.

In your element: No visit to Tanzania or Kenya is complete without a hot-air balloon ride over the Serengeti or Maasai Mara. Chat to your GILTEDGE Destination Experts about adding this bucket-list adventure to your African itinerary.

  1. Space

Africa’s gift? Wide-open spaces. And there is something extra-special about sleeping out under the stars. With GILTEDGE you’ll be spoilt for choice, including ‘star bed’ experiences at Lion Sands (in one of their incredible tree houses) and the Tanda Tula Machaton Hide in Timbavati Game Reserve.

In your element: Tswalu Kalahari offers guests the opportunity to sleep in a luxury king-size bed on a raised deck in the middle of the reserve – under the endless Kalahari night sky. The Malori (meaning ‘dreamer’ in Tswana) is a unique safari sleepout experience, one never to be forgotten.

If you’re looking to restore your peace and wellbeing, Africa is calling. And our team is here to make it happen. Get in touch here.