Did you know?
Traditional African spiritual healers are called sangomas. Some spiritual retreats include visits to sangomas in their packages.
Spiritual accommodation in South Africa has grown tremendously over the past 10 years. Spiritual retreats are increasingly popping up in the country to offer visitors quiet spaces for introspection.
The natural beauty of the country with its vastly different landscapes lends itself to a diverse range of retreats. They can be visited individually or as part of specialised well-being itineraries on your South African spiritual holiday.
The country boasts a number of Buddhist centres, including the Emoyeni Retreat Centre in North West province, Buddhist Retreat Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, Robertson Dharma Centre in the Western Cape and Dharmagiri Buddhist Hermitage in the Drakensberg.
Here accommodation is simple and basic. Attention is focused on meditation and reflection. You can visit these centres for personal, unstructured retreats of up to a few months at a time or for facilitated retreats led by Buddhist practitioners. Work retreats, where work is done in exchange for accommodation, are also available. Generally, three lacto-vegetarian meals are offered per day.
The Eastern Cape is home to the Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery, an Anglican Benedictine monastery. This venue hosts individuals and groups of all faiths on retreats. Overnight stays in its 3 guest houses are available, including bed and breakfast. The monastery is set in 50 hectares of natural vegetation, with abundant birdlife and several walking trails for guests to enjoy at their leisure.
For those looking for something completely different, South Africa's spiritual retreats include Temenos country retreat in the village of McGregor, Western Cape. Temenos provides a range of ‘spiritual’ facilities including a spiral garden for meditation, a Zen garden, a Baraka (a shrine set in beautiful gardens), a garden of remembrance, a sacred well and a chapel.
It also offers a host of wellness therapies including massages, Jin Shin Jyutsu, aromatherapy, reiki, reflexology and acupuncture. Yoga, and tarot and rune readings are also available. Beautiful self-catering accommodation is in a choice of fully-equipped Cape garden cottages or peaceful library suites.
Spiritual accommodation in South Africa also includes 5-star retreats, such as Fordoun Hotel and Spa in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Luxury rooms are complemented by a number of wellness treatments, a full range of thrilling outdoor activities, and the services of a traditional African medicinal and spiritual healer.
Several operators in South Africa specialise in spiritual and well-being tours. These include Namaste Wellness Retreats, which has a specialist team of experts on hand to guide visitors through their personal well-being programmes.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Emoyeni Retreat Centre
Tel: +27 (0) 82 308 1533