Detox International, a detoxification programme developed in Europe, runs a number of annual South African retreats in the Western Cape and Gauteng. These week-long retreats offer therapies aimed at physical, mental and spiritual purification, with benefits for weight loss, chronic conditions and the body’s immunity, digestion and metabolism.

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McGregor has a wonderful winter climate with warm sunny days and chilly nights.

Detox International, a holistic programme of body detoxing that is said to offer mental, physical and emotional benefits, is now available in South Africa. Developed in Europe by a Scottish healer and nutritionist, the concept, which incorporates fasting, colon cleansing and yoga, adheres to an age-old belief that fasting and purification techniques aid spiritual advancement.

Detox retreats take place over seven days. Clients embark on a juice-based fast, which both cleanses the body and supplies it with essential enzymes and nutrients. Colonic cleansing, supporting the liver in its detoxification functions, is achieved through the use of colonic hydrotherapies, or coffee and herbal enemas, which are preferred.

The retreats also offer yoga sessions which help to bring the body into alignment, improve circulation and eliminate toxins.

Some of the benefits of these treatments promise are weight loss; improved digestion, metabolism and immunity; hormonal balance; and relief from chronic conditions.

The programme prides itself on a high level of management from fully qualified nutritional therapists and naturopaths. Complementary therapies and professional counselling may be employed if emotional triggers are uncovered during the process.

Locations for the detox programme are at scenic spots such as the Temenos retreat centre in McGregor (Western Cape) and Makoya Lodge in the Magaliesberg (45 minutes from Johannesburg).

Between treatments there is time to relax or meditate in beautiful surroundings, while the evenings bring talks on mind and body health. Clients leave armed with information on how to ensure their future lifestyles can continue with the benefits of the detoxification process.

Wendy Greenway is the owner and director of Detox International South Africa, and her team includes dieticians, nutritional therapists, kinesiologists, reiki masters, yoga teachers, masseurs and reflexologist.

* Please note that detoxification is not for everyone and one should only embark on this type of programme with the recommendation of a qualified medical practitioner.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Detox International
Tel: +26 377 213 9232

Tel: +27 (0)23 625 1871

McGregor Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)23 625 1954

Mokoya Lodge
Tel: +27 (0)14 576 1743

How to get here

Temenos is situated in McGregor. Take the N1 from Cape Town to Worcester, and follow the R60 to Robertson and then follow the signs to McGregor. To get to Mokoya Lodge follow the R560 Hekpoort towards the Magaliesberg.

Best time to visit

Check the Detox International website for the schedule of retreats held each year at choice locations.

Around the area

McGregor has some great hiking trails, including the Boesmanskloof trail to Greyton. Good birding is possible in the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve. A Saturday morning market is good for purchasing home-made products. In the Overberg, there's fynbos to discover, vineyards and orchards to explore, beaches to laze on or whale-watch from, and mountains with interesting geological formations. The Magaliesberg offers a number of nature trails and is close to The Cradle of Humankind.

Get around

McGregor is easily reachable from Cape Town by car and the Magaliesberg is about 45 minutes to an hour from Johannesburg.

What will it cost

Retreats start in the region of R15 000 (for a seven-day retreat), but prices vary according to individual retreats on offer.

Length of stay

Detox International retreats last seven days.

Where to stay

At Temenos there are a variety of cottage-style rooms, all en-suite. Each is individually decorated. There is also a large swimming pool, a meditation room, a chapel, and beautiful gardens. At Mokoya Lodge there are twin or double rooms on offer.

What's happening

Activities at Temenos include walking the labyrinth, nature walks in an ancient milkwood forest, and two beautiful lakes to swim in. When staying at Mokoya, hiking in the mountains is a popular pastime.

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