South Africa: natural health and beauty secrets


100% African wellness rituals rooted in indigenous plants and local tradition. Marula oil is used for dermatological purposes, hydrating, protecting and delaying the ageing of the skin.

The diverse South African flora is the home to various indigenous plant species, boasting several properties that are routinely used in medicinal and cosmetic treatments. These traditions, which have been perpetuated over time and now comprise an integral part of South African culture, are used to treat the body, mind and soul alike.

The curing properties of plants

South African produces several renowned natural ingredients such as Cape Aloe (aloe ferox), whose sap is great for treating cuts, wounds and burns; and rooibos, a bush from the Cederberg Mountains, which is used to make infusions aiding digestion, sleep and allergies.

Marula oil, meanwhile, is extracted from the Marula tree and is used for dermatological purposes, hydrating, protecting and delaying the ageing of the skin.

Africology, the leading brand of cosmetics and natural spa, holistic and environmentally friendly products in South Africa, uses plant ingredients that are biologically identical to those of the human body. Convinced of the regenerative power of essential oils and the wisdom of traditional healers, the brand has developed a range of products that respects the environment and the human body alike, with these products currently being sold internationally.

A spin on the “5-star” spa

In the KwaZulu Natal Fordoun Hotel and Spa, travellers will be able to try the inkomfe treatment – a type of African potato – as they soak in the magical views of the Drakensberg mountains.

Massage oils, bath salts, shower gels and lotions…all brand products used in the spa have been designed by Dr Elliot Ndlovu, a healer, herbalist and ethnobotanist who is a leading expert in indigenous plants.

The true African essence

Present nationwide via their Original African Spas and Boutiques, Mangwanani offers comprehensive African-inspired wellness experiences that revitalise “from head to toe”.

The brand stands out for employing underprivileged rural women, who then receive training in traditional techniques and therapies.

In the heart of the beautiful rural area of Cape Winelands, Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa is a member of the Healing Hotels of the World group: a selection of exceptional wellness establishments. It has three centres, offering a comprehensive health proposal: one for specific programmes that only last for a few hours, a second for real treatments with doctors and therapists and a third for bioenergy treatments.

The best spa in Africa

The Bushmans Kloof hotel, lying at the foot of the Cederberg Mountains, has its own natural therapy centre. Its exclusive signature products, containing extracts of natural African plants, have recently won several prizes in the Global Spa & Wellness Awards, including being named as the “Best Spa in Africa and the Indian Ocean”.

Combining wellness and a safari experience

Ulusaba, the private reserve of Sir Richard Branson, lying close to the Kruger National Park, promises an unforgettable “spa in the bush” experience.

Its 13,500 hectares are perfect for spotting a vast range of animals, but also for housing a comfortable hilltop spa which boasts magnificent views over this extraordinary protected territory.

Broaden your horizons with a shaman

According to an article published in Panafricanbeauty, the Vunkuwa African massage technique is based on the Afro-shamanic notion. It is claimed that it was invented in 1998 by Carol Mathebula, whose grandmother, a native of the Basotho tribe, passed on her talents to her.

It is based on the study of respiration, temperature and the auras of colour emitted by the body in the event of suffering, blocking or unbalance.



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