Sometimes a day spa is just not enough. You make the appointment, then have to drive through an hour of traffic and drop off the kids before driving back through the traffic with the kids to get home after your massage. There is just not enough Nerloli oil in an hour to soothe that sort of stress. That's why some of South Africa's best game reserves have paired their fabulously tranquil wildlife experiences with some of the world's most renowned spa treatments - making your bush getaway so relaxing, you may return a Buddhist. We've rounded up what we think are the five best bush-spa experiences in South Asfrica, and selected our top three, to help you decide where you'll be disappearing for a weekend (or two) when the rat race gets rough. Let us know in the comments if there's a hidden gem you don't mind sharing with the rest of the world!
Kapama Wellness Centre, Kapama Private Game Reserve
Lazy days in Kapama Private Game Reserve are the perfect opportunity to indulge in some uniquely African beauty treatments. The African Calabash Massage and Marula infused scrubs are performed using a combination of Matis, Dermalogica and Healing Earth products before stepping into the gentle warmth of cleansing Rasul rooms. Kapama came out tops because they have it all: a short trip from the Eastgate Airport in Hoedespruit and you find yourself immersed in the total luxury of Kapama's suites. And we mean luxury - the rooms of this lodge fall right out of the pages of a glossy magazine, but the service remains true to the South African tradition of warm and genuine hospitality. Try the signature "Marula Miracle Moments" treatment for four hours of utter luxury.
Singita Bush Spa, Singita Private Game Reserve
Singita invites its guests to restore equilibrium and take their pampering beyond mere relaxation. Treatment specialists at Singita use ultrasonic skincare technology to analyze skin and prescribe personalised treatments. In 2011, they were voted the Best Hotel Spa in Africa and the Middle East in the Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards and they continue to deliver world-class spa experiences today. Book one of their great couples' treatments to share the healing.
Amani Earth Nature Spa, Sabi Sabi
The Earth Nature Spa’s African Zen style is designed to reflect the tranquil properties of nature. Natural products like sugar salt and ginger in treatments such as the Sweet and Savory Scrub coupled with signature Camelot massages and then a relaxing soak in hydro bath tubs promise a tranquility time-out. The architecture and design of the spa itself incorporates soothing waterfalls, cool stone walls and earthy textures that combine seamlessly with the natural elements of the treatments.
Lalamuka Spa, Ivory Lodge
At the Ivory Lodge in Lion Sands Reserve, guests can have treatments at the Lalamuka Spa or in-suite. Enjoy a massage, mini facial and exfoliating scrub with Thalgo and Wisdom of Africa products from your deck, surrounded by the remarkable bush vista and distant animal sounds.
The Aroma Boma Spa, Ulusaba Rock Lodge
Aroma Boma at Rock Lodge is located 800 feet above the bush with truly stunning views over the reserve. A range of treatments including massage, sculpting facials and rejuvenating Guinot Treatments are performed on a private balcony, while you take in the incredible view. Not even the odd wandering elephant can disturb you here!
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