Collectively, the human race has experienced possibly more stress in the last two years than they have in a very long time. Pandemic. Social unrest. Highly polarizing elections. Spikes in unemployment. And throughout it, thanks to travel restrictions and business closures, people haven’t had access to their usual means of unwinding, like travel – particularly relaxation-based and luxury travel. So it’s no wonder that a survey by Flywire found that 72 percent of luxury travelers plan on spending more on vacations in 2022 than before the pandemic. And with Bloomberg reporting that Black travelers spend more on luxury experiences than white travelers, you might just be looking for something extra special and deeply relaxing now that you can travel again. Perhaps your domestic spas just won’t cut it and your passport is burning a hole in your pocket. If you can relate, here are ultra-luxurious spa experiences to book in Africa.
Starting out with one of the most unique and elevated experiences, Ol Jogi is a private wildlife reserve. Your party can book the entire thing to have all to yourselves. It has 11 opulently designed bedrooms (the owners are art collectors and it is reflected in the décor) spread throughout several cottages, each with views of the wildlife sanctuary.
In addition to enjoying stunning tubs, saunas and steam rooms in some of the private bathrooms, you can also reserve a masseuse who will gladly set up a table anywhere around the property so you can take in breathtaking views while getting your treatment.
The property has tennis courts, a pool, a wine cellar and even an underground wildlife viewing tunnel. Meals will be chef-prepared and use ingredients from local farmers.
Kaya Mawa lodge
Those looking for something a bit more boutique out of their luxury spa experiences can visit Kaya Mawa Lodge on Likoma Island in Malawi. The property was built by the locals, using all local materials, and is the only resort in the area running entirely on renewable energy.
Guests stay in one of 11 uniquely decorated houses, some of which have private plunge pools and decks overlooking the ocean.
After enjoying the many activities offered from snorkeling to paddle boarding, guests can unwind with a massage on their private deck, listening to the ocean lapping up against the shore.
Another resort based around wildlife viewing, Thanda Safari sits in the Zululand region of South Africa and offers guests close encounters with the Big 5. This private game reserve has an African day spa, tucked away amongst rocks with an almost cave-like feel. Visitors can enjoy their treatments outdoors with views of the reserve and take a dip in the spa’s pool afterwards. The spa’s treatments are based on ancient Zulu holistic practices for an authentic South African healing experience.
Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort
Isle of Mauritius
The Isle of Mauritius is geographically complex. It belongs to the continent of Africa but sits in the Indian Ocean. Those wanting a resort experience can visit the Anantara Iko Mauritius, which contains 164 rooms and suites, all overlooking the crystal clear waters of the ocean. Amenities include two relaxation pools, a whirl pool, five restaurants, cooking classes and plenty of nature trails to explore in the tropical surroundings.
As for the luxury spa experiences to be had here, the spa itself is tucked away in a peaceful garden where guests indulge in indigenous treatments that combine Thai techniques and Mauritian philosophies.
The Coral Lodge sits on the Northern coast of mainland Mozambique. It is set on a peninsula, creating a serene environment where visitors enjoy views of the Indian Ocean. Guests stay in one of ten private villas facing the lagoon or the beach. This is one of the luxury spa experiences made for those who want to feel like they have an island all to themselves.
The lodge is near the UNESCO world heritage site of Ilha De Mozambique, a popular tourist attraction during the day. Those who choose to stay on the property can reserve a massage with one of the therapists who come in from the nearby village. Treatments can be enjoyed on private wooden decks overlooking the ocean, on the beach or poolside.
Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero
The Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is in Kasane, on the edge of the Chobe National Park. And for that reason, guests sometimes spot elephant herds during their stay. Visitors sleep in one of 15 luxurious suites and enjoy chef-prepared meals daily. These include nightly three-course dinners and sunset drinks on the lodge terrace.
The spa offers authentic African treatments including an African Milk Bath and an African Potato Anti-Aging Body Experience. In addition to private indoor treatment rooms, there is one treetop treatment room that offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. Visitors can also enjoy hydrotherapy and a plunge pool at the spa.
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