African-inspired treatments are all the rage at various spas throughout the country. Instead of looking to other continents for inspiration our local spas have done some soul-searching and have come up with a range of unique treats and treatments inspired by the sacred knowledge found in our own backyard.

African-inspired treatments are available at a number of top spas across the country including the Fordoun, Mangwanani and Falaza spas.

Located at Nottingham Road in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Fordoun Hotel & Spa is known for its African treatments. On-site is African traditional healer Dr Elliot Ndlovu who is both an inyanga (medicinal healer) and sangoma (spiritual healer). He imparts the wisdom and healing powers of Africa to the Spa guests.

In Elliot's garden there are over 120 different species of healing plants. There are also two African therapy rooms and Elliot's consulting room, all built and designed in Zulu style. Fordoun Spa utilises the Ndlovu Green and Red Ranges based on plants used in traditional healing. Treatments include the Umhlonyane massage – similar to a Swedish massage technique but using Artemesia Afra (Umhlonyane)-infused oil.

Another spa offering African treatments is Mangwanani Private African Day Spas, with one branch at the Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom on the popular KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, and several others scattered throughout the country.

Treatments here include the Ancient African Head & Neck Healing & Relaxation Therapy, the Traditional African Royal Hand Gift (from fingers to elbows) and the Full Spa Body Works with an invigorating African Mielie Meal (maize) Body Exfoliation.

Neighbouring the World Heritage Site of iSimangaliso, Falaza Game Park and Spa is close by the acclaimed Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, and also offers traditional African treatments. Before individualised treatments begin, each client is taken to the relaxation area where they receive a traditional izinyawo cleanse (foot gift). The feet are cleansed in a bowl of warm water with a blend of juniper, tangerine and blue mountain sage.

Thereafter they are wrapped in a cool, rejuvenating and softening foot mask.

African herbs and plants such as fynbos, buchu, the marula plant, rooibos and many others are used in various African-inspired treatments.

African-inspired treatments beautifully combine African rituals, medicinal plants and age-old wisdom with modern-day health and wellness expertise.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Fordoun Hotel & Spa:
Tel: +27 (0) 33 266 6217

Falaza Game Park and Spa:
Tel: +27 (0) 35 562 2319

Mangwanani Sibaya:
Tel: +27 (0) 86 055 0055

How to get here

Visit the various spa websites for directions and maps on how to get to the individual spas.

Best time to visit

Anytime is a good time to visit a spa, but make sure to book ahead if you are planning to go during peak season.

Around the area

Fordoun is along the Midlands Meander – known for its galleries, arts and crafts shops. Falaza, sitatued along the Elephant Coast, is renowned for exquisite game viewing at Hluluwe-Imfolozi.

Length of stay

Spend a weekend or longer at Fordoun and Falaza, and a full-day or half-day at Mangwanani Sibaya, or any of the Mangwanani branches across the country.

Where to stay

One can stay over at Fordoun and Falaza, both have excellent accommodation.

What to eat

A spa-inspired health menu is always an option. Fordoun, Falaza and Mangwanani all have extensive menus, so the choice is up to you.

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