Wild at Heart Journeys Hannah Strand Wellness Wild Yoga

Our Wild at Heart Women journey co-leader Hannah Strand specializes in sharing wellness in the wild.
Image via Hannah Strand.

Though best known as a destination brimming with adventure, our favorite African itineraries also make time for the quiet introspection that the landscapes and people of Africa inspire. Our signature Wild at Heart Women journey includes a wellness component - daily yoga with trip co-leader Hannah Strand - but we also have several favorite wellness-oriented camps and lodges that can be added to another itinerary or make a fine destination all on their own.

With incredible spa offerings, healthy food, and private, tranquil spaces for yoga and meditation, these four very diverse locations are perfect for a girls’ trip, yoga studio group, couples looking to unplug, and even families that want to balance the thrill of safari with a focus on rejuvenation.

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in South Africa

This family-run, five star hotel truly offers all the best of what the South African region has to offer. Perched on the edge of the ocean, surrounded by a national park, and yet minutes to the best beaches in Cape Town, Twelve Apostles features luxury accommodations and extensive spa services, combining ancient wisdom, modern expertise, and impeccable service.

Wild at Heart Journeys Wellness South Africa Twelve Apostles

Nestled between the South Atlantic and a national park, Twelve Apostles combines luxury accommodations and extensive spa services just a short distance from Cape Town. Image via Twelve Apostles..

Spa treatments are offered in single or double indoor treatment rooms or the hotel’s two luxury mountain gazebos with unobstructed views of the Atlantic. All spa services include use of warm and cold plunge pools and a salt water flotation pool, a deeply relaxing experience that does wonders for jet lag! Twelve Apostles also offers a traditional Rasul chamber. This Arabic cleansing ritual uses steam and mud to release toxins, followed by a rain shower to rejuvenate both skin and spirit.

Lest the spa and its complementary Health Bar buffet feel too wholesome, Twelve Apostles is also within 30 minutes of Cape Town’s many wineries - including Steenberg, Groot Constantia, and more. The best golf courses in the region are also nearby. The adjacent Table Mountain National Park offers hiking with scenic viewpoints for contemplation and solitude. If you want company, the hotel also has a unique “Sports Buddies” program that pairs a local staff member with guests who might want a partner for a hike, run, or yoga class.

Arijiju - A Private, Luxury Villa in Kenya

Wild at Heart Journeys Wellness Wild Arijiju

Enjoy stunning architecture and serene spaces at Arijiju, a private villa in the Kenyan Highlands. Image via Arijiju

This isn’t the first time we’ve recommended Arijiju, a beautiful, private home in the game-rich, malaria-free Kenyan Highlands that has been featured in the pages of Conde Nast Traveller, Architectural Digest, and Departures. Arijuju exudes organic luxury and provides just the right mix of adventure and sanctuary; the home’s hand-cut, Meru stone architecture was literally inspired by the monasteries of neighboring Ethiopia.

This exclusive-use villa offers a more tailored approach to an African journey. You’ll have total privacy and all meals, spa services, and planned activities are 100% custom and private to your group - perfect for a girl’s trip or yoga studio retreat. There is a dedicated yoga deck on the villa property and an elegant spa, gym, clay tennis/squash courts, pool, and health-focused menus all make wellness feel effortless at Arijiju. Situated on the Borana Conservancy, safari by helicopter, quad bike, and horseback are all available, as well as “big five” game drives.

Wild at Heart Journeys Wellness Wild Jao Reserve Botswana
Slipping through the Okavango delta in a traditional mokoro is a hallmark of Jao Camp. Image via Jao Camp.

Jao Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta

Situated on a remote island within Botswana’s Okavango delta, Jao Camp is perfect for those seeking the restorative tranquility of time on the water. Slipping languidly through the delta in a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) is the preferred way to view wildlife here, though game drives through the Kalahari grasslands are also available. The elevated lounge, guest tents, and decks give the entire camp a treehouse effect, overlooking the lush delta. A raised hide about 20 minutes from camp can be used for viewing wildlife, practicing yoga, or as a star bed for an outdoor sleepout.

Tucked under magnificent African ebony trees overlooking lush waterways, the Jao Camp Spa offers a full menu of therapies and is considered the very best in the delta. A well stocked gym also overlooks the flood plain and can accomodate a private group for meditation or yoga.

Wild at Heart Journeys Wellness Wild Jao Camp Botswana Decks

Jao Camp’s treehouse-like accommodations create a tranquil setting for yoga and meditation.
Image via Jao Camp.

Mara Bushtops - Five Star Service in the Wilderness

Mara Bushtops boasts an absolutely sensational location, perched on the side of a hill in front of the largest natural salt lick in the Masai Mara - offering an endless parade of majestic African wildlife. Stunning panoramic views are offered from each private, luxury tent. In fact, “wild luxury” is the mantra here and the lodge’s award-winning Amani African Spa Village offers the utmost in pampering, peace, and tranquility.

The spa village, located a short walk from the lodge, features elegantly constructed rock platforms and thatch-roofed buildings. Its amenities include a cold dip pool, steam room, sauna, and traditional Rasul cleansing room. A guest favorite is the Jewel of Africa massage; this and other services offer specially formulated oils incorporating modern phyto-technology from traditional African healing plants. At night, the spa’s heated infinity pool transforms into a mesmerizing starscape featuring the Orion constellation.

Wild at Heart Journeys Wellness Wild Mara Bushtops Spa Shower Kenya

Outdoor treatments and products made with African medicinal plants are just some of the luxuries at Mara Bushtops.
Image via Mara Bushtops.

Set amid the Bushtops private conservancy, activities such as walking safaris, night game drives, off road game drives, and bush breakfasts are all part of the experience. Game drives are conducted in state of the art open 4x4’s and accompanied by a professional Ranger and local Masai spotter. Buffalo, elephant, and lions are often present in great numbers and expert guides also seek out the more shy denizens such as leopards and rhino. Outstanding Masai cultural experiences, such as cave, village, and school visits, are also available through Mara Bushtops.

Zuri Zanzibar - A New Level of Luxury on the Archipelago

The newly opened Zuri Zanzibar (July 2018) is an Indian Ocean oasis offering brand new luxury accommodations and 300 meters of private beach. The resort’s stunning west facing sunsets and mesmerising azure water alone will soothe even the most stressed out soul.

Wild at Heart Journeys Wellness Wild Zuri Zanzibar

Unobstructed views of the azure Indian Ocean at Zuri Zanzibar. Image via Zuri Zanzibar.

There are two outdoor yoga spaces, with sunrise and sunset classes offered daily, at Zuri Zanzibar. Each bungalow, suite, or villa also includes an attached terrace perfect for practicing in solitude. Wellbeing is an integral aspect of the Zuri experience; the spa offers a range of services and you might rest post-treatment with a cup of tea on a relaxation deck in the lush spice garden. Several restaurant options, all with fresh, healthy menus, are scattered around the resort. Or, guests can also dine in tranquility on their terrace or the beach.

Start Planning

For small parties or larger groups, we enjoy putting together wellness-focused journeys in Africa. Our outstanding relationships with these and other destinations allow us to develop a customized experience focused on your desired activities - yoga, meditation, or spa retreats and more. Call us at 1-844-945-7697 or get in touch by email to start planning now.

 Wild at Heart Journeys Wellness Wild Mara Bushtops Spa Village Kenya

The Amani Spa Village at Mara Bushtops is a beautiful wellness-dedicated enclave in the wilderness.
Image via Mara Bushtops.


Robin Francis of WAHJ has been providing African travel services for over 10 years and travels frequently to the continent to meet with partners and experience their lodging, amenities, and activities first hand. Partners regard her as one of the most knowledgeable African travel consultants in the US, who has also invested in giving back to the communities she works with. Robin and WAHJ are available for complete travel booking throughout Africa or consulting on bookings made through other providers.