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Spas

BIG CAVE CAMP

Spa treatments can be a bit Marmite. And they’re not necessarily going to transform your mental and physical wellbeing. But they can help you relax and destress, perhaps aiding the transition from real-world hubbub to African bush. Many lodges now boast spas. Some simply offer basic massages between game drives; at others, there’s a panoply of treatments available The upshot: you can be well pampered in the wilderness if you wish. Try: Segera Retreat in Laikipia was voted Africa’s Best Safari Spa 2018; as well as indulgent treatments it has a relaxing Rasul steam tower. To find treatments with a local flavour, try Bisate Lodge, Rwanda, for masseuse Orlane Umutesi’s deep-tissue Intonga Amasatchi pummelling or Elsa’s Kopje for treatments such as the African Hand Print Ritual.

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Travel Africa
January-March 2019 (85)
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With an increasing number of us more conscious of our mental and physical health, we’ve put together 17 pages of suggestions for ways in which you can make your next safari more invigorating and rewarding, without breaking too much of a sweat.
Across the continent there are myriad opportunities to get into nature on foot, amid some truly impressive scenery. Build this into your itinerary and you’ll get to see a part of the country you wouldn’t otherwise, in a much more rewarding and intimate way.
Walking is arguably the best exercise there is: great for general strength and fitness but gentle on the joints and doable by almost everyone. More than that, walking gets you out exploring the world at a pace slow enough to take it all in. You’re not allowed to walk everywhere in Africa, but where you can, you should: there’s no better way to absorb the wildness of the continent. Once you start looking, you’ll find lots of good options in most countries, but here are a few spots to start…
If you are looking for something more challenging, why not push yourself to tackle one of Africa’s top peaks? Treks are possible on all of them, with only a couple needing technical climbing experience to reach the summit. Travelling with a specialist operator will ensure you’ll go slow and steady, enabling you to properly take in the dramatic scenery and montane wildlife that you’ve come to enjoy.
Running, like walking, is a wonderfully low-fi, lowcost and natural way to stay fit. But, as with walking, running deep in the African wilds isn’t always advised. But it can be done…
Swimming is an excellent non-impact, whole body, egalitarian exercise, doable by people of all ages. In Africa you just need to pick the right spot.
Cycling, and cycle tourism, is booming – including across Africa. Several lodges on private concessions now offer mountain bike excursions, while devoted riders can plan longer expeditions.
The purported benefits of yoga are endless, ranging from better breathing and sleep to improved circulation, anxiety reduction and pain relief. Yoga can help reduce stress and increase focus as well as build fitness, stamina, strength and flexibility. And its mindful ethos seems to sit perfectly with safaris.
It’s the latest buzzword, but what does ‘mindfulness’ actually mean in the context of a safari holiday? How can you adapt your approach to release the mental benefits of connecting with nature more quickly?
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Príncipe is a tiny island in the Gulf of Guinea, punctuated by towering basalt peaks, dense with rain forests and fringed by perfect white beaches. Once home to pirates, slaves and cocoa barons, today it’s being transformed into a model of African conservation. This is how we wish tourism operated everywhere.
South Africa has a ridiculous wealth of attractions, such as Cape Town, its famous national parks and glorious beaches. Step off the tourist trail, though, and you’ll find a depth of experience that reveals the soul of the country in surprising ways. One such region is the northern Limpopo province.
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