Cape Town – With a number of public holidays, school holidays and long weekends that have recently passed, you’ve probably been surrounded by family, friends, colleagues and tourists at every turn you’ve taken.
Guess what - there’s another extra-long, long weekend on its way, and unless you’re ready for round-two of constantly being surrounded by people and activity – to the point where you wish to rather be at the office – why not consider a solo escape for some proper rejuvenation?
SEE: Relaxation re-check: How much closer are you to self-care and more travel in 2018?
A relaxing solo escape need not be a luxury visit to a secluded safari (however enticing that may be) – the ideal getaway could be a yoga retreat near your city, a one-night stay at an off-the-grid spot, a day touring the local park or nature reserve on your own.
Check out these ideas for a relaxing solo getaway
Treat your mind, body and soul
When it comes to rejuvenating solo breaks, nothing is quite as effective as yoga retreats and spiritual getaways that give you the opportunity to restore balance to your body, while bringing calm and peace to your mind. Here’s where you can visit:
The Buddhist Retreat Centre near Ixopo is said to be an oasis of serenity and calm, offering a number of wellness programmes for the body, mind and soul. The centre is immersed in nature and the area has been declared a Natural Heritage site.
The centre has a line-up of a number of retreats throughout the year, with two events taking place over the upcoming long weekend - Yogis Live Longer: Hatha yoga for health and resilience and Sacred Drumming: Exploring natural rhythms.
Yoga retreats are conducted by veteran yoga practitioners, and the Centre houses accommodation lodges and cottages, an art studio, library, meditation hall, the labyrinth, the Zen gardens, the deer park and the Buddha Boma for reflection and contemplation.
Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge in Magoebaskloof offers a serene getaway in nature, surrounded by mountains, indigenous forests and bushveld.
Here, simple log cabins offer spectacular views of the surrounding areas, while visitors can partake in yoga, meditation and other wellness therapies, so be sure to carry your yoga mat.
You can also enjoy hiking trails, sunset 4x4 drives, adventure mountain bike trails, guided birding and nature walks, learn fly-fishing or go on an immersive village experience.
Surrounded by the majestic Magaliesberg Mountains, Emoyeni, which means “Place of Spirit”, follows Buddhist values and meditation.
“Our approach includes the practice of mindfulness and an attitude of non-harming towards all living beings,” says the centre, which offers an escape that’s bound to get you calm and relaxed.
Accommodation and other facilities are basic, with the emphasis on functionality rather than luxury, as the centre encourages “introspection and inquiry” and does not offer facilities such as swimming pools, games and television – certainly proving to be an ideal solo retreat.
Are you in dire need of a digital detox? Want to live in cosy comfort but without the immediacy that comes with technology? Go back to basics at these stays:
KolKol, amid Cape Floral Kingdom fynbos, is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town and the ideal place to give you a break from the city. While it has cell phone signal and electricity, there’s no Internet connection, so you can say goodbye to social media during your stay – which is probably what you need for a proper social detox.
With Canadian-style log cabins, cozy fireplaces inside and wood-fired hot tubs outside (perfect for the colder months ahead!), and overlooking the Overberg, what better retreat do you need in this part of the country?
With no cell phone signal, electricity or Internet, Tankwa Karoo is about as secluded as you can get.
Situated in the national park, there’s cosy accommodation, braai facilities and even a reservoir for swimming.
But due its rather extreme secluded offering (no cell phone signal, really), best you give this stay a try with a partner and turn it into a romantic escape at De Zyfer cottage, rather than a solo getaway – unless you’re brave enough to stay in Karoo, alone and in the dark?
Located in the heart of Karkloof, Shawswood Farm’s Stone Haven Cottage is a tranquil spot for nature lovers to escape by immersing themselves in the surrounding beauty.
The building itself dates back to 1880 and was once used as a stable and hay loft for the Shaw family. Nowadays the loft serves as a cosy bedroom with a double bed. There is cell phone signal and electricity, but no Internet access - making this an ideal secluded retreat.
Let Mother Nature heal you
From super luxury to backyard escapes, nothing is more relaxing and healing than basking in nature and all its glory.
Whether it’s a few hours spent at a national botanical garden, a stroll through the local park or a well-planned stay at game reserve, immersing oneself in nature proves to be cathartic. And it’s best enjoyed solo! Here are some options to consider to suit varying tastes:
Near Graaff-Reinet in Eastern Cape, and a three-hour drive from Port Elizabeth, Samara is a secluded getaway ideal for a solo escape or for a venture with loved ones.
With a perfect pool- side area, mountain views and rich wildlife, it makes for much-needed local solo escape where one gets to bask in luxury and nature all in one.
SEE: Samara: A secluded Eastern Cape escape
And just remember that SA is home to a number of game parks and reserves, and you’re bound to find a wild adventure close to you.
Bask in our botanical gardens
Instead of the usual picnic with family or friends at the botanical garden closest to you, why not pay these marvels of nature a visit on your own to fully take in its splendour?
We often spend days at these magnificent places for concerts or outdoor gatherings with loved ones and never fully get to appreciate it. But, a solo escape to these gardens will prove to foster a greater appreciation for the natural beauty right in our backyards, while providing some alone time to just chill.
While popular Kirstenbosch in Cape Town boasts the award-winning 'Boomslang' Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway, South Africa is home to 10 botanical gardens across 9 provinces. Check it out here - Discover SA's 10 Botanical Gardens.