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The only guide to spiritual retreats in South Africa you’ll ever need

Choosing from the wide range of spiritual retreats available in South Africa could be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as someone who wants to advance on your spiritual journey, so it’s good to start considering your options right away. If you’ve decided on a spiritual retreat in South Africa (either because you live here or you’re travelling to our beautiful country), we’ve got some top tips to help you decide, as well as a list of the top 20 spiritual retreats in South Africa…

Jump directly to the list of the top spiritual retreats in South Africa

Why a spiritual retreat?

A meditative, relaxing spiritual retreat is a wonderful gift to yourself. It is a chance to pull back from routine life patterns and focus on yourself as spirit. It is about making time for yourself on a deep level. It is about making space to find your centre, get grounded in yourself, release the old, and give birth to the new.

Each spiritual retreat in South Africa (or indeed anywhere in the world) is unique and it is important to find one that works for you. When choosing a retreat, consider the following…

  • What type of retreat would best suit you?
  • What type of content is covered in the retreat program?
  • What is the level of integrity of the instructors/facilitators?
  • What type of accommodation, where is the location and how easily accessible is the retreat?
  • What is your available time and budget?

Spiritual Retreats in South Africa

Choosing a spiritual retreat in South Africa

1. Type of retreat

Are you looking for an intensive retreat program which packs a lot into a full schedule? Are you just wanting to get away from it all and have a relaxing vacation? Or are you looking for a little of both: time for learning and plenty of free time?

2. Content of the retreat program

This is one of the most important aspects of a retreat. What will you be focussing on and learning about? Are you enthusiastic to do this?

3. Integrity of the retreat instructors/facilitators

Do the facilitators come from a place of integrity, and how do you know this? Will the instructor support you in connecting with yourself on a deeper level? Flashy personalities can be impressive at first, but big egos can also distract you from the real job of connecting with yourself.

4. Accommodation and location of the retreat

When choosing a spiritual retreat, it is useful to remember it’s called a spiritual retreat, not a physical retreat. It is important to be comfortable enough so you can learn and enjoy. But the content of the retreat program is more important than the physical surroundings. There can be wonderful retreats in simple-looking surroundings. And there can be questionable retreats in impressive surroundings.

In today’s busy, stressful world, it’s worth bearing in mind that retreats do not have to be isolated in remote locations to be effective. Some remote locations can be exhausting to get to and from, especially in outlying rural areas.

5. Time and budget

Remember that even if you don’t have time or money to escape to a spiritual retreat in an exotic South African location, you can always create mini-retreats for yourself. There’s no reason why you can’t meditate happily right at home!

It’s less about where your body is and more about what your spiritual intent is. The purpose of a spiritual retreat is to pull back from the world and connect with yourself on a deeper level. Meditating is a great way to give yourself mini retreats in daily life.

About High Hopes spiritual retreats

We hope that our brief guide to choosing a spiritual retreat in South Africa has proved helpful. We also hope that you might consider our little piece of heaven – a mere 90 minutes from Cape Town – as one of your retreat options, so we’d love to tell you a little more about us.

High Hopes Retreats are unique retreat programmes developed by kinesiologist and counselling psychologist, Angela Craig. They combine body wisdom, relaxation and self mastery in your personal and professional life.

What happens on High Hopes wellness retreats?

In a structured way, combining meditation (mindfulness training), counselling sessions, massage, reiki, energy medicine tools and reflexology treatments with applied kinesiology, we walk with you through your stresses, challenges and gently guide you back to balance. You may find that you have already achieved a lot of balance, but wish for the support and rest that retreating offers, a special way of being still and enjoying your success. Most of us experience a mixed bag, we have focussed and achieved in certain aspects of our life, and want to devote time and attention to other aspects that are out of balance.

We listen to you and we guide you…

We cook for you. We give you a bicycle for the duration of your stay. Your accommodation is luxurious – rooms are private, large, very comfortably furnished and stocked with a range of aromatherapy soap, shampoo, body lotion and herb and floral air freshener. Duvets are goose down and linen is percale. There is satellite TV and a small library, including DVDs, books and wellness magazines.

On the exercise side, our programme includes safe walks, hikes, horse-riding, yoga, carriage-driving and cycling . Greyton also has tennis courts, a gym, art galleries and quaint cafés and bric-a-brac shops, as well as some very fine dining at very affordable prices.

Choose from shorter, intensive, structured programmes, and longer semi-structured retreats.

To find out more about our retreats and availability, please see our detailed retreats page.

The top 25 spiritual retreats in South Africa

We’ve listed the top 25 spiritual retreats in South Africa below to help you make your decision about which retreat suits you best. We’ve ranked them by province and the distance from the closest international airport (Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town). Please do contact the retreats directly for more detailed information (clicking on each name will take you directly to their website). Note that you can click on any column heading to sort the table by that column.

Retreat NameProvinceDistanceTime
Nan Hua Buddhist TempleGauteng700:47
Satori Farm Eco RetreatKwaZulu-Natal1411:32
Buddhist Retreat CentreKwaZulu-Natal1742:12
DharmagiriKwaZulu-Natal2342:37
Kurisa Moya Nature LodgeLimpopo3553:43
Boondocks Mountain LodgeMpumalanga3763:47
Karoo Zen RetreatsNorthern Cape6806:35
Celtis LodgeNorth West1301:28
Emoyeni Retreat CentreNorth West1401:27
Centre for Christian SpiritualityWestern Cape150:14
Tushita Kadampa Buddhist CentreWestern Cape170:18
Kagyu Samye Dzong, Cape TownWestern Cape220:22
PhakalaneWestern Cape290:33
Dhamma PatakaWestern Cape1121:20
High HopesWestern Cape1251:29
The Blue ButterflyWestern Cape1261:29
Hearth and Soul Eco FarmWestern Cape1512:03
The Dharma CentreWestern Cape1551:44
Bodhi Khaya Country RetreatWestern Cape1632:13
Temenos Retreat CentreWestern Cape1731:59
Healing HolidaysWestern Cape1852:11
Little Samadhi Karoo RetreatWestern Cape2442:45
Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve and RetreatWestern Cape2653:02
Bijlia Cana Wellness RetreatWestern Cape3904:04
Benedictus Deus Retreat CentreWestern Cape5075:29

You might also be interested in our list of Western Cape Spa Retreats.

Top 25 Spiritual Retreats in South Africa