The light-drenched, one-room private spa at this Wilderness Collection lodge in Laikipia, northern Kenya, is as unique as the 50,000-acre ranch surrounding it. An oasis of lush greenery along the banks of the Sugeroi River with Mount Kenya in the distance, Segera’s après safari treatments offer site-specific massages that focus on those areas unknowingly strained during a game drive. Lead therapist Roseanne, a Kenyan who has worked at the property for more than 17 years, mixes creams with oils to penetrate sore muscles in the shoulders and forearms (from gripping the railings of the open-air Land Rover) and in the calves and hamstrings (from trail walking in the bush). Her unique acupressure technique kneads out any deep-tissue tension, leaving guests so relaxed it’s difficult to move from the massage table to the warm rock-stone bath that awaits. The fact that spa services are included complimentary with each stay is another generous bonus along with the fireside sundowners, personalized butler service, and exceptional gourmet meals accompanied by an extensive wine collection. segera.com —Deborah Frank
Reopened in 2021, this esteemed Botswana property by outfitter Wilderness Safaris has been completely reimagined with a new light-on-Earth design and a wellness theme integrated throughout. A standout of the redesign is the Osprey Retreat, a new, central fitness and relaxation area with a fully equipped gym, an infinity-edge pool overlooking the elephant-filled Linyanti River, quiet sun-drenched nooks, and a spa café and deli. Across a long wooden footbridge lies the glass-encased spa complex.
Treatments using Africa-based Healing Earth products, including a few created specifically for the camp, are designed to reconnect guests to the rhythms of nature. The Restoration and Rejuvenation Body Ceremony begins with an awakening spray followed by a healing touch massage using pure essential oils for balancing, drainage, relaxation, and muscle ease. The experience ends with a gentle awakening to the sound of Healing Earth’s rain sticks.
Thoughtful food menus emphasize plant-based cuisine, drawing on locally sourced ingredients, Botswana tradition, and a root-to-stem approach, in which plants and produce are used in their entirety. Local morogo (think: African wild spinach), Kalahari truffles, baobab seed powder, and protein-rich sorghum grain feature in vegan dishes such as carrot lox (a salad of smoked, curry carrot ribbons, avocado, crunchy apple and fennel, and creamy Madila “cream cheese”) and chakalaka with pap (a spicy African relish of cabbage, beans, onions, and tomatoes topped with firm cornmeal). wilderness-safaris.com —Paul Rubio
A trip to the Kalahari Desert offers otherworldly landscapes and rare creatures, but for many, time in this far-flung location is also a spiritual awakening. At luxury lodge Tswalu, deep in South Africa’s swathe of the Kalahari, time at the Tswalu Spa aids in consummating a safari experience beyond the tangible.
Connect with the earth through an exfoliation treatment, derived from the desert’s red sands, desert mineral crystals, or botanical fibers. After a morning in the sun, rehydrate the skin with a 90-minute Tswalu signature facial, using all-natural, anti-aging products by South African line Katavi. Touch therapies range from reflexology to hot stone massages, all using Just Pure, another eco-conscious South African product. Outside the confines of the spa, venerate the Kalahari’s grandeur from the comfort of a private expansive outdoor sala, a space that lends to deep thoughts and introspection. tswalu.com —P.R.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
This 77-suite property offers a full array of resort-style amenities in the heart of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. An infinity-edge swimming pool overlooks a watering hole frequented by giraffes and elephants, and an on-site discovery center and museum holds artifacts from across Tanzania, including hominid fossils from Olduvai Gorge. Also of note is the world-class spa and its many wellness services.
Welcome the Serengeti sun with complimentary sunrise yoga or marvel at its technicolor descent on a hilltop with sunset kopje meditation sessions. Choose from an extensive, pages-long spa treatment menu steeped in ancestral rituals, local Maasai traditions, and regional botanicals. During the deep-pressure Kifa massage, for example, the therapist works with a heated Maasai warrior wooden baton to work out kinks and tension. The signature Tree of Life Journey is inspired by the famed baobab and taps into the tree’s many healing properties with a baobab oil body exfoliation followed by an uplifting massage. The four-handed Ubuntu (meaning “I am, because you are”) massage is performed with Ubuntu Natural neroli, baobab, and wheat germ oils. These products are made from indigenous, wild-harvested African plants and support impoverished rural communities through work and sale proceeds. All spa sessions begin with a local welcome drink of baobab juice, which is rich in antioxidants, high in fiber and Vitamin C (10 times more than oranges), and known to have anti-inflammatory properties. fourseasons.com —P.R.