There are numerous hot springs in South Africa whose invigorating waters are perfect for warding off the winter chill. Formed by ancient volcanic activity, these hotspots are set amid gorgeous natural scenery in areas that are normally a bit off the beaten path. South Africans love to visit on winter weekends and stay in the accompanying resorts, which offer a full slate of amenities and services. Here are 10 you should know about.
Sources: Southafrica.net, BudgetTravel.com, TripAdvisor.Com, Hotels.Com, LonelyPlanet.com
This article originally appeared on AFKInsider.com.
1. Goudini Spa
Located in Rawsonville, Goudini has both indoor and outdoor pools, and the warm water is especially enjoyable on cold evenings. Miniature golf and trampolines help keep children occupied. It’s ideally located for those who want to explore the Western Cape Winelands, as it’s only an hour from Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl.
2. The Baths
This resort is located in Citrusdal, about a two-hour drive from Cape Town. The springs, which hover at 43 degrees Celsius, are set in the Olifants River Valley, part of the stunning Cederberg mountain range. It has both hot and cold-water pools, along with activities such as tennis and hiking.
Warmwaterberg Spa is located near Swellendam in the Western Cape near several nature reserves, including Anysberg and Groot Swartberg. Visitors to this spa enjoy soaking in the piping hot water, which hovers at a steamy 44 degrees Celsius. The spa has two hot pools, one cold water pool, and Roman baths. Guests can also enjoy the spa’s specially formulated bath salts.
4. Caledon Hotel & Spa
Located off the N2 highway, Caledon is a two-hour drive from Cape Town. In addition to the warm mineral baths, this spa has six treatment rooms and a rainshower feature. A wealth of dining and entertainment options (including a casino) are also available after your’re done with your body treatments.
5. Calitzdorp Spa
Located just west of Oudtshoorn and close to Warmwaterberg, Calitzdorp’s mineral hot spring is known for its revitalizing properties. Minerals including manganese and iron bubble up from the ground source and are great for the skin. The spa offers spectacular views of the surrounding area, which adds to the element of relaxation.
Bela-Bela, a stunning and tranquil landscape, is in Limpopo province, 175 kilometers north of Johannesburg. The name Bela-Bela is derived from a Tswana word that means “boiling-boiling,” an indication of the vast amount of heat generated underground. At the Warmbad resort visitors can dunk in the healing and soothing waters as the Tswana people did hundreds of years ago. Visitors can also get close to nature by taking hikes and seeing nearby wildlife in the Mabalingwe Nature Reserve or the Nylsvley Nature Reserve.
7. Badplaas Sulphur Springs
Badplaas is located in Mpumalanga, on the eastern border of South Africa near Swaziland. A resort was built up around the natural springs, which are known as eManzana (healing waters) by the Swazi people. The spa channels the waters to one cold pool, three hot pools and four private pools.
8. Riemvasmaak Hot Springs
Riemvasmaak is in Northern Cape province, near Upington in the Augrabies Falls National Park. Volcanic activity produced these pristine waters which can be accessed through a deep ravine. The pools sit in the midst of lush vegetation and wildlife, which appeals to hikers.
9. Montagu Springs
From Cape Town, Montagu Springs is a three-hour drive via the R318 road. The resort has hot and cold pools, along with a pool just for kids, and the accommodation is very affordable. The area is known for its beautiful scenery and bird life.
10. Avalon Springs
Avalon Springs is located just down the road from Montagu Springs. Its 43-degree waters flow from a fissure in the rock and are channeled to different pools, with accompanying fun slides. Waters at Avalon remain unaffected even by extreme drought conditions.
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