The healing waters of Caledon

Posted by Nidha Narrandes on 23 October 2019

The hot springs in Caledon have enthralled inhabitants through the ages, from the early Khoi-Khoi people who first lived on the land, to the Europeans who later settled in the Cape.

The springs are said to have healing powers, and though some dismiss this as a myth, there is certainly a level of healing and therapy that takes place in this part of the land. The iron-rich waters vary in temperatures from 49.5°C at the top, and cascade to much cooler pools three levels down.

There are seven springs in total, all of which are known for their de-stressing properties. This is a place to forget what’s on your mind, and let the preoccupation of the moment wash over you into the pools below. Let’s face it, we all need to let go at some point, and what better place to do it in, being surrounded by the beauty and tranquillity of the Caledon landscape.

Lush vegetation surrounds the hotel.

The Europeans settlers were so convinced of the power healing of the springs, they opened a sick house and then a sanatorium, which later burned down in a raging fire. So strong was the pull towards the hot springs, the area was originally named ‘Bad agter de Berg’ which translates to Bath Behind the Mountain.

Today, the hot springs are still known for their ability to induce pure relaxation for those who seek it – a healing of the mind. For families, it makes for the ideal escape from Cape Town. It takes just 90 minutes to arrive at Caledon Spa and Hotel in the Overberg area.

You are greeted by swaying palm trees, dense vegetation and rolling lawns. It’s an oasis outside the city to forget your stress and try your hand at poker at the same time – if you’re feeling lucky.

Spend a day soaking in the hot springs. Even on a warm spring day, it will keep the kids entertained and remind you that you don’t need your phone in your hand 24 hours a day.

Cascading hot springs will take all your stress away.

To get the best experience out of the springs, start at the top and work your way down. You can feel the tension lifting with each dip, while the kids splash around nearby. If that’s not sufficient, a massage by experienced hands will most likely do the trick. The therapists understand how to smooth, unknot and unhinge any tension left in you. You can choose from an array of spa treatments to suit your needs and pocket.

When the sun starts to dip behind the rolling hills, make sure you have a glass of chilled wine in hand and a front row seat at the Black Sheep Restaurant. The resort has three restaurants to choose from, so whether you’re in the mood for a quick pasta at Da Vinci’s or a buffet at the Blue Crane, you are catered for.

Enjoy dinner at Black Sheep Restaurant.

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine, and we’re here for complete healing. It was just my luck that Schalk Bezuidenhout was performing at the Caledon Swartberg venue. He is a brilliant stand-up comedian and had the audience in stitches from start to finish. The hotel hosts regular events to keep travellers and locals entertained.

Children are highly favoured at the hotel as well, and they can enjoy playrooms stocked with video games, and an entire arcade section to keep them busy outside of swimming hours.

When you eventually fall into bed, spent from the day’s de-stressing detox, in your relaxed mind you’re already booking your return visit. The rooms are well-serviced with all the comforts of home. It is only when you draw the curtains aside in the morning do you realise that this immaculate view is, sadly, not your home. You breathe in the beauty of the countryside – a breath so deep it reaches every fibre of your being. As I write this I’m recounting that breath of fresh air, and reliving the sense of serenity.

The rooms have all the comforts of home.

You really only need one weekend to say ‘I feel relaxed’, as long as it’s the right weekend, in the right surroundings.  There are pockets of unexpected adventure around every corner of the Cape, as the early inhabitants discovered, and now you can discover them too. Legend has it, some towns can even heal your tired soul with their mythical waters. I tend to agree.


Contact: +27 28 214 5100
Address: 1 Nerina Avenue, Caledon, Western Cape, South Africa
Website: Caledon Hotel and Spa

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