Five of South Africa’s top natural hot water springs

Posted by Alan Valkenburg on 4 June 2021

You’re going to hear a lot of phrases like ‘healing properties’ and ‘revitalising’ when you start looking into visiting natural hot springs. Why everything needs to be ‘healing’, we don’t know. I mean, if there’s sulphur, manganese and iron in my house’s water it’s a cause for concern but when it’s in a hot spring it’s suddenly desirable?

But whether you believe the propaganda or not, or whether you just want to soak in a pool that never gets cold, we’ve gone and got you some choices if you want to get away this winter and soak away your troubles. Certain provinces have multiple options but we’ve tried to choose our list from around the country.

1. Bela-Bela, Limpopo

The clue is in the name, or it was. We may know the area as Bela-Bela now, but it wasn’t so long ago that it was called Warmbaths. Bela-Bela can be translated to ‘The Pot that Boils’. Inside Bela-Bela there’s Warmbad or, the Klein Kariba ATKV resort just north of Bela-Bela offers a host of options for families, too, from putt-putt to hiking and riding.

2. Caledon, Western Cape 

Credit: Facebook/the Caledon

Keen for a luxury break in 12-metre cascading Khoi San pools with their natural 44-degree C warmth? The Caledon Hotel and Spa in the Overberg is just the place. If you’re a guest at the hotel, you’ll have complimentary access to the Victorian Bathhouse, as well as the warm and cold pools. Alternatively, book yourself in for a spa day and splash away the stress.

3. Montagu, Western Cape

Credit: Facebook/Avalon Springs

Side by side, the resorts of Montagu Springs and Avalon Springs are but a hop, skip and a jump apart. While Montagu Springs is for paying accommodation guests only, day visitors are allowed at Avalon (some restrictions apply). If these don’t take your fancy, the Goudini Spa Resort is just 100km away near Rawsonville. There are plenty of options in this neck of the woods.

4. Gooderson Natal, KZN

Credit: Facebook/Gooderson Natal

Those who think KZN equals Durban are in for a rude awakening. Set between Vryheid and Paulpietersberg, The Gooderson is about 3.5 hours from Durbs. However, once you’re there, you won’t want to leave as there’s a restaurant, bistro, two bars, a wellness centre, several accommodation options and plenty for the kids to enjoy. And, of course, warm water to soak in.

5. Riemvasmaak, Northern Cape

Credit: Facbook/Riemvasmaak Hot Springs

Relax in the warm water in the shade of 80m-high stone cliffs. Riemvasmaak is another good spot for those wanting to ‘get away from it all’. Visitors can challenge themselves on the 4×4 trail or simply enjoy the tranquillity. At just under 200km from the Namibian border, it’s also a possible stopover point on your travels north.

Picture: Wikimedia Commons






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