Vegan Wellness Travel
The vegan movement is growing every year, and the worldwide hospitality industry is catching up quickly to the fact that attracting vegan or flexitarian travelers is the smart thing to do. In South Africa this is no different, and our Rainbow Nation has become a whole lot more vegan-friendly!
Below you can explore safaris, nature lodges, sanctuaries, guesthouses, self-catering accommodations and retreats - some vegan-owned, some reliably vegan-friendly - where you can (safely) experience beautiful South Africa and rejuvenate your soul.
For a personalised itinerary that suits your budget, please contact me - this is what I do best!
Vegan Big Five Safaris
Veganism has become mainstream enough for most safari lodges and camps to cater for vegans, but what most people don’t realise is that food is just one element of being vegan. Veganism is taking an active stand against all animal cruelty and exploitation, and so being confronted as a vegan traveler with mounted animal heads and skins on the floor, leather chairs and couches, down duvets and pillows and non-vegan-friendly amenities, can be enough to put a serious damper on their safari. Are we vegans simply too sensitive (is what some people will argue)? Well, think of it this way, when a non-vegan goes to Asia, do they want to be confronted with evidence of cruelty against dogs and cats? See dog skins on the floor, or sit on cat-skin furniture? I very much doubt it, and to a vegan, there simply is no difference between dogs and cats and pigs and cows and ducks and wild animals……
Completely veganised Big Five Safari in South Africa:
Extremely vegan-friendly Big Five Safari:
Vegan Nature Lodges
Nothing brings us closer to ourselves than spending time out in Nature. It is as if Nature – ancient, and wise – reminds us of who we really are. The overwhelming presence of Mother Nature in South Africa is probably THE reason I fell in love with this country over 22 years ago. You can escape to the beaches, forests, wildlife reserves, mountains, desert and Winelands, immerse yourself in Nature, and let the healing begin.
Vegan-owned Nature Lodges and Accommodations in South Africa:
Peace of Eden Nature Lodge (basic, Forest Tents and Cabins)
Old Joe’s Country Haven (quirky, comfortable rondavels and rooms)
Tortoiseback Vegan Haven (basic rooms)
Ricky’s Drift (basic, tented camp)
Sometimes you just want to get away – on your own or with a good friend – and spend some time relaxing, detoxing, reconnecting or focusing on personal growth and development. As an international traveler you may want to integrate a few days at a retreat to intensify the relaxing effects of a holiday, or to simply enjoy staying put for a few days in Nature. As a vegan, it’s wonderful to be able to go somewhere where everything is cruelty-free.
Vegan Retreats in South Africa:
Old Joe’s Kaia Country Haven (not available due to incessant load shedding)
Animal welfare for the unwanted and rescued animals is a challenge anywhere in the world, but in a country like South Africa, where poverty is rife and animal welfare by most not considered a priority, next to impossible. The overwhelming numbers of stray dogs and cats alone can make a person feel desperate, and human angels work tirelessly around the clock to educate, collect, neuter, foster, rehabilitate, rehome and sometimes send the hopeless cases to heaven. But there are also countless farm animals that are neglected, injured, abused or escaped the slaughterhouse by jumping off trucks, and where do these go? Who takes care of the unseen, the unheard, our fellow Earthlings treated as property and food? Interestingly enough most sanctuaries end up becoming vegan, making the connection as they experience the different personalities of the animals that they take in – how can one save the same animal that you are eating as well? The below sanctuaries are vegan and in need of all the support they can get. You can pay a visit (by appointment) and in some cases stay a couple of days as well.
Vegan Sanctuaries in South Africa:
Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary – visit / accommodation / restaurant
Ashers Farm Sanctuary – visit / restaurant
Wild Vegan Farm Animal Sanctuary – visit / Cottage
Farm Sanctuary SA – visit (vegan brunches and wine tasting coming soon)
Ricky’s Drift Vegan Farm and Sanctuary – visit / accommodation / meals
Sometimes all you want is to just be on your own, do your own thing, make your own food, and simply chill. Especially in areas where vegan food options are slim pickings, staying somewhere self-catering would make the most sense. Of course there are many beautiful self-catering places in South Africa, but below are a few vegan-owned self-catering accommodations (note that the Nature Lodges mentioned before ALSO offer self-catering accommodation):
Vegan-Owned Self-Catering Accommodations in South Africa:
Omega Luxury Mountain Retreat (upmarket)
African Adventures Accommodation (basic, backpacker-style)
I have yet to find a fully vegan guesthouse/B&B in South Africa, but there are a few places that are known to be vegetarian and therefore vegan-friendly. As you travel around South Africa, besides the sanctuaries and nature lodges, these places will be able to give you a warm welcome!
Vegetarian/Vegan-friendly guesthouses & hotels in South Africa:
Stellar Overberg Travellers Lodge (backpackers)
Satyagraha House / Ghandi House (historical house & museum with restaurant)
Vegetarian/Vegan-friendly Nature Lodges
Outside of the Western Cape there are no fully vegan lodges or camps that offer quality time out in Nature (yet) but there are a two places I have found whose ethos is sustainable eco-tourism, who practice fair trade and focus on mostly plantbased cuisine, allowing them to be extremely vegan-friendly. As you travel around South Africa, and besides the vegan sanctuaries and vegan nature lodges, these places will be able to give you a warm welcome!
Vegetarian/Vegan-friendly Nature Lodges in South Africa:
Big Skies Maputaland, Little Gugs and Gugulesizwe Camps (tropical retreat)
Eco-Lodge Greyton (basic rooms, backpacker-style)
„We love dogs and eat cows not because dogs and cows are fundamentally different—cows, like dogs, have feelings, preferences, and consciousness—but because our perception of them is different.“
Dr Melanie Joy