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(Re)treat yourself at this wellness festival with a twist
Sacred ceremonies, sweat lodge, Red Tent, kids club and more
Last updated: Tuesday, 09 January 2024
Every year for four days, a spiritual wellness village is created beneath the majestic Riviersonderend Mountain Range. People come to connect, meditate and learn through a variety of classes, workshops, talks, and interactive experiences. They come for the women-only Red Tent, secret forest dance floors, family roller discos, and much more.
Elandskloof Farm is one and a half hours away from Cape Town. Image: Retreat Yourself
DISCOVER A RANGE OF WELLNESS ACTIVITIES
Retreat Yourself is a family-friendly wellness festival that takes place from Thursday 29 February to Sunday 3 March 2024.
A variety of offerings take place all day, every day. From yoga at sunrise to talk circles through the day, to group movement therapy and cacao ceremonies and more. With up to 14 unique spaces, the retreat brings together a team of experts and practitioners to provide holistic practices for both mind and body.
Retreat Yourself promises 4 days of yoga, meditations, talks, workshops, live bands, healthy food and drink. Image: Retreat Yourself
TANTRA TALKS TO SOUND JOURNEYS
You can join the Talk Circle as they unravel the mysteries of tantra or dive into the depths of healing with a sound journey and meditation at the Soul Centre. Each space represents a different journey to wellness.
The most recent addition, Heal Yourself, is an alternative healing space, offering a range of alternative healing modalities. You can expect healers from around the globe to share their insights on pendulum healing, atlantean shamanic healing, reiki and energy healing, ruhutek healing, hypnotherapy, and aromatherapy.
The river runs throughout the farm so people can swim at the festival whenever they like. Image: Retreat Yourself
DAILY YOGA AND MOVEMENT CLASSES
A variety of yogis, pilates instructors, conscious dance facilitators and movement teachers from across South Africa will lead you through the weekend. With over 40 yoga and movement classes, you can choose between beginner or advanced workshops, with kids yoga taking place too.
There’s also SUP yoga classes on the water. These classes are held daily at 10am and 3pm on the small dam (close to the campsites) and are complementary.
Most of the activities, like yoga classes, live cooking demonstrations, the cinema, and late night comedy shows are included in the ticket prices.
At Retreat Yourself, there is something for everyone. Image: Retreat Yourself
WOMEN-ONLY RED TENT
The Red Tent returns to the village this year. Hosted by Valentina Leo (teacher of Erotic Wisdom and an explorer of the tantric realms for over 20 years), it is a safe and sacred space made by and for women only.
The space will include interactive experiences designed to connect women with the ancient wisdom of sensuality and erotic pleasure.
Ladies, don’t miss out on this globally recognised space. Image: Retreat Yourself
TRADITIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN SWEAT LODGE
Then, there’s the Sacred Sweat Lodge, run by a group of certified Sweat Lodge water pourers in the Native American Okanogan tradition.
This introductory medicine has been available at Retreat Yourself for the past four years, and is a place to connect with the wisdom of ancient heritage and culture.
Experiences like the Sacred Sweat Lodge, cacao ceremonies, spa treatments in the forest, and Banquet Dinner can be bought and paid for via the ticket shop on Howler.
You can expect plenty of dancing and music. Image: Retreat Yourself
DANCE IN A LUSH FOREST OR A ROLLER RINK
From resident jazz bands to sounds of the 80s at the roller boogie and live performances in the forest, there’s music for all tastes. At the roller disco (which is kid-friendly) there’s a live DJ and skate rental comes at no extra cost.
Another special treat is the secret dance floor (which is hidden in the trees and along the scenic river). There’ll be an eclectic array of performances at the Forest Stage: Downtempo DJs, open-mic nights and live bands.
The secret dance floor is encased my oak trees and open to the night sky. Image: Retreat Yourself
Local legends Contact High (who often play unreleased music) and Parisian talent Boogie Vice have performed in the past with sounds of disco and groovy house.
The lineup will be released in late January 2024; find out more via the Retreat Yourself website.
The Forest Stage is set amidst a lush canopy of natural shade and conveniently located near the bustling market. Image: Retreat Yourself
KIDS ACTIVITIES FOR 4-12 YEARS OLDS
Retreat Yourself welcomes all ages and has a home base for younger attendees, the Kids Club, led by experienced childminders. Kids between the ages of 4 to 12 years old can run around on the adventure course or play soccer on the grass.
Besides the Kids Club, there’s also tie-dyeing experiences, storytelling and kid-friendly movies that play at the cinema.
One of the core elements of Retreat Yourself is inclusivity, and welcoming the young and old. Image: Retreat Yourself
CAMPING, GLAMPING & COTTAGES
The village has many different accommodation options, from countryside cottages to romantic bell tents in the forest.
The cottages have a self-catering kitchen, living area and patio. Some are bachelor-style while others have up to four bedrooms. They are slightly further away from the festival surroundings and are an 8-minute drive away from the festival.
They start at R8 500 (for all four nights). For bigger groups, the Eagle Eyrie cottage can sleep up to 20 people.
Accommodation is not included in your festival ticket and must be purchased separately. Image: Retreat Yourself
Or, there’s glamping in a bell, dome or luxury bell tent with prices starting from R3 200 for four nights. These tents have 2, 3 and 4-sleeper options, with some having private bathroom and shower amenities. All tents will be pitched for you, and some are closer to the hustle and bustle of the festival while others are more privately placed.
If you’d rather bring your own tent, you can camp in the BYO (bring your own) camping area at no extra cost. You can also use rooftop tents, campervans and camping trailers (for a R1 100 vehicle pass) but get to the campsite early – spots are on a first-come first-serve basis.
A map of the accommodation will be made available. Image: Retreat Yourself
FOOD MARKET, BARS & COOKING MASTERCLASSES
As a conscious festival, Retreat Yourself is proudly meat-free and serves vegetarian and vegan dishes. The food market has a total of 16 food vendors, including a fully-stocked bar and juices, smoothies and coffee stations.
There’s meals like veggie burgers, smoothie bowls and Happy Culture kombucha.
Or for those who’d prefer to do the cooking themselves, sign up for a Masterclass with top local chefs. The add-on dining experience offered this year will be a Banquet Dinner hosted in the never-before-used Stone Hall, tickets for which can be bought when you book your tickets via Howler.
These add-ons often sell out so be sure to book your tickets ahead of time. Image: Retreat Yourself
RETREAT YOURSELF IS A CASHLESS FESTIVAL
To make purchases throughout the festival, you’ll need to load credit onto your wristband which you’ll receive when you arrive.
There’ll be a number of top-up points around the village or you can preload credit by logging in to your Howler account, which you create when you buy tickets.
Use a pre-loaded wristband to pay for purchases. Image: Retreat Yourself
CHECK OUT THIS FAMILY WELLNESS FESTIVAL
Retreat Yourself is happening: 29 February to 3 March 2024
Find them: Elandskloof Farm | Riviersonderend
Cost: From R650 for kids & R1950 for adults
Book: Via Howler
Read more: Via retreatyourself.co.za
Contact them on: firstname.lastname@example.org | @retreatyourselffestival
By Khadeeja Adams
EXPLORE CAPE TOWN & SURROUNDS
Grab the family and drive out to Citrusdal as Wolfie’s family festival returns in 2024.
Check out our list of things to do this week(end).
You can hike, braai and picnic at this 80-year-old garden in Betty’s Bay.