Our Story

Kwendalo founder, John Cavill - a successful tech entrepreneur - has been a lifelong student of the journey towards a more comprehensive approach to wellness. While engaged in a career as a high-growth business coach, academic and strategist, John travelled the world, seeking holistic wellness treatments - growing and learning from his experiences.

But it was to Plettenberg Bay in South Africa that UK-born John returned year after year. In the easy-going coastal lifestyle, John found regeneration and inspiration in the natural surroundings, sun-kissed days, and fresh air. Over the years, John connected with thought-leaders in wellness, biodiversity and nutrition, and the seed of an idea was sown. What if - in this unique paradise - there was to be found a personal cure for individual unwellness? John nurtured this idea and, on the day that he viewed a singular estate - then known as Rietvlei - settled comfortably against a hillside outside Plettenberg Bay with views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the warm Indian Ocean, that the idea finally bloomed into… Kwendalo.

kwendalo about


Kwendalo means “of nature” in local isiXhosa and our country estate is situated on 16 pristine hectares. Our location distils the belief that our environment and our place within it contributes significantly towards wellness and we invite you to refresh yourself in our gardens and natural surroundings.

In a modern world, we find ourselves in increasingly poor physical and mental health, where we are harried and buffeted by the demands of life - feeling out of balance and unwell. We have stopped growing and started simply surviving. Kwendalo’s holistic approach to wellness encourages self-knowledge, harmony and growth. This is a place where you can restore your balance and learn to start growing again.

Meet the Team

Dr John Cavill

Dr John Cavill

Gift Lwazi

Gift Lwazi

Farm Manager
Yolande van Papendorp Kwendalo

Yolande van Papendorp

Food Alchemist
Dr Hanli Rautenbach

Dr Hanli Rautenbach

Matthew Zylstra 3

Dr Matthew Zylstra

Programme Director Kwendalo Institute
Jana de Beer

Jana de Beer

Guest Services
Tash wilbert

Natasha Wilbert

Harmony Project Schools Co-ordinator
Patricia Ngalo

Patricia Ngalo


Our Six Key Dimensions of Wellness

At Kwendalo, we are inspired by our tagline, Nature. Nurture. Nourish. which has evolved into a philosophy of how the following six key dimensions of wellness - physical, emotional, environmental, mental, social and spiritual - dovetail, much like the pieces of a puzzle, to contribute towards a personal harmony and sense of well-being.

We passionately believe that, in a modern society, we have stopped growing and started simply surviving. In doing so, our individual dimensions of wellness have become unbalanced and, therefore, need a unique, personalised approach to restoring that balance – that harmony – of wellbeing.

six dimensions

About Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay is a coastal town on the famous Garden Route of South Africa. Forming a part of the UNESCO Garden Route Biosphere Reserve, Plettenberg Bay, or Plett, is a hub of biodiversity and natural attractions offering an immersive combination of world-class beaches, ancient indigenous forest and endemic fynbos. Gently flowing rivers and lagoons share space with some of the best adventure, hiking, dining and marine wildlife experiences to be enjoyed in South Africa. Kwendalo is nestled against a hillside with views across the ocean to the Tsitsikamma Mountains, and within a short drive of the Garden Route National Park, Robberg Nature Reserve, the town of Plettenberg Bay, whale, dolphin and seal viewing experiences.