Introducing the six key dimensions of wellness at Kwendalo

Life is often not easy or well-balanced. Like it or not, we are continuously moving forward, adapting, and facing challenges. Being mindfully aware of our wellness – our complete wellness, not only physical wellness – enables us to understand ourselves, others, and the world around us better. Understanding leads to resilience, compassion, and holistic wellbeing. Just as our senses combine to provide a holistic sensory experience, so the multiple elements of wellness work together to complete our sense of wellbeing and harmony with our environment.

Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.


At Kwendalo, in Plettenberg Bay, we have a strong belief in our tagline, Nature. Nurture. Nourish., which has evolved into a philosophy of how the following six key dimensions of wellness dovetail, much like the pieces of a puzzle, to contribute towards a personal harmony and sense of well-being. In a time when we have stopped growing and started simply surviving, our individual dimensions of wellness have become unbalanced and, as such, we need a unique, personalised approach to restoring that balance – that harmony – of wellbeing.


Physical Wellness

Living in a digital era has found us out of touch with our own bodies and our surroundings. We are less mindful and more easily distracted. Physical wellness takes a direct approach to grounding us in the present moment and in our five senses. It encourages physical exercise: building strength, flexibility, and stamina, and holistic nutrition. Physical wellness enables us to listen to our bodies, practice self-care, and learn we respond to nutrients and stimulants. As with all aspects of Kwendalo, we encourage our guests to learn about the food they are eating and how it is grown, to listen to their bodies and engage in physical activity that meets their comfort level.

Mental Wellness

With the demands of modern life and the constant “ping” of technology, the mind is not often a restful place. Or a creative or innovative place. At Kwendalo, we believe that the knowledge of how to encourage holistic wellness should be available to all, and a priority in education. Curiosity, learning and sharing knowledge are unique gifts that we can all offer each other, while new experiences – tastes, sights, sensations – stimulate and engage the mind. This is the reason why Kwendalo brought the pioneering Harmony Project to South Africa from the UK. While the project is being pioneered in schools in Plettenberg Bay, its philosophy is ageless: finding, learning from, and learning to live in harmony with nature. It is a beautiful way to nurture minds, encourage involvement and share knowledge that will last a lifetime. As we know, knowledge is power and it minimises worry and anxiety, which can lead to further mental unwellness. We encourage mental wellness through the Harmony Centre at Kwendalo, through garden tours, wellness retreats and cooking demonstrations – encouraging the curiosity and flexibility that counter stagnant thinking.

Social Wellness

Social wellness is so much more than making good small-talk or remembering the funniest jokes, it is vital to cultivating balanced living and being a part of a community, or communities. It is essential to be a part of our environment or community, engage with it, and contribute towards it. Because we receive much through that contribution or collaboration: problem-solving, knowledge and inspiration. Kwendalo itself is a community – each aspect of the estate connected to the others – and has been designed as a system of harmony, compassion, and communication.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness encourages us to be in touch with our emotions and the emotions of others; to be able to express emotions, manage stress and to be considerate of others. Life is nothing if not a rollercoaster of good days and bad days, happy moments and desolate ones, and emotional wellness helps us to navigate the wild emotions attached to the highs and lows of life. Emotional wellness teaches us to balance our emotions with our thoughts, to exercise self-control and to be optimistic about life. At Kwendalo, we encourage our visitors to find time to reflect on and fully feel their emotions, to try new and exciting experiences (bungy jumping, scuba diving, tasting new foods), and embrace life as an exhilarating adventure.

Environmental Wellness 

How can we hope to survive if our planet is unwell? How can we hope to achieve holistic wellness if we are not in touch with our surroundings?  Kwendalo is located in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa – a wonder of biodiversity and the centre of the UNESCO Garden Route Biosphere. On the estate, we practice regenerative gardening, encouraging the natural cycle of growth on the property and further distilling our belief that we respect ourselves by respecting our environment. Our visitors are invited to hike Fynbos Hill, meditate among the trees, swim in the nearby ocean, or assist in harvesting fresh vegetables and herbs to be used for cooking – a perfectly immersive environmental treasure.

Spiritual Wellness

Connect or reconnect with your spiritual self at Kwendalo. You are encouraged to marvel at the surrounding beauty of the Garden Route. This journey that is life is messy and beautiful, confusing, and complicated. Spiritual wellness is aligning, or realigning, with our beliefs and values, using our experiences and adversities to shape our world view, while maintaining compassion and tolerance towards others. South Africa (known as the Rainbow Nation) is a place of many cultures, a place to ask hard questions, learn from those around you, and to find a beautiful, flexible line from which to approach life’s greatest joys and deepest adversities.

We believe that the journey towards holistic wellness is a conscious one and, as such, you are invited on a journey for your senses at Kwendalo; you are invited to rejuvenate and be inspired, to find new experiences, learn new things, grow as we grow and take it all home with you. We offer a uniquely South African opportunity to reconnect with the physical world and be present, to rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul on your journey towards holistic wellness.

Please subscribe to our Newsletter and stay up to date as we continue to develop Kwendalo.

Author: Dr John Cavill, DBA – Kwendalo Founder


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