Kwendalo Wellness Centre opens in Plettenberg Bay

Aerial view of the Kwendalo Estate

Just in time for spring, Kwendalo opened the doors of the Kwendalo Wellness Centre, on the former Rietvlei Country Estate, on 5th September 2022. Nestled against a fynbos-covered hillside on the 16ha estate, the Kwendalo Wellness Centre will offer a range of world-class treatments, classes, retreats and therapies designed around a holistic approach to wellness that includes a signature Six Key Dimensions of Wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, social and environmental wellness. 

Kwendalo founder, Dr John Cavill, has recruited a team of top professionals including Wellness Centre manager, Nico Weeber – who specialises in counselling, reiki and sound therapy – and homeopath, Dr Hanli Rautenbach, both of whom previously worked with Mrs Cowley at the St Francis Health Centre in Port Alfred. John says: “After years of travelling to various wellness destinations across the globe, I could find nowhere better to rejuvenate body, mind, and soul than Plettenberg Bay. When I found Rietvlei Country Estate, the land was crying out for a more balanced purpose and I found myself drawn to the concepts of wellness and learning, and how we might find harmony in learning from nature and from each other.”

Cavill set out to renovate the property, which includes The Manor House – with six gently revamped suites, The Wellness Centre with six therapy rooms and Green Cafe, a newly built yoga studio, ozone therapy chamber, infrared sauna, learning centre and extensive gardens. The gardens consist of a Market Garden for supplying the Green Café with fresh fruit and vegetables, along with a Chakra Garden and a Medicinal Herb Garden designed by Paul Martin, a Chelsea Gold Medal winner. Both of these gardens are still in development and will eventually be used to supply the Green Café and for educational purposes. 

However, the Wellness Centre, Studio, Manor House, and Green Cafe are ready to welcome guests by appointment and, according to Weeber, the therapies on offer are among the best to be found on the Garden Route: “Over the past year or more, we have identified modalities and therapists that will contribute towards Kwendalo’s philosophy of a balanced and holistic approach to wellness. We have a number of retreats and programmes in development that will address personal wellness in all forms and aim to be the go-to destination on the Garden Route for wellness and associated learning.”  The following therapies are available at Kwendalo Wellness Centre on a rotational basis with bookings through reception. 

  • Homeopathy 
  • Sound Therapy
  • Ozone Therapy 
  • Reflexology
  • Colon Hydro-Therapy 
  • Aromatherapy & Emotional Journey Therapy 
  • Counselling
  • Reiki
  • Craniosacral Therapy 
  • Visceral & Neural Manipulation
  • Massage 
  • Infrared Sauna
  • Somato-Emotional Release
  • Chi Nei Tsang

The Green Cafe at the Kwendalo Wellness Centre, managed by food alchemist, Yolande van Papendorp of NumNum fame has already hosted a number of sold-out pop-up dinners serving her signature blend of whole foods and fresh, local ingredients thoughtfully prepared to please the palate and nourish body, mind, and soul. Wednesday evenings are a favourite for pop-up dinners with more dates to be added shortly. Currently, the Green Café is only open for bookings. 

The Kwendalo Institute, Kwendalo’s centre for learning has, for the past two years, been piloting the unique nature-based learning philosophy of The Harmony Project at local Bahia Formosa School with encouraging results. The institute will play an important role in Kwendalo’s overarching approach to wellness, bringing subject specialists to the estate for retreats and workshops on a wide variety of topics including natural health and wellness, horticulture, plant-based cuisine, nature appreciation and more. 

The Kwendalo Wellness Centre will be open on weekdays with rotating therapists, from 8am to 5pm, with additional pop-ups, morning and evening events to be regularly announced. For the full menu of therapies and availability, please contact reception on, telephone on 044 004 0366 or WhatsApp on 063 669 8006. Bookings are currently by appointment only. 


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