Lily Storm

A personal take on beauty, life and dreams.

Mangwanani African Spa – pure indulgence

One of the items on my Christmas 2012 wish list, was to experience the mystical Mangwanani African Spa. I was lucky enough to spend some quality time at this amazing sanctuary this past weekend.

 On the way…

Along a winding dirt road, tucked away in the vineyards – lies the Zevenwacht branch. Although only ten minutes away from my home, I had absolutely no idea the magic that this spa would bestow upon me. I arrived at 08h30, and received a very warm welcome by regional manager Coleen Deedat and the singing Mangwanani ladies. A healthy breakfast awaited me (muesli, mini scones, muffins and fruit juice). And on my chair…a plush gown and slippers. I was ready for my Half Day Spa experience!

 The Mangwanani Welcome!

They cater for about 60 guests at a time, so everything is very well run and organized. You are gently ushered from one treatment to the next by professional and friendly staff.

First up, was the African Head, Neck and Shoulders massage (Molala) by therapist Zim. A few ladies (myself included) were led to a light and airy room with huge open windows with the most spectacular view. This was a ‘communal’ session – which I quite liked. We sat side by side in comfortable chairs with our feet propped up on cushions. I have to say that this was my favourite treatment. Having someone massage my scalp, with a cool fresh breeze playing on my face, and the sound of birds in the distance – was heavenly! You get three different oils to choose from: Nurture, Calm and Revitalize. I chose Nurture because it contained rose oil….LOVE!

On to the Traditional Full Body Massage with Hot Stones (Izimanga). I was lucky to get Zim again – she was excellent! This was done privately, in a dimly lit, very relaxing room. Normally, I’m not a fan of full body massage – because it is either too hard, or my face goes numb in the uncomfortable hole in the bed. But this…oh my. Everything was perfect. I was in a state of partial sleep and complete bliss. It was the quickest hour of my life, because I didn’t want it to end!

In between treatments, you can wonder into the dining area to sip on ice cold cherry or cucumber juice. Or simply just soak in the beautiful views you’re surrounded with. Everyone kind of walks around in a dazed, relaxed state with messy hair - wearing gowns and slippers. It’s fabulous.

I rounded off the morning, with a Traditional African Royal Foot Massage (Neo Maoto). This time, administered by the lovely Gladys. Again, a communal activity. You’re seated in an incredibly comfy reclining chair, in front of wide open wooden patio doors. When I bothered to open my eyes now and then, I watched a dragonfly buzzing lazily around the courtyard, and even saw an eagle floating by. Yes, really.

Foot Massage Room

What I loved most about Mangwanani is the welcoming atmosphere. The treatments are decadent and rich. There is even a selection of cakes to indulge in! My kind of spa. The design of the place is also most appealing, as it centres around a sparkling blue pool with wooden decking. It reminds me of a Tuscan style villa, but with all the rich decor and warmth of Africa. Mangwanani empowers women from disadvantaged communities, and all their employed therapists receive in house training. To me, businesses that are centred around this concept seem to exude genuine integrity, which comes across to their customers.

Poolside glamour

Every woman (and man), should experience Mangwanani at least once. But I promise, you will want to go back for more. I imagine the Moonlight package to be very romantic for couples. But also perfect for you and a girl friend, or even on your own…for some reflection. Not only does it revitalize the body, but it restores the soul too. I left there on Saturday morning with a content smile, my skin glowing and soaked in aromatic oils. I used to think that their prices were somewhat expensive, but now I can honestly say you cannot get better value for money. I’d even go so far as to make room in my budget for a monthly visit! Simply because they take pampering to another level.

Me, Gladys, Zim & Coleen…thank you ladies!

Although the Zevenwacht branch is well worth the drive (Kuils River is lovely…okay, I’m biased!) – you may want to visit their Boutique Spa set in the Waterfront area if you’re closer to Cape Town CBD. A slightly different feel, but just as decandant. Here, you can enjoy a mani and pedi – as well as the other range of massage treatments. They also stock the full range of Mangwanani products available for purchasing, which all smell delicious.

Mangwanani Boutique Spa – Waterfont


Today, I tried the Moroccan Floor Massage. The therapist works on your pressure points while you’re lying on a floor bed (fully clothed). Lots of kneading, stretching and pulling, but I loved it. Before getting started, you’re asked to inhale some lavender oil from the therapist’s cupped hands – which helps with relaxation. This treatment aims to relieve tension and strengthen the body’s resistance to disease. So I’d say if you have a demanding job and you’re feeling worn out, this is definately worth a try.

Another lovely feature of the Mangwanani Boutique Spa, is the High Tea package. You can round up some of your girl friends, and enjoy an after-work treatment package with tea, scones and pastries.

They currently have a fantastic special up until the 28th of February, with their ‘Treat a Friend’ offer. See below for more details. Book early, as they’re quite busy.

Spoil yourself – you deserve it!