In our persistently plugged-in and switched-on world where we’re almost always available on multiple digital networks, information bombards us at a torrential pace. Digitally cluttered, socially over-connected and (probably) under-engaged, the idea of a regular digital detox is starting to win favour. Those in support of ‘the balanced life’ advocate a regular “secular Sabbath” (see for instance Pico Lyer) – important little interludes of tech-free time when we stash away our gadgets, pull the plug on incessant chat streams and newsfeeds, and take some time to catch up with ourselves and the people who are actually with us, here and now! The deliciously sensible answer: plan a digital detox getaway in South Africa and do a no-tech retreat in style.
People who do time-out retreats, explorers who’ve been stranded in isolated places, travellers who journey light and unemcumbered, and even some who have become intimate with incarceration – all return to the to world bearing the wisdom that mindful, meaninful living does not depend on the gadgetry we normally assume to be essential; on the contrary, these abstainers often claim that happiness is more accessible without them. A good place to start is to make provision for the occasional escape to a wilderness area where cell signal isn’t readily on tap, or where electricity has been purposefully excluded. South Africa has some stunning options for a digital detox in a spectacular environment.
Digital Detox Getaway Options in South Africa
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat in the Cederberg will entrance you with its ancient and majestic rock formations in the Cederberg Mountains, its priceless Bushman rock art sites, and its indigenous animals and plants. Leave the city well behind and enter a world where nature is infinitely abundant. Accommodation and dining are exceptional, and spa offerings are temptations that cannot be withstood. It’s a nature fix of note and a grand opportunity for a digital zone-out.
Pack away your mobile phone and laptop to enjoy the spectacular offerings in the Western Cape’s Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve. Instead, lap up guided 4×4 drives, hike on a rugged landscape and gaze out at star-spangled night skies. Switch off, well and truly, at night in a hut or a rocky cave room built between massive lumps of sandstone.
No electricity can be a huge gift (and a great no-fuss response to loadshedding!) This is certainly the case at Notten’s Bush Camp in the Sabi Sand. This is a safari that is simultaneously luxurious and authentic. Electric lighting has been excluded, and instead candles and lanterns are used to create an enchanting atmosphere. There are arrangements you can make to recharge camera batteries if you need to, but otherwise just sit back to a fabulous safari on Big Five territory – sans all the gadgets that detract from a seamless wilderness encounter.
Adopt an earthy traditional hut as your timeout base at Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge in the Kruger Park. Who needs to keep up with cell phone calls when there’s an interactive cultural experience to keep you enthralled! The Tsonga people will be your hosts and charm you with their special brand of ethnic luxury.
At The Outpost in the Makuleke Contractual Park (far northern Kruger), you’re really are in all-embracing wilderness that is wholly uncontaminated and vast. The concession is remote and without the “traffic” of an overpopulated safari. The terrain is beautiful and supports a plethora of wildlife, the accommodation is sublime and is perched up high with endless views. It’s a wonderful retreat and a delightful detox from the usual distractions.
Highways and heady noise recede as you head for the remote and balmy shores of Mabibi Bay. For the last bit of the trip, you leave your car at a secure point and travel 4×4 over coastal sands with your hosts to the Thonga Beach Lodge. You enter another world where you live luxuriously, yet without clutter, in a beautiful chalet a few steps from the beach. The beach is perfectly unspoiled and seems to go on forever, and lends itself to mindful strolling. If you like, you can take snorkelling lessons at the “in-house” dive school, and indulge in the odd body treatment to enhance self-restoration. Seasonal turtle-viewing is another reason to go, and it happens between November and February.
Mail us to book your getaways in South Africa, or call +27 21 797-7122.