Taste the soft spring water and allow the peace and serenity to refresh you. Listen to the Jackal calling from the hills and the hum of the bees deep in the forest.
In the forest, life moves at a gentler pace. Generations of visitors have experienced the soul-restoring reassurance that comes with being surrounded by the beauty of creation. It is filled with ancient trees and abundant birds and animals including Porcupine, Caracal, Bushbuck, Bush Pigs, Blue Duiker and Genets. Over 250 bird species are recorded in the Dargle and it teems with insect life, with 30 butterflies recorded in our valley.
Samango Monkeys are rare and gentle creatures and a delight to watch in the trees. They are herbivores, so cannot resist helping themselves to the contents of your fruit bowl. We have named the leader of the resident troop Rafiki. You may be alarmed to hear a strange knocking and screeching sound from the forest at night. These are the nocturnal and seldom seen dassies (Tree Hyrax) calling – a rare treat.
Spending time in nature is not new to us, but engaging in nature with mindfulness and intent, to improve our health and wellbeing is now proven to be a healing therapy.
The Japanese call this Shinrin Yoku – literally ‘forest bathing’. Research has proven that time spent forest bathing lowers blood pressure and stress, boosts your immune system, counters depression and anxiety and helps restore balance in body and mind.
Forest bathing takes the form of a structured, slow walk in the forest. The ideal healing forest has good quality air, minimal man-made noise, diverse microbial life and chemicals excreted by trees that boost our health.
The forest therapy guide shows you how to use all your senses to connect with the environment and tune into the healing power of nature.
AT ONE WITH NATURE
At Forest Therapy Africa we promote the development of forest and nature therapy techniques in Africa through retreats, training and healing forest certification.
We have our origins in the indigenous mist-belt forests of Dargle in the Kwazulu Natal Midlands of South Africa. Our work is inspired by both traditional wisdom, and Japanese Forest Bathing (Shinrin Yoku) which enables us to be at one with the healing power of nature – body, mind and soul.
Select retreats are held in collaboration with Biomimicry South Africa as part of their regenerative health program. For more information on upcoming Retreats contact us
Determined to preserve the natural beauty of the area, Barend and Helen are active members of the Dargle Conservancy. The property is a Nature Reserve under the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme. For more about the Dargle Conservancy visit www.dargleconservancy.org.za
On the first Thursday of each month is the Kilgobbin Forest Walk from 9h00 to 11h00. Come and explore the mist-belt forest and adjacent grasslands. A donation of R20 goes to the Dargle Conservancy. Contact Barend on 082 787 0797 to book.