Retreat and meditation centres

A visit to a retreat centre can be a wonderful way to rest, reflect and replenish yourself. You can simply go to spend some unstructured time enjoying the facilities, or you may opt for a structured retreat, where a facilitator guides participants around a particular topic. A structured retreat is the perfect way for beginners who want to learn to meditate because you can immerse yourself in the practice for a few days with the help of a teacher.

Stoep Zen

Stoep Zen

At Poplar Grove, a small farm near Colesberg in the Karoo

Poplar Grove farm, the family homestead of Antony and Margie Osler, has a farmhouse and guest rooms, a zendo (meditation barn), a self-contained two-room cottage and two small hermitages. This home of Zen practice offers formal Zen retreats, home workshops for traumatised children, accommodation for individuals and groups, farm work, cooking, walks in the veld, writing, and gazing over the arid Karoo koppies from the outhouse.

Retreat with Thanissara, Sumedha and Milo


Near Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal

Dharmagiri, which means sacred mountain, is a place of restful contemplation and tranquillity under the Mvuleni mountain in the Southern Drakensberg range. The hermitage founded by Kittisaro and Thanissara hosts meditation retreats and educational courses.

Bodhi Khaya

Bodhi Khaya

Near Stanford and Hermanus, Overberg, Western Cape

Set on 217 hectares of indigenous fynbos, this is an easily accessible retreat centre for Capetonians. Beautiful surroundings, historical buildings, a swimming pond and great food. A full programme of scheduled retreats is offered, or you could just take some time out by yourself. This is a neutral space, without prominent iconography linked to any particular spiritual tradition.

Temenos Retreat


McGregor, Western Cape

An easy-to-reach centre for Capetonians, Temenos is a sanctuary set in beautiful gardens with ponds, shade and unique meditation spaces. Warm and inviting, it also has a restaurant, Tebaldi’s, with great food, great wine and great music. The centre is interdenominational space, with meditation/reflection/prayer spaces and a library that encompasses all the major spiritual traditions.

The Buddhist Retreat Centre

The Buddhist Retreat Centre

Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal

High up, overlooking the rolling hills and valleys of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and with its own extensive gardens, the setting of this retreat centre is breath-taking. It is also known for its delicious vegetarian food, which has been documented in two cook books. A full and varied programme of structured retreats is offered.


Dhamma Pataka

Near Worcester, Western Cape

Courses of vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka are offered here. This is an intensive training, with the beginners course involving 10 full days of sitting meditation and noble silence. While this is a stretch for most people, the rewards and learning about oneself and life are profound and liberating.



Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape

This modern, luxurious retreat centre is set in beautiful natural surroundings and offers a full programme of structured retreats, but you may also book rooms for a self-retreat.

Dharma Centre

The Dharma Centre

Robertson, Western Cape, and Plumstead, Cape Town

The Dharma Centre, home of contemporary Zen in Africa, was started by Heila and Rodney Downey in Somerset West in 1981. Rodney and Heila also run the inspiring Mindful Awareness in Action (MAIA) programme teaching meditation in prisons.


Kagyu Samye Dzong

Kenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape

This centre offers regular meditation and Buddhist teaching, as well as evening courses in meditation.


Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre

Rondebosch, Cape Town

Meditation classes are also offered in the CBD, Milnerton, Woodstock and Simon’s Town, and further afield in the Western Cape in Somerset West, Swellendam and Wellington. The centre offers retreats at the Tushita Buddhist Centre and suitable venues throughout the Western Cape.


Emoyeni Retreat Centre

Magaliesburg mountains, North-West Province, about 100 km north-west of Johannesburg

The centre is broadly based on Buddhist principles and meditation techniques but welcomes anyone, Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike, who has a sincere interest in cultivating wisdom and compassion as a way of life.

Little Samadhi Karoo Retreat

Little Samadhi

Barrydale, Karoo

With a very large studio, Little Samadhi is a venue for workshops and offers personalised retreats – yoga and meditation “tailor made” to individual needs. Little Samadhi can accommodate 4 people sharing en suite rooms and groups can be accommodated at Watercourt Lodge 2 minutes away.

Samadhi Retreats

Samadhi Retreats

Grotto Bay, West Coast

Samadhi Retreats is on the West Coast 45 minutes from Cape Town in the pristine Grotto Bay private nature reserve. The boutique venue has a workshop area with large fireplace for 8 to 12 delegates, luxury accommodation for 8 to 10 people and a private treatment room. The nature reserve offers secluded coastal and inland walking trails. Owners Anja and Lisle Shallcross say they particularly encourage new holistic practitioners with support to help them grow their retreats.