Modern life and its turbulent times create toxins caused by illness, work and stressful responsibilities.

Leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind and immerse yourself in the tranquil depths of a physically and mentally safe space through a guided regenerative journey – forest bathing.

Forest bathing (Shinrin-Yoku in Japanese), also known as forest therapy, is an age-old grounding practice involving the conscious and contemplative practice of immersing oneself in the sights, sounds and earthy fragrances of a forest to release pent-up trauma, frustration and loneliness.

Scientific research in Japan found evidence suggesting that terpenes (the molecules responsible for the distinctive aroma of trees – their essential oils) have a proven, direct and measurable effect on the body. Being still in a forest allows the energy of nature to calm one’s mind and feed the soul.

forest bathing 1

Image: Forest Bathing/Facebook

In fact, forest bathing is medically recognised in Japan and is prescribed to patients experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety.

In Cape Town specifically, highly-experienced hiker, Evelyn John Holtzhausen, has teamed up with skilled yoga teacher and mindfulness guide, Hilary Harker, to offer these rejuvenating forest bathing experiences. The duo take guests to safe, scenic trails in Kirstenbosch Gardens or Newlands Forest and guides them to relax, awaken their senses and meditate.

After discussing the healing power of nature, mycelium and mushrooms, guests are served a healing cup of honey and ginger tea and a relaxing stroll back to ‘civilisation’.

Open to anyone older than 15 years, Forest Bathing group sizes are kept to a maximum of ten people and no particular fitness level is required. Guests are only expected to walk approximately three to five kilometres from the car park to the forest venues and back.


  • Cost: R450 per person
  • Routes: Kirstenbosch Gardens – Monday to Friday | Newlands Forest – Saturday and Sunday
  • Duration: Approximately 4 hours, from 9am to 12:30 pm or 1pm to 4pm
  • Contact: 082 658 6007 (WhatsApp) or [email protected]
  • Website:


How to create your own food forest

Feature image: Pexels

Article originally published on Cape Etc.