SAFEGUARDING ROOIBOS HABITATS

Rooibos, a plant indigenous to the Cape Floral Kingdom of South Africa, thrives in this biodiversity hotspot, which even surpasses the Amazon rainforest in botanical diversity. Despite being the smallest of the six floral kingdoms in the world, the Cape Floral Kingdom not only boasts an unparalleled richness of plant species, but is the only one contained in its entirety within a single country. As we approach International Day of Biological Diversity on May 22, it is imperative to recognise the significance of preserving Rooibos and its ecosystem. Conservation efforts not only safeguard this unique plant, but also protect the diverse array of flora and fauna that call the Cape Floral Kingdom home. Read more here.

ROOIBOS TO SET SA APART IN BOOMING WELLNESS TRAVEL SECTOR

The global wellness tourism sector is experiencing unprecedented growth as tourists increasingly prioritise health, relaxation and self-care in their travel experiences. 

Research analysts value the current size of Africa’s wellness tourism market at USD 89.56 billion, which is expected to reach USD 114.24 billion by 2029. When looking closer to home, the Western Cape (45,2%), Mpumalanga (14%) and Kwazulu-Natal (12,9%) rank among the top three provinces for overseas and local visitors travelling for health and wellness activities, which includes short breaks and spa getaways.

According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), wellness tourism is cited as a fast-growing tourism segment that has been growing by 6.5% annually (more than twice the growth rate for tourism in general). 

Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says South Africa’s breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture and rich biodiversity, is well-positioned to emerge as a leading African wellness tourism destination. “One asset that stands out, is Rooibos – a potent botanical treasure unique to the country.”

She says Rooibos presents a valuable opportunity for SA to differentiate itself in the competitive wellness tourism market. “By incorporating Rooibos into spa treatments, wellness retreats and culinary experiences, South African businesses can offer tourists a unique and authentic taste of local wellness traditions. 

Rooibos has long been celebrated for its antioxidant properties and numerous health benefits – from boosting immunity to promoting heart-health and reducing stress. It has garnered a global following among wellness enthusiasts seeking natural remedies for modern-day ailments and has become a symbol of wellness and rejuvenation.”

Against this backdrop, she believes the Rooibos industry stands poised to leverage its natural bounty to drive wellness tourism and boost the local economy in the following ways:

Wellness retreats amidst Rooibos plantations

“Imagine waking up to the sight of lush Rooibos fields stretching as far as the eye can see, with the scent of Rooibos wafting through the air. Wellness retreats nestled among Rooibos plantations offer tourists a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the serenity of nature while indulging in Rooibos-infused spa treatments, yoga sessions and meditation practices. These retreats provide a holistic experience that rejuvenates the body, mind and soul, drawing wellness seekers from around the globe to South Africa’s doorstep.”

Rooibos tasting tours

For the curious palate, Rooibos tasting tours offer an exploration of flavour and aroma, guided by knowledgeable experts who unveil the nuances of Rooibos varieties. “Visitors can sip on freshly brewed Rooibos, while learning about its cultivation, processing and health benefits. These immersive experiences not only showcase the country’s rich tea heritage, but also support local Rooibos farmers and tea/tisane artisans, creating a sustainable link between tourism and agriculture.”

Spa and wellness packages:

She says while many of the country’s luxury resorts and wellness retreats have embraced Rooibos as a cornerstone of their spa and wellness offerings, there is a compelling case for doing so. “Firstly, Rooibos possesses remarkable antioxidant properties, making it a natural contender for skincare. Its abundance in polyphenols helps combat free radicals, slowing down the ageing process and promoting radiant, youthful skin. Incorporating Rooibos extracts into facials or body wraps can revitalise and rejuvenate the skin, offering clients a holistic wellness experience. Rooibos also boasts anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal ingredient for soothing massages and aromatherapy sessions. Integrating Rooibos into spa therapies also aligns with the growing demand for sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.”

Culinary experiences

Beyond the teacup, Rooibos inspires culinary creativity, infusing dishes with its distinctive flavour profile and healthful properties. Culinary tours and cooking classes allow not only tourists, but also locals to discover the versatility of Rooibos in the kitchen, from savoury stews and marinades to sweet desserts and baked goods. By showcasing Rooibos as a culinary ingredient, SA’s food tourism scene gains a unique selling point, attracting foodies eager to explore the country’s vibrant gastronomic landscape.

“Wellness tourism holds immense potential to drive economic growth, promote sustainable development and showcase the country’s natural beauty to the world. By highlighting the ecological benefits of Rooibos cultivation and promoting sustainable practices within the wellness tourism sector, South Africa can further enhance its appeal as a responsible and forward-thinking destination for wellness-minded travellers worldwide,” says du Toit. 

SIP SUSTAINABLY

As the weather gradually transitions from the vibrant hues of summer to the contemplative mood of autumn, it serves as a natural impetus for reflection and introspection. It’s during this season of change that the significance of living more sustainably to protect the planet becomes particularly poignant. For eco-friendly tips on how to consume Rooibos more sustainably, read here.

EASTER TEA EXTRAVAGANZA WITH BREWS AND BUNNIES

Rooibos can make Easter extra special by adding a touch of elegance, warmth and indulgence to your celebrations. Here’s a guide to help you create an unforgettable Easter tea experience.read here.

ROOIBOS ENTERS VIRTUAL GAMING REALM

For more than a century, Rooibos has solely grown in the botanically diverse Cederberg region of the Western Cape, and nowhere else in the world. That is until now…read here.

GET ROMANTIC WITH ROOIBOS

Tea is considered the ultimate romantic drink in some cultures for a variety of reasons, each rooted in cultural traditions, symbolism and the sensory experience associated with it. For more on why Rooibos is often viewed as an aphrodisiac,read here.

START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT WITH ROOIBOS

The association between New Year’s and making resolutions stems from the idea of a fresh start or a new beginning that comes with the start of a new year. People often view the beginning of the year as an opportune time to make commitments to personal growth, health, relationships, career advancement or other aspects of their lives. To find out how drinking Rooibos could help you keep your New Year’s resolutions,read here.

CREATE THE MOST REFRESHING ROOIBOS DRINKS THIS SUMMER

Whether sweetened or unsweetened, Rooibos is incredibly refreshing on hot summer days. Its chilled nature helps to cool the body down and provides relief from the heat. It’s also the ideal drink to serve at social gatherings, picnics or parties in various forms, such as pitchers of iced tea, cocktails/mocktails or as a base for fruity punches. For more recipe ideas, read here.

REAL MEN DRINK ROOIBOS!

If you’re looking for natural ways to boost your health, look no further than Rooibos. This red-hot bevvy is packed with goodness – offering a wide range of flavours and types to satisfy every palate. The tisane is particularly good for men who are looking to improve heart- and prostate health, digestion, metabolism and muscle recovery. For more on Rooibos’ health benefits.read here

ROOIBOS RED IS GOING TO BE HUGE IN 2024

We’ll be seeing a lot more of the colour Rooibos in the coming months after the Rooibos Pantone® was announced as one of the top ten colours in the Fashion Colour Trend Report for spring 2024 at this past New York Fashion Week (NYFW). The “Colours of the Year” are announced annually by Pantone LLC, a company known for its colour matching system, which is widely used across an array of industries. For more info about the Rooibos Pantone® and what industries are likely to take inspiration from it, read here