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How to celebrate the different friends in your life

It was true in 1967 when The Beatles sang it first and it’s true today – we really do get by with a little help from our friends. These wonderful people are our confidants, our pillars of strength, our joke buddies and for some a chosen family. This Sunday, 30 July, marks International Day of Friendship. This day, which was first celebrated in 2011 after it was introduced by the United Nations, is a great opportunity to do something special with the different friends in your life. From foodie to thrill seeker below are some ideas on how to honour your particular friends.

The busy thrill seeker

Escape the winter blues with your thrill seeker friend and book an exciting activity that will get you out of your comfort zone. Across the country there are many great places to awaken your inner-child and have some fun. In Cape Town, for example, you could vist Acrobranch and do a treetop obstacle course or play a game of padel. In Johannesburg you could channel the Katniss Everdeen in you and do an archery lesson at Archers of Zoolake Archery Range, or bungee jump from the suspension bridge at the Soweto Towers. If you’re looking to escape the cold perhaps a visit to your local arcade for nostalgic games and bowling is right up your alley.

The traveller

Your travel-enthusiast friend may have explored far corners of the world, but what could be better than an unforgettable staycation in Mzansi? From our country’s magnificent coastlines to lush mountainous regions there’s a getaway for every preference! Take advantage of the mid-winter dry season, as many animals will stay close to watering holes, and head to one of South Africa’s most beloved tourist destinations the Kruger National Park.

Located in the Greater Kruger Conservancy, conveniently right at the Paul Kruger Gate and on the banks of the iconic Sabie River, Kruger Gate Hotel is the perfect base from which you and your travel companion can explore the Kruger National Park. You can opt for a self-driven safari, or explore the park’s wonders with an educational guided safari – either way this will be a staycation that you will cherish for years to come. Perhaps enjoy an early night, and marvel at the mesmerising Kruger landscape at dawn, or give yourself a moment to decompress with the Kruger Gate Hotel’s spa treatments in the wild.

The health guru

We all have that one friend that knows all the latest wellness trends and has every buzzing gadget out there – from gua shas to acupressure mats. These are always wonderful friends to have as you’ve probably found that their dedication to their lifestyle rituals leaves a positive influence on you. You could celebrate your health-conscious friend with two different ideas – a goodie hamper or by cooking them a delicious and nutritious meal.

Putting together a healthy goodie hamper is a super easy idea that will be sure to leave a lasting impression on your friend. Visit your local wellness store and pick up a few things to gift them like:

  • Sauerkraut – A fermented cabbage condiment that boasts amazing gut health benefits
  • Microgreens – Tiny forms of young edible greens that are produced from herbs, vegetables and other plants that  contain up to 40x more nutrients than mature vegetables.
  • Matcha powder – an antioxidant powdered green tea originating from East Asia
  • Sea moss – A marine vegetable that has 92 of 102 essential minerals we need

If you are someone that enjoys hosting and cooking you could invite your friend over for a microgreens infused meal. A microgreens pesto pasta is simple, tasty and budget friendly. You could purchase a punnet of microgreens at your local grocery store and make your own sauce or buy a ready made mix online from MicroThumbs for R59.95. Swap out regular pasta for a gluten free variety should your friend require it and add in some nourishing ingredients like olives, artichokes, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Pair the end product with a refreshing kombucha drink or a kombucha-infused cocktail.

The self-care foodie

Winter, for all its cloudiness and grey skies, gives us the feeling of wanting to slow down, preferably while relaxing under a warm blanket. If a slow winter filled with self-care is what your bestie is all about, the perfect addition to bonding time with your friend could be an element of pampering.

This might mean booking two hours of a day together,  switching off your phones, catching up on conversations and booking time to get cared for by professional wellness practitioners. A self-care experience could also include thirst-quenching drinks and snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables. This helps to hydrate drier winter skin and boost the immune system.

“At the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, we have an ESSE hydro-boost facial – a treatment that boosts and builds healthy skin naturally which is perfect for winter skin renewal,” notes Sabashni Naidoo, Managing Director at Amani Spa Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront. “We also have a BABOR skin renewal treatment, which reinvigorates and instantly rejuvenates the skin.”

Retreats are also great activities to enjoy with friends and they usually incorporate self-care activities like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practice.