AFRICA HONEYMOON

Be swept away by the sheer romance of an African honeymoon with luxury vacations that feature the best beach destinations and the world's greatest wildlife reserves.

ROMANTIC INSPIRATION TO GET YOU STARTED

Waking up at the crack of dawn may not sound like the ideal way to start the most romantic trip of your life. But on safari, the early alarm call of nature is part of the experience. And you'll be so glad you rose with the sun as you load into your 4x4 jeep, drive out into the wild, uninhabited bush, and search for the Big Five as the golden glow of morning crests beyond the horizon. The epic allure of an African safari is matched only by the insanity of the continent's beach destinations. There are exclusive private islands in the Seychelles, historic cultural epicenters on islands like Zanaibar, and laid-back coastal areas like Hermanus, in South Africa. To get the best of both worlds -- since a honeymoon rarely feels complete without a little bit of sun and surf -- plan your African honeymoon as a beach-and-bush combo. Here, we've rounded up the top safari destinations and perfect sandy-shore follow-up.

Southern Africa’s best honeymoon packages blend the charm and culture of Cape Town with the thrills of a Big 5 Kruger safari and the world wonder of Victoria Falls. The Kruger Park makes an ideal safari and beach honeymoon combined with the powder-white beaches and golf courses of Mauritius. If your heart is set on a classic African safari, then blend big game action in Botswana's Chobe with the miraculous wetlands of the Okavango Delta.

East Africa’s most romantic destinations offer plenty of bucket list experiences, from witnessing the wildebeest migration crossing Tanzania’s Serengeti to gorilla trekking in Rwanda and taking a hot-air balloon flight over Kenya's Masai Mara. Add to this extraordinary menu the natural wonder of Ngorongoro Crater and honeymoon packages that blend wildlife with the paradise islands of Seychelles and Zanzibar.

Whatever your appetite for adventure, you’ll find inspiration in our range of Africa honeymoon tours & safaris. Browse our latest honeymoon travel deals and start planning your honeymoon vacation with a Safari Expert today.


Honeymoon and wedding

1. Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park provides the stage for Africa’s famous Great Wildebeest Migration, but Tanzania is also a country of big cats, massive elephant herds and thriving chimpanzee-filled rainforests. And with Zanzibar and its Crusoesque Indian Ocean islands like Pemba and Mnemba within easy reach, it’s the perfect 'bush-and-beach' African honeymoon destination.

Once on safari, you can look forward to expertly guided game drives and there’s usually an opportunity to go hot-air ballooning. If you stay in private game reserves, you can also add walking safaris, night drives, off-road game viewing, and even mountain biking to your list of Africa honeymoon activities.

Best time to go on a Tanzania honeymoon:

Although Tanzania is considered a great destination for year-round game viewing, the most comfortable weather conditions in the country's safari regions like the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara are generally during the June to October dry season. To witness the spectacle of the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti, you'll need to go on your Africa honeymoon between about November and August.

If it's a tropical beach honeymoon in Africa that you’re after, the best time to visit Tanzania's coast, Zanzibar and its islands is between June and March.

Why we love Tanzania for an Africa honeymoon:

• Witness the Wildebeest Migration while staying at intimate safari camps

• Enjoy secluded safari experiences in Ruaha, Nyerere (formerly Selous) and Mahale

• See the Big 5 in the Ngorongoro Crater while staying at luxurious cliff-top accommodation

• Have romantic bush dinners under a blanket of stars

• Crown your safari honeymoon on a private island in the Indian Ocean


Honeymoon and wedding

2. Namibia

This friendly and easy-travelling country has excellent wildlife viewing in Etosha National Park, but its best African honeymoon destination has to be the Namib Desert.

During Namibia's dry season between June and October, the Namib is a mesmerizing land of silent, primal beauty and night skies spilling over with stars. A visit to the famous Sossusvlei dunes – towering hundreds of feet above you – is a must-do activity. You can walk up a dune to greet the rising sun or take a hot-air balloon flight for a birds-eye view. You’ll also explore the desert with expert local guides, on the lookout for unique wildlife in a surprisingly rich and diverse environment.

Best time to go on a Namibia honeymoon:

The dramatic dunes at Sossusvlei can be visited year-round, and the dry winter months between May and October are widely regarded as the best time for game viewing in Etosha.

Why we love Namibia for an Africa honeymoon:

• Enjoy total privacy in a sparsely populated country of big skies and dramatic scenery

• Go on a romantic hot-air balloon flight over the world's oldest desert

• Sleep in a star-bed in the Namibian Nature Reserve, Africa's only Dark Sky Reserve and one of the naturally darkest (yet accessible) places on Earth

• Revel in nomadic luxury in some of Africa's wildest and most remote destinations like Damaraland, the Skeleton Coast and the Kaokoveld


Honeymoon and wedding

3. Seychelles

Idyllic beaches, clear warm water and a massage for two – that’ll be the Seychelles. A scattering of islands in the Indian Ocean – some large, some not much bigger than a city block – the Seychelles has a well-deserved reputation for romance and enjoys equatorial weather.

Activities to look forward to include just about every water sport you can think of, but there is hiking and mountain biking too. As for where to stay, there’s no more iconic place than privately owned North Island. This scrap of jungle-clad granite is the favored African honeymoon destination for royalty and rock stars, guaranteeing a stay of unashamed but gentle indulgence at North Island Lodge – the only accommodation on the island. Your palatial villa comes with its own pool and a lounge that can be converted into a private cinema. And chat to the chef about your favorite dishes and you can enjoy them at the restaurant or in your villa, served by candlelight.

Best time to go on a Seychelles honeymoon:

Warm and sunny year-round make it a great spot for a honeymoon in Africa. The hottest months are December to April while the wettest are January and February. If you plan to scuba dive then April/May and October/November have the best underwater visibility.

Why we love Seychelles for an Africa honeymoon:

• Soak up the sun on some of the best beaches in Africa

• Enjoy world-class luxury at award-winning resorts and stylish beach villas

• Service is superb and logistics are easy

• Head for the private islands to enjoy footprint-free beaches and copious towel space


Honeymoon and wedding

4. Victoria Falls

With the mile-wide Zambezi River tumbling into the abyss, no wonder the Zambian name for Victoria Falls translates as ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. It is a destination as famous for its white-knuckle adventures like river rafting and bungee jumping as it is for romantic sunset river cruises and helicopter flights.

Best time to go on a Victoria Falls honeymoon:

Experiencing Vic Falls as a best African honeymoon destination depends on your expectations. The waterfall is in full flow from about March to July – this is when you will get the most spectacular views. From about September to December, there can be very little water going over Victoria Falls, and this is usually the best time for activities like white-water rafting and swimming in Devil's Pool.

A good time to combine a safari with a visit to Vic Falls is between June and October, when game viewing is at its best in easily accessible destinations like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

Why we love Victoria Falls for an Africa honeymoon:

• Stand in awe of the world's biggest waterfall, a bucket-list experience

• Go on a romantic helicopter flight over the waterfall

• Stay at tranquil and secluded riverside lodges on the Zambian side of Vic Falls

• Have a picnic lunch on Livingstone Island


Honeymoon and wedding

5. Botswana

Go on safari to Botswana and see what Africa’s wildlife was like in the days of the first European explorers: elephants in their tens of thousands, big cats, wild dogs and rivers full of crocodiles and hippopotamus.

Game drives are the main focus when on safari in Botswana. You’ll head out in the early morning and late afternoons to look for big game, then return to camp with a spotlight to catch nocturnal animals on the prowl. Many lodges are set on rivers or in the wetland wilderness of the Okavango Delta, enabling you to explore by motorboat and mokoro (traditional canoe).

Some camps have only three or four suites, making them very private and ideal for a honeymoon in Africa. Romance is provided by 4-poster beds, outdoor bathtubs and private plunge pools. And for a truly special experience, you can spend a night in a sky bed that is open to the stars.

Despite some camps being situated on remote islands in the heart of the Okavango Delta, they still take 'glamping' to a new level. Think spa facilities, swimming pool pavilions and in-room, wood burning stoves in the middle of the Kalahari.

Best time to go on a Botswana honeymoon:

Thanks to a mild climate and an abundance of wildlife in heavyweight destinations like the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park, Botswana delivers superb safari experiences any time of the year.

But if you want to go when temperatures are cool, there's virtually no rain, and the risk of malaria is at its lowest, then opt for an Africa honeymoon during the dry winter months of May to October. This is also when animals are concentrated in ever increasing numbers around the dry season's last remaining water sources, which makes for phenomenal game viewing.

Why we love Botswana for an Africa honeymoon:

• Glide through the Okavango Delta’s tranquil waterways on a traditional mokoro (think of it as the Venice of safari)

• Combine luxury and adventure at intimate camps in remote locations

• Enjoy some of the best water-based game viewing in Southern Africa

• Spend a night in a romantic star-bed under the infinite Milky Way


Honeymoon and wedding

6. Mozambique

Looking for that out-of-the-way beach retreat with plenty of romantic comfort and great weather for your honeymoon in Africa? Try the Quirimbas Archipelago. A string of coral islands set along Mozambique’s tropical Indian Ocean coast, the Quirimbas doesn’t get much colder than 24°C (75°F) at any time – day or night – and the water temperature starts at that and goes up to 30°C (86°F).

With much of the archipelago protected as a marine park, the Quirimbas is a natural choice for scuba divers and water sport lovers, but you don’t need to get your feet wet to enjoy the Quirimbas. This is also a destination of beachside massages and sunset cruises in a traditional dhow sailboat. Accommodation is lightly sprinkled across the islands – elegant, intimate lodges that tend to be the only one on the island.

Best time to go on a Mozambique honeymoon:

Go between May and September when there is barely any rain, and avoid the peak rainy months of January and February.

Why we love Botswana for an Africa honeymoon:

• Tiny islands offer the perfect romantic retreats

• Enjoy incredible snorkelling conditions

• Explore enchanted forests and see unique marine life like turtles and dugongs


Honeymoon and wedding

7. South Africa

Vineyards, semi-deserts and savannahs – the Rainbow Nation offers such a diverse set of destinations, it’s hard to remember you’re in the same country. And it's this sheer diversity that makes South Africa one of the best honeymoon destinations in Africa.

In beautiful Cape Town, the attractions of the Cape Winelands are a little more sedentary and include fine food, wine, cheese and chocolate tastings. We recommend staying in Franschhoek while honeymooning in South Africa. Ringed by craggy mountains, this quaint town lies at the heart of the Cape Winelands and boasts the reputation as the culinary capital of South Africa.

Over in the Kruger, game drives are the main safari activity. We recommend staying in the Kruger's private game reserves: conservation areas surrounding the national park that are famous for exquisite safari lodges and world-class service. Not only will you be lapping up luxury on your honeymoon in South Africa, but you'll also enjoy Africa's best Big 5 sightings and special activities like guided walks and spot-lit night drives. Plus, some of the best safari honeymoon destinations in South Africa offer star-bed sleepouts that will allow you and your partner to experience a night under the star-filled African sky.

Best time to go on a South Africa honeymoon:

Safari destinations like the Kruger National Park delivers sensational game viewing between May and October (dry season), but honeymooners thinking about visiting Cape Town and its Winelands should know that this period is generally the area’s rainy season – especially from June to August.

While the Kruger's risk of malaria is at its lowest during the dry season (May to October), South Africa's malaria-free safari destinations like Madikwe Game Reserve and the Eastern Cape's reserves offer great game viewing year-round.

Why we love South Africa for an Africa honeymoon:

• Experience culinary excellence and world-class amenities in Cape Town, the Winelands and Kruger’s private reserves

• It's easy to get around, thanks to fantastic logistics and tourism infrastructure

• Enjoy the best Big 5 game viewing in Africa

• It offers unbeatable value for money


Honeymoon and wedding

9. Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls may be the obvious choice for a honeymoon in Zimbabwe, but this is big game country and home to safari destinations that are just as romantic but with a twist of adventure.

Top of our list is the world’s largest manmade lake, Lake Kariba, where a handful of lodges lie on wild lakeside shores, offering land and water-based game viewing as well as walking safaris and local community interactions. It’s an unspoilt landscape of savannah, open water and distant mountains, with sunsets reputed to be among the best in Africa.

For a more traditional safari experience on your Africa honeymoon, head to Mana Pools National Park. Rugged and beautiful, Mana Pools' abundance of water is a magnet for animals like elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rare wild dog.

Best time to go on a Zimbabwe honeymoon:

Go during the May to October dry season to avoid heavy rains and mosquitoes – the weather is coolest and driest from June to the end of August. September and October are very hot and dry months, but game viewing at this time is spectacular.

Why we love Zimbabwe for an Africa honeymoon:

• Easily combine Victoria Falls with a safari

• Enjoy candle-lit dinners on the shores of Lake Kariba

• Private and secluded camps in Mana Pools offer total exclusivity

• Be accompanied by some of the best safari guides in the business


Honeymoon and wedding

10. Kenya

Kenya’s Masai Mara, the destination that inspired Hollywood’s romantic 'Out of Africa', is indeed a land of sunlit savannahs, thundering herds of plains game, and the red-cloaked Maasai people.

And why not carry through the 'Out of Africa' motif to its logical conclusion? Agama Mara is an elegant safari lodge built where the film was made and you can even have a picnic for two in the very spot that every film buff will recognize. The ultimate activity on your honeymoon in Africa! Agama is also well located for the Wildebeest Migration as it enters its most dramatic chapter: the infamous river crossings.

We also recommend staying in the Mara's private conservancies that neighbor the national reserve. These conservation areas are owned by local Maasai who lease it to safari operators in return for monetary compensation and other assistance like educational and healthcare programs, or livestock and grazing management. That means your Africa honeymoon has a direct impact on wildlife conservation and community development. Furthermore, these exclusive-use areas offer discreet service at intimate camps and a more tranquil safari experience away from the national reserve – which can get rather busy when the Wildebeest Migration rolls in.

Morning and afternoon game drives are the best way to see the Masai Mara's wildlife, but many lodges offer hot-air balloon safaris too – complete with champagne breakfast – as well as chances to visit a local Maasai community.

Best time to go on a Kenya honeymoon:

A generally benign climate and amazing year-round game viewing means it’s a place you can visit at most times of the year. Though we’d recommend avoiding the heavy rains during April and May.

Choosing the right time to go on your Africa honeymoon is important if you want to see the Great Wildebeest Migration. The herds usually cross into the Masai Mara from the neighboring Serengeti from about late-July, and stay there until about November (depending on the rains).

Why we love Kenya for an Africa honeymoon:

• Have a romantic picnic on the crest of the 'Out of Africa' hill that's featured on the film's poster

• Witness the Wildebeest Migration

• Go on a hot-air balloon safari at sunrise

• Enjoy incredible game viewing – especially big cats (lion, cheetah and leopard)

• Stay at luxurious and intimate camps in exclusive-use areas

• Stay at the one-of-a-kind Giraffe Manor in Nairobi


Honeymoon and wedding

11. Mauritius

Mauritius is a tropical playground set in the Indian Ocean, ringed by coral reefs, white sand beaches and clear calm water. It's been one of the most popular honeymoon destinations for South Africans for many years.

World-class holiday resorts are scattered along the island's coastline offering enormous swimming pools, endless water sports and shaded sun loungers a few steps from the sea. The service at these resorts is superb, the facilities excellent and all tastes are catered for: that’s the beauty of a Mauritius honeymoon – it’s easy and stress-free with everything conveniently close at hand.

Best time to go on a Mauritius honeymoon:

This gorgeous island has a tropical climate with warm weather year-round, but the best time to visit Mauritius is between May and November when the weather is cool, dry and sunny. During summer (December to April), the days can get hot and humid.

Why we love Mauritius for an Africa honeymoon:

• Stay at world-class African honeymoon resorts scattered along the coastline

• Enjoy water sports like snorkeling, water skiing, parasailing and windsurfing

• Secluded coves and private beaches offer luxury villas

• Easily combined with a safari in Southern Africa

The best adventure honeymoons in East Africa

Climb Kilimanjaro: For the truly venturesome duos out there, it’s got to be Kilimanjaro. Probably the most unique African honeymoon out there, this will prove to be an extremely memorable start to married life. Many people like to combine this adventure with a bit of safari, and almost always beach time.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: Most people think of Rwanda when considering a gorilla trekking honeymoon, but it is has in recent years taken a high quality low volume approach to tourism making is uber luxurious and expensive as a result. Uganda on the other hand provides real adventure, at half the price and is a destination with so much on offer; hiking, canoeing, safari as well as gorilla treks.

The best adventure honeymoons in Southern Africa

A walking safari in the South Luangwa Valley, Zambia: The mother of walking safaris, when exploring the African bush on foot there is nowhere better than the raw Zambian wilderness. Here, you can enjoy walking between different lodges; this is a real adventure perfect for honeymooners who like to do things a little differently!

A riding safari in the Okavango Delta is a phenomenal honeymoon option. It is actually a very inexpensive way of seeing the Delta, which is surprising given you can ride horses every day. This experience can be as intrepid as you like with a variety of experiences on offer from 7 nights fly camping, to permanent lodges only or even a mixture of the two.

Tearing around the Victoria Falls on a kayak, or maybe taking a dive on a bungee jump, followed by dinner on the beautiful pink sunset of the Zambezi River… It would be a mistake to miss out Victoria Falls on a Southern Africa honeymoon.

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