Taking an African Safari for your Honeymoon has always been an exotic and adventurous choice, following the romance of the old explorers! For many people a Safari is a once in a lifetime experience so to save up and splash out on your honeymoon is a great thing to do. If at any stage in your planning you are just too confused by the selection of safari options, just pick up the phone or drop me an email and we’ll have a chat about the right choice for you. Everyone is different and wants something special out of their trip of a lifetime and with my 20 years experience, plus my niche specialism for tailor made Africa holidays, I’m sure I can find you the perfect solution!
But the choice of Safaris is daunting – see my page of African Safaris to guide you through the maze of which elephants, lions, sunsets and gin and tonics are right for you! Honeymoons often combine the excitement and adventure of a safari with some downtime on a beach or in a place of outstanding natural beauty, maybe with a spa treatment or two …..
Here I will go through a few of my favourite ideas for Safari Honeymoons and if you go to the Special Offers page, you will find just some of the safari camps and lodges (or beach lodges in Africa) which are offering discounts or specials for honeymoon couples.
If your honeymoon is your first safari you might want to head for the classic safari destinations such as the Masai Mara or the Serengeti but don’t rule out some of the more remote destinations – Zambia and Botswana offer amazing luxury safari camps and a very personal guiding experience. If you have been on safari before and perhaps did the more basic adventure camping option, why not treat yourselves to some luxury along with fabulous wildlife sightings?
Sometimes, there is just that ‘once in a lifetime’ moment that you have to do and your honeymoon might be the best opportunity to do it! Some of the extreme honeymoons that couples choose in Africa include climbing Kilimanjaro, trekking Mountain Gorillas or a Cycling Safari. Intimate wildlife experiences such as Chimpazee tracking or being in the heart of the Wildebeest migration will be remembered all your life.
Botswana offers a relaxing honeymoon option as most safari camps are fly in only, so you don’t have hours on bumpy roads to get to your destination! Drifting in a dug out canoe being ‘punted’ through the channels of the Okavango Delta or watching the sun go down from the luxury of your private plunge pool is a great way to experience the massive expanse of wilderness areas in this country. If you like the idea of a camping safari with a private guide and a cook to prepare all your food, ask me about a tailor made private honeymoon in regions of your choice, travel as they did in the days of the explorers! Sleep under the stars in the Kalahari Desert or on the pans or eyeball a Meerkat family!
Zambia has a unique feel to it and has some superb honeymoon options, including a couple of places you can actually get married, such as Tongabezi near Victoria Falls or in the heart of the South Luangwa National Park. The camps in Zambia tend to be small and intimate and can offer you a honeymoon experience of a different kind, with things like sleep out platforms in the bush or luxury bush camps. Both Botswana and Zambia honeymoons can include time at Victoria Falls where there are some gorgeously romantic places to stay.
Tanzania has some special honeymoon options inlcuding both safari and beach. On the coast, try the Venus Suite at Tent with a View Safari Lodge at Saadani, or sleep in a treehouse at Chole Mjini for some fabulous ‘Robinson Crusoe’ time. Check out the Tanzania destination page for ideas on safaris in different national parks. Zanzibar of course is traditionally popular for both weddings on the beach and honeymoons and has a wide range of beach villas and lodges, for something special try the Baobab Suite at Fumba Beach or a bed on the roof of a suite at Shooting Star Lodge.
Although Kenya is probably most popular for traditional safaris and the Masai Mara, take a look further afield for some unusual honeymoon ideas – ask me about the lodges around the Laikipia region, stunning views and in some places you won’t see any other tourists! Try Loisaba’s star beds or take a private guided walking safari in the hills with Samburu Warriors. On the coast north of the Tana Delta is the wonderful Delta Dunes lodge with miles and miles of empty beaches and to the south away from the busy Mombasa resorts head for Funzi Keys – a tiny island with huge suites complete with jacuzzi baths where you can dine on the beach with a campfire, take a sunset dhow ride or dive in the nearby marine park. One of my favourite honeymoon places in the whole of Africa is Kutazama Lodge, just 45 minutes from the Diani Beach area of Kenya – simply stunning, ring me to find out why!
Heading further south if you are honeymooning in our winter, then Cape Town and South Africa are favourite destinations. If you are into food and wine then the Western Cape is probably the most ‘foodie’ place in Africa! Stay in some luxury accommodation on the wine farms, watch whales from your balcony at some of the coastal lodges and parade with penguins at Boulders Beach! Some dramatic places to ‘pop the question’ (too late if you are on honeymoon I know but you might be planning it!) include Cape Point and Table Mountain. Along the Garden Route if you would like a self drive African honeymoon, stop at places such as Phantom Forest near Knysna with it’s eco-style and funky boutique feel and you can combine this with a safari in one of the Eastern Cape Game Reserves. In fact, this year Shamwari are throwing in a free wedding package with your safari, so you could tie the knot and then continue on honeymoon!
Mozambique has some stunning islands and beaches and has a good year round climate, so ask me about options for honeymoons on the Indian Ocean shores of Africa. Places like Nuarro Lodge in a sheltered bay give you chance to see whales, kayak, dive and simply relax into a laid back way of life long forgotten in our western world. Combine Safari with beach in Mozambique by heading to Explore Gorongosa, a traditional safari camp in the heart of a giant wilderness area, who also have some honeymoon offers available.
Combining your safari with beach doesn’t have to mean heading to the coast. Try some of the gorgeous lodges around Lake Malawi such as Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island, Nkwichi Lodge on the Mozambique shores of the lake or Mumbo Island for something different to give you the down time you need in one of the friendliest countries on Earth! You can safari in Malawi too, spend time in Liwonde National Park or at Majete, fast becoming a popular destination for African Safaris in Malawi.
For adventures with Gorillas or Chimpanzees honeymoon in Rwanda or Uganda – both of these countries offer friendly hospitality and truly stunning scenery with volcanic hills and lakes, thick forests and colourful people and wildlife. Raft the Nile, hike in one of the last remaining true rainforests (Nyungwe in Rwanda), or relax at Lake Kivu or Lake Victoria.
If you prefer to see your wildlife on foot and are a keen natural history enthusiast, how about Madagascar? A very popular option for ‘safari’ honeymoons where you can combine lemurs of the forests with superb wild beach lodges. See the Madagascar pages for more ideas.
If you do want to combine your African Safari Honeymoon with a beach a bit further away, head for Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues or the Seychelles. Please be aware that these kind of twin centre holidays are difficult in terms of the length of flying time and price of the flights, but they can offer a superb contrast of the African bush and exotic Indian Ocean beaches. Many hotels on the Indian Ocean islands have honeymoon offers and special honeymoon rooms and treats, so ask me about which ones are right for you.
Trying to strech the honeymoon budget? Wedding guests can help with the cost of the honeymoon, ask me about gift voucher schemes or gift lists which some operators can offer where your guests can buy ‘items’ for your honeymoon such as a scuba dive, bush dinner or a hot air balloon ride.
Whatever you want from your African Safari Honeymoon, get in touch as soon as you know your dates and I’ll do all the research for you and get it all booked up so you don’t have to do a thing except count the days!
Our honeymoon was great and everything went to plan, we were glad about the order of the Kenya safaris, starting with the Rift Valley Lakes as the Masai Mara was the perfect end to our wildlife experience. Lake Nakuru was stunning. After a boat trip on Lake Naivasha we had a lovely afternoon and evening at Loldia house – weird sitting reading whilst buffalo and hippo are so close! Karen Blixen Camp was a real safari experience. We loved it here the most and were well looked after. Governors hot air balloon ride over the Mara – AMAZING!! Ole Sereni in Nairobi was a night of luxury and a fitting way to end the week of safari and allowed us to freshen up and prepare for the second half of our african experience!!! Somak were brilliant and very helpful in Kenya.
Then on to Mozambique and Nuarro Lodge – it was perfect and we fully relaxed for the week. Really enjoyed our diving and visiting the local village en route to the lighthouse. The food was unbelievable! Thank you for all your help through the planning and booking over the last year or so. Our honeymoon was a truly magical experience and one we will never forget. I’ve never taken so many pictures!!! Thanks for all your help in creating some fantastic memories for us!
Abi & Paul – Kenya & Mozambique Honeymoon (April 2013)
Thank you so much for all your hard work ! Our entire honeymoon to Malawi and Zambia was flawlessly planned from start to finish. The advice we received prior to booking was knowledgeable and invaluable upon arrival. Julie was generous and patient with her time and answered all our questions and concerns, regularly in communication out of office hours. We literally had the trip of a lifetime with so many ‘firsts’ in terms of experiences. The safari in South Luangwa was amazing, the village experience at Ntchisi Forest Lodge was a bit of a culture shock, but glad we went and Kaya Mawa was truly out of this world, we were looked after incredibly by the management team, the food was superb and we had our own little pool! We are currently booking our 2014 holiday through Julie and know the experience will be just as positive.