It is our firm belief that there’s nothing more romantic than an African safari. So many experiences are unique to a safari, from observing wild animals up close in their natural habitat, enjoying candlelit dinners for two in the bush, sleeping under the stars on a star bed or taking to the skies on a hot air balloon ride at dawn. Along the way, we ensure that every detail is taken care of from the moment you arrive until you depart, leaving you time to unwind and spend quality time with your partner. For this reason, safaris are popular with honeymooners,– and are also the perfect setting if you’re planning to pop the question or celebrate a special anniversary!
Here are just a few ideas from our African safari destinations.
The original home of the safari, Kenya has some seriously dreamy places to stay. Plan ahead and spend your first night in Nairobi at Giraffe Manor, a fabulous hotel where the resident giraffes poke their heads through the windows and share breakfast with you or enjoy a couple of days in one of Kenya’s national parks, Nairobi National Park at The Emakoko.
The Maasai Mara has a terrific concentration of game year-round, but you may get to witness the spectacle of the Great Migration – it takes place during honeymoon season! Between July and the end of November up to two million wildebeest, accompanied by zebra and antelope, gather up their young and trek to the Mara from the Serengeti Plains – a magnificent sight, especially at river crossings.
Our more adventurous honeymooners will enjoy a classic safari experience at Serian’s Ngare Camp – an intimate camp on an exclusive conservation area offers unrivaled privacy and an off the grid experience. Let’s not forget luxury, which comes aplenty at Mara Bushtops Camp – our couples will enjoy spacious rooms with large private decks and beautiful sunken tubs, which are delightful after an afternoon on safari.
The vast Serengeti plains in northern Tanzania also witness the Great Migration, and the Ngorongoro Crater offers superlative wildlife viewing. You can also trek with chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains or, if you’re feeling adventurous, climb Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.
If you’re in the mood to splash out, Lemala Nanyukie is an intimate and exclusive retreat overlooking the plains of the Eastern Serengeti of Tanzania – the migration passes by between October and December. These beautiful, contemporary suites are situated around several kopjes (which often play host to lions and their cubs). Enjoy this area, famed for its cheetah and other cats where you can take to the skies for a hot air balloon ride or just stay put and enjoy the pool and spa.
Chem Chem is set in a 16,000-hectare private concession between Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks. While you can choose to go for game drives in either park, you’re equally encouraged to relax in the spa or by the pool, or go on bush walks – or even a run – with a Maasai guard, or spend a morning visiting a local school or learning more about their anti-poaching unit. Birdwatchers in particular will love it here, and with the 7 spacious tented suites spread far apart, privacy is assured.
You can add on a beach break on the island of Zanzibar, where untouched coral reefs make the area a world-class destination for snorkeling and diving. For a real splurge visit Mnemba Island, just off the north coast of Zanzibar, which has an on-site PADI dive school and only ten beachfront suites.
Botswana is unrivaled when it comes to luxury and exclusivity, with many intimate camps and lodges only accessible by air. There’s an incredible diversity of game, particularly around the floodplains of the Okavango Delta in the north, and you can take a river cruise or trip on a mokoro (dugout canoe), try a walking safari or even go quad biking or horse-riding.
A top choice in Botswana is Selinda Camp, which has impressive eco-credentials and only three extremely spacious tents, each on a raised deck with a private plunge pool and outdoor shower. Romantic touches include claw-foot copper baths, a beautiful spa and stunning wine cellar, and the location between the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park on the private Selinda concession ensures impressive wildlife viewing.
Also on the Okovango Delta and bordering Moremi Game Reserve, Qorokwe Camp has just nine suites overlooking a lagoon, so wildlife viewing is rich year-round – particularly when it comes to birds.
If you opt for a safari in Botswana there’s also the option of spending a few days at Victoria Falls in neighboring Zimbabwe. Some of our favorite properties are located on the banks of the Zambezi River, including the private Victoria Falls River Lodge’s Island Treehouses – 4 luxurious treehouses with private plunge pools and uninterrupted river views.
On the Zambian side, we recommend Sindabezi Island, set upstream of the Falls. The property has only five open-sided thatch chalets with river views – and the honeymoon chalet is set on its own sandy beach.
Namibia is an excellent choice if you’ve already been on a ‘classic’ safari – here, it’s as much about epic scenery as it is game, from the immense red sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the glittering white salt pans of Etosha National Park and the isolated Skeleton Coast, which is littered with thousands of shipwrecks and the bones of long-dead whales.
This is not to say there isn’t game – Etosha National Park, which is the size of Switzerland, boasts lion, leopard and elephant, as well as the largest population of cheetah and free-roaming black rhino in the world. Little Ongava, located on a private concession adjacent to the National Park, has just 3 Suites, overlooking the landscape with stunning private pools and outdoor showers.
You needn’t sacrifice on luxury either. Sossusvlei Desert Lodge’s dramatic architecture blends into the landscape, offering complete privacy in its 10 suites. Some other properties we recommend include the remote Serra Cafema camp on Kunene River, which has just eight chalets, and the surreal wooden cabins of Shipwreck Lodge on the Skeleton Coast.
When it comes to ultra-romantic and luxurious properties, South Africa can’t be beat – and you can add on a beach break in Mozambique, or visit Cape Town for culture and world-class food and wine while you’re at it.
Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in Kruger National Park is a honeymooner’s dream, with just six suites boasting private decks and plunge pools, and a special treehouse suite where you can sleep on a platform underneath the stars.
Londolozi’s Granite Suites, with just 3 Suites offers unparalleled privacy with their own heated swimming pools and all that the reserve has to offer. The Healing House offers wonderful spa experiences and yoga classes overlooking the bush can’t be beat.
Set in a private concession, Singita Lebombo is a contemporary take on a safari lodge, with stylish, glass-fronted suites designed to make the most of the views and plenty of activities besides game drives, such as wine tasting and spa treatments. The food is exceptionally good, and there’s a roof terrace for private dining.
Dulini Leadwood’s private pools are amongst the largest – though honeymooners may find the local elephant population enjoying a drink. The camp has only four suites, making it a wonderful spot for honeymooners to enjoy their privacy in this prolific wildlife reserve when not on game drives or bush walks.
Call or email us to plan your safari!