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Top 10 honeymoon experiences in Africa

Africa offers endless opportunities for romance, making it an ideal destination for honeymooners. Imagine waking up to the roar of lion, enjoying a private dinner in the wild, or sailing on a dhow in the Indian Ocean, and you begin to understand why both Royal couples chose Africa for their honeymoons. There is something about the unabridged silence on safari that begets a sense of connectedness to nature, and to one other. What better way to celebrate the start of a new life together? To begin exploring original ideas for true romance, consider these iconic ‘Top 10’ bucket list honeymoon experiences. 1. Sipping Champagne by sunset on the Zambezi River At the iconic Thorntree River Lodge, attentive staff serve drinks by a roaring fire on a jetty positioned over the Zambezi River. Listen to the chorus of hippo and birdsong as you sip Champagne and watch the sun go down, or enjoy a private dinner in this unforgettable setting. 2. Outdoor bubble bath at Londolozi Londolozi Game Reserve offers the opportunity to watch elephant drinking in the river from a private suite. Even better, honeymooners can silently observe wildlife roaming past while enjoying a secluded outdoor bubble bath. There are few experiences so seductive as a bathing under the open sky in the wild. Ideal for adventurous romantics! 3. Private candlelit bush dinner Bush dinners come as a happy surprise to unsuspecting honeymooners. At many of the best safari lodges, newlyweds are ushered one night during their stay into a secret enclave lit by lanterns and candles. A small team of staff serves dinner and drinks under the stars to the sound of roaring lion (at a distance) and birdsong. 4. Swimming in a pool overlooking Victoria Falls At select lodges, adventurous honeymooners can enjoy the exhilarating feeling of swimming in a pool that feeds Victoria Falls! Devil’s Pool is only full at certain times of year, and limited permits are issued for swimming in the pools, so the advice of a dedicated agent is very helpful for organising this activity. For honeymooners who enjoy adventuring together, Devil’s Pool is an unforgettable way to enjoy a day out at Vic Falls. 5. Private picnic on a secluded island in Mozambique It’s ideal to finish off an active safari itinerary with several days relaxing at the beach. In the evening, honeymooners can enjoy a cushy dinner picnic lit by hurricane lanterns and the setting sun. Cushions are laid out and hours can be spent watching the sun settle over the horizon while lazily enjoying a light meal and drinks. When night falls, stay on the beach for an evening of stargazing or night swimming! 6. Sailing on a traditional dhow in the Indian Ocean Traditional dhows are a prolific and sentimental reminder of the Indian Ocean’s rich trading history. Honeymooners can enjoy the silence and warm breeze on their skin while enjoying drinks on board one of these traditional vessels, with only one or two experienced sailors. Go where the wind blows, ending up on a private island for a beach picnic. 7. Cuddling up for an outdoor movie at Kirstenbosh botanical gardens Cape Town comes alive with festivities in the summer season (November to March), and Kirstenbosch Gardens is an ideal place to enjoy a warm evening under the stars. Set in the foothills at the back of towering Table Mountain, these lush gardens are the setting for an outdoor movie series hosted by Galileo Theatre. Honeymooners need only arrive at the gardens where cushions and buckets of popcorn are provided for comfort while enjoying a series of classical films under the starry night sky. 8. Riding a hot air balloon over Sossusvlei Dunes The ancient sand dunes of Sossusvlei have an unmistakeably dreamy quality. As the sun rises, the dunes transform from pink to orange to bright red against a bright blue sky. In the silence of early morning, honeymooners can enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the dunes followed by champagne breakfast in the midst of the desert. Although this activity is not completely private (it requires at least 24 people per group), it is still an unforgettable moment to share on honeymoon. 9. Horse riding on Noordhoek Beach Noordhoek Beach in Cape Town is an unforgettable setting – the juxtaposition of crystal clear waters with a white sand beach and towering misty mountains makes a dramatic backdrop for an evening of horse riding. The ride lasts 1.5 hours, and experienced riders have the freedom to canter to the chorus of crashing waves. Beginners can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach, taking the time to enjoy the incredible surroundings. 10. Couples seaside massage in Cape Town At Twelve Apostles Hotel, newlyweds are welcome to enjoy a relaxing massage at the foot of the mountains in an open-air pergola overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The indoor spa has an incredible salt water flotation tank in an underground cave, a jacuzzi, and a nap room to sip tea and relax together after the pamper session. This would make a fantastic addition to an active safari in Kruger Park. Hopefully this bucket list inspired a few ideas for the ideal honeymoon. Which of the above ideas appeals most to you? Willow Constantine is the Founder of Bespoke Safari Co. Bespoke Safari Co. is a boutique travel agency offering cutting edge curated travel experiences in Africa. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Willow Constantine

Willow Constantine is the founder and director of Bespoke Safari Co., a travel agency specializing in curated African experiences. Bespoke Safari Co. designs itineraries as a synergy of craft and travel, including private villa retreats in which clients escape the din of daily life to enjoy slow travel while observing wildlife in its natural habitat. As part of the Bespoke Safari Co. family, clients enjoy the privilege of travelling like a local. Whether exploring the hidden corners of Cape Town, camping with primates in Mahale, or quietly tracking leopard through the kopjes of Southern Tanzania, a Bespoke Safari experience will remain etched in one’s memory forever – we only curate the most unforgettable travel experiences. Willow researches each destination thoroughly for recent weather patterns, discovering any changes to wildlife migration and behavior. She also personally visits each lodge and villa she recommends, ensuring lodges are delivering only the best – at every price level.

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  1. And people say that romance is dead? Sadly, I didn’t get to do anything anywhere near as romantic on my honeymoon but our marriage is still bumbling along as we approach the thirty years mark.

    Just a couple of these uber romantic experiences would get a marriage off to a great start, though the pressure would be on for the first holiday after the honeymoon.

    1. Karen, I have also been married for seven years and we find that even a brief escape from the plodding reality of small children and domesticity gives us a new lease on life and reconnects us. I highly recommend a second honeymoon – thirty years is an accomplishment to be celebrated. Well done!

  2. I don’t suppose these experiences are ranked in order, particularly as everybody has their own individual tastes. For me, sipping champagne by the Zambezi River would be my number one. Those sunset colours are simply amazing.

    Then for my number two choice it would have to be the hot-air balloon over the dunes with its spectacular and magnificent views.

    1. It’s true, Helen – everyone has their own concept of romance and travel design is so much about manifesting the dreams people have been weaving their entire lives…especially when it comes to honeymoons. Thank you for sharing your top two!

  3. Horse riding on Noordhoek Beach appears most interesting. Although its hard to imagine managing the 1.5 hours.Since l wouldn’t want the walk, would definitely persevere on the ride.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts! If you would love to experience the freedom of a ride on Noordhoek Beach, the guides could definitley create a shorter ride for you. It’s an incredible setting and an unforgettable way to experience nature together. I hope you get to do this one day.

  4. I’m not really much of a touchy feely person and I’ve never been that big a fan of massage until last year. My wife talked me into doing an outdoor spa couples massage, and by coincidence that was in South Africa too. For me being outside was completely different, breathing in fresh air, though you smell the rubs on the breeze, was far more enjoyable and relaxing.

    1. Steve, I agree the atmosphere counts for a lot with these kind of experiences. Do you remember the name of the spa where you had your outdoor massage? I’d love to check it out.

  5. This makes me want to get married all over again! Thankfully there are all those fabulous anniversaries to (try to) remember. Love that this covers all aspects of the range from super accessible to super blissful dream. Thank you Willow

    1. A second honeymoon is a brilliant idea Diony! Do you have anything you would add to this bucket list?

  6. What great experiences here. I particularly find the hot air ballooning the most appealing, absolute silence, amazing vistas and sharing that with that special one. Incredible!

    1. Hot air ballooning is getting a lot of votes…maybe you need to plan that for a special someone

  7. So utterly inspired! Although I have been married for 14 years, this is definitely not lost on us and would LOVE to do one of these magical experiences! It’s now a case of choice which is brilliant because even though the desire is there, we don’t ever have it at our finger tips when the time comes. Thank you. Great post✨

    1. Maybe it’s a good idea to save this post so you can pull it up when you and your husband are planning a getaway in Africa. Feel free to ask if you want further ideas!

  8. The outdoor movie at the Kirstenbosh botanical gardens sounds so sweet. Devil’s Pool would also be a once in a lifetime kind of experience, and an epic way to remember your honeymoon. I hadn’t thought of Africa for a honeymoon but it sounds like there really is something for everyone, whether you want something relaxing and romantic, something secluded and totally private, or something for more thrills and adventure like with the horse riding and hot air balloon rides. I wouldn’t say no to any of these!

    1. Mary you are so right. Africa doesn’t automatically come up as a honeymoon destination but I have discovered over the years that it is truly one of the most romantic continents on the planet. It’s the wild silent starry nights and feeling of being happily lost in nature…

  9. What absolutely amazing options. An incredible way to reconnect with a partner in such sublime serene settings.

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