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.