If it’s not said at sunset, in Africa, on horseback, is it even love? Unless, of course, adrenaline is what shakes you and your partner to the core. Either way, Africa offers a multitude of ways to experience romance like you never have before. Find true romance in Africa, with these 9 unique ways to say “I love you” – safari style.
1. Take to the skies
When most people think about taking a trip to Africa, they immediately think of safaris, and why not? Safaris offer you the opportunity to see the land and the animals up close in a way that you will likely never forget. But there is also something to be said for the bird’s eye view.
Enter hot air ballooning across the plains, grasslands and deserts of Africa.
Setting off in the soft light of early dawn, you will soar above some of the earth’s most majestic landscapes. See the world on the wind, floating high above, both detached and yet completely enveloped in its beauty all at once. You already feel like you’re walking on clouds when you’re with your loved one; now you’ll literally float amongst them.
Head for Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, and stay at Alex Walker Serian’s ‘The Original’ Camp – one of of a select group of camps allowed access to this location.
2. Take a leap of faith
This may seem an odd choice for a romantic escape, but consider that bungee jumping is much like falling in love. Both will make your palms sweat, your heart race, and adrenaline surge through your veins. And both require you to take a leap of faith!
Bloukans Bridge is one of the highest commercial bungee jumps anywhere on earth, offering you a thrilling adventure that is as exciting and as unique as your love. This is something that no thrill-seeker should ever pass up!
Head for Bloukrans Bridge, Western Cape, South Africa – home to the tallest commercial bungee jump in the world. Or fly off Victoria Falls Bridge, Zimbabwe/Zambia – set against the incredible backdrop of the Victoria Falls.
3. Brave the rapids
Another one for those seeking excitement, white-water rafting on the Zambezi river is a perfect analogy for your relationship. There will be calm moments of taking in the beauty of your surroundings, and thrilling moments where you ride the rapids. You will navigate them both together, the river carrying you along as one until you reach the far shore.
No contest! Head for Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Until you’ve braved the white waters of the mighty Zambezi River, you can’t really say you’ve white-water rafted at all!
4. Hop on horseback
A unique way to see Africa, bringing you closer to the wildlife than would otherwise be possible, is to hop on horseback and head out into the wild. On a horseback safari, you will go places that vehicles cannot access and see sights that would otherwise elude you. A visit to Africa is all about nature, and what better way to experience it than by bonding with your mount on the ride of a lifetime?
Riding on horseback across the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans of the Kalahari Desert, Botswana, with David Foot Safaris is the kind of experience that you have to live through to believe it actually exists. Or how about combining horses and hippos with Ride Zimbabwe Horseback Safaris? This spectacular safari will take you through Matobo National Park, Cawston Wildlife Estate & Mana Pool, Zimbabwe.
5. Picnic on the plains
Picnicking with your loved one in the great outdoors is a classic romantic experience. But let’s not forget that this is no quiet afternoon in the park. This is Africa! Put a unique spin on this old standby by picnicking with some special guests: powerful, majestic elephants.
Elephants are wonderful to behold even from a distance, but having them so close (while in complete safety) gives an even greater appreciation of their majesty, not to mention photo opportunities. And don’t worry, you won’t have to share your meal with them!
Zambezi Elephant Trails can turn this one-of-a-kind dining dream into a reality. Take a walk on the wild side through the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia, to a riverside lunch spot straight out of ‘Out of Africa’.
6. Dine under African stars
For many, vacations offer the chance to indulge in some of the finest foods, and a trip to Africa is no different. Enjoy some of the most delicious gourmet meals al fresco while sitting across from your love, as a candle flickers between you and the stars twinkle above. Gazing into each others’ eyes not mandatory, but highly probable. Let those African skies work their magic on your love life.
Head for the international award winning Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, located in the heart of the game-rich Sabi Sand Reserve, adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park, South Africa. Not only will you dine under the stars, you’ll do so with your own private butler.
7. Slip into serious relaxation
If white-water rafting and bungee jumping aren’t your thing, then perhaps your senses get their thrills from rejuvenation of body, mind and soul. Sink into a luxury yoga safari escape Malabar Hall, Zimbabwe, for a chance to discover more about one another while also discovering yourself.
Once you have re-balanced your mind and soul, it’s time to pamper your body at any of the amazing spa facilities found at the myriad of luxury safari lodges across southern Africa. These quiet moments can be blissful ones spent together.
The Royal Bush Spa at the Royal Zambezi Lodge, Zambia, will leave you feeling like, well, royalty. Stunning views over the Zambezi River, the sounds of snorting hippos in the river and the sharp cries of the African Fish Eagle overhead to lull you into relaxation, and award-winning spa treatments.
8. Volunteer with rhinos
Get hands-on experience learning and volunteering with Imire’s black rhino conservation and breeding program. From hand-feeding young rhinos to learning how to track animals with anti-poaching patrollers, this promises to be a unique, etched-into-your-heart-forever experience. It’s truly one of the best relationship bonding activities you can do!
Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservation, Zimbabwe, offers luxury safari accommodations paired with the opportunity to contribute to an important conservation cause via hands-on volunteering with elephants and rhino. Magical Africa at its very best.
9. Let love blossom at sunset
To be sure, you’ve seen the sun set before. But have you seen an African sunset? When shared, it is the kind of magical experience that turns friends into lovers; love into marriage; quarrels into forgiveness; talk into sweet talk. This is where romance really blossoms.
Mankind may have seen its first sunrise in Africa, but the sunsets, too, are not to be missed. Whether you are sitting quietly together on a deck being served hand and foot with that African sunset staple – an icy gin and tonic, out on a sunset cruise, or taking a quiet moment to yourselves in a luxury treetop tent, the sights, sounds and colours of the African sunset will make all other sunsets pale by comparison.
There’s not a bad sunset to be had in Africa, no matter where you are.
Daniella Ponter is the Director at Sikeleli Africa Safaris. Sikeleli Africa Safaris is a family-founded and run business that specializes in individually-tailored, luxury travel in Africa.