Africa. – There’s something magical about the big skies, African bushveld, rich traditions and seductive nature of Africa that adds romance to any given day, making it especially idyllic as the destination for a honeymoon. Whether you choose to safari on the game rich African plains or enjoy a few days relaxing at a coastal resort, you can be sure that all of your senses will delight in the experience. Even better, you could opt for a combination of bush and beach.
Here are ’Ten of Africa’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Retreats’ based on their setting, activities and generous African hospitality as compiled by me for Eye See Africa. After all, if you gift yourself one thing in life, let it be a trip to Africa and no better time to do so, than when celebrating your love.
Find the article as first published here, and for your convenience as below.
The ocean sweetheart of the Tintswalo Lodges, Tintswalo Atlantic is all about location. Set at the base of Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town’s Hout Bay, the lodge has recently undergone a rebirth after they suffered fire damage last year. Risen from the ashes in shades of sapphire, cobalt, indigo and teal it truly is a magnificent place, one with a gentleness and respect for nature. Also quite possibly the closest you could get to accommodation at the sea. The 5-star luxury lodge has ten uniquely designed suite, an inviting wooden deck and public area, a Spa for indulging treatments, heated pool and open kitchen offering indulgent relaxed meals.
Imagine escaping to your own private island in the Indian Ocean to celebrate your nuptials. Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort has 12 private villas with four poster beds and personal plunge pool, loungers, in and outdoor showers and stylish contemporary finishes. The warm Indian Ocean waters will entice you in for a dip, you can stand up paddle board or kayak, even windsurf, snorkel and scuba dive the fish rich coral reefs. Sumptuous all day dining offers a delightful choice of exotic Mozambique flavours mixed with European classics and showcases seafood caught by local fisherman. This is true barefoot luxury in the Quirimbas Archipelago, a place that will be hard to leave.
The Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara is the perfect choice for an authentic Kenyan safari experience. Tucked away in a grove on the banks of the Ntiakitiak River, this tented camp blends in effortlessly with the landscape, while providing the modern comforts you would expect from a luxury hotel. Situated in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy which spans over 35,000 acres of prime grassland, riverine forests and acacia woodlands rich wildlife and home to many Lion Prides, Cheetahs and a family of Leopards. Highlights include game drives and guided game walks as well as a visit to a real Masai village where you can have your marriage blessed. Also time in a nearby Rhino sanctuary is recommended.
Little Kulala is a luxurious desert retreat situated in the private 27 000-hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve with its towering dunes and clear starry skies. Accommodation consists of 11 thatched “kulalas” – the word means to sleep – which merge naturally into the desert landscape, each with private plunge pool, indoor and outdoor showers and a rooftop star bed for romantic star gazing, or even a night outside. There is a large entertainment area including a library, wine cellar, craft boutique, lounge and dining areas. Activities at Little Kulala include exploring the towering dunes of Sossusvlei as well as other fascinating geographical formations of the region such as the Sesriem Canyon, also game drive and walks which bring the desert-adapted wildlife in the area to life. To crown it all, consider a hot air balloon ride.
Mauritius is a popular destination for sun seekers and it’s easy to understand why, especially when staying at the unrivaled One&Only Le Saint Geran. Specialising in luxury resort living, many of the staff have been there for decades, proudly acting as custodians of the pristine peninsula and blue waters whilst carrying out a warm and gracious service.
Here with white sands on either side, all of the guest rooms have a sea view through the 4000 lovingly planted palm trees that have seen decades of growth as happy guests come and go, many returning. But more than this the resort exudes a sense of space, calm and splendour. You may not want to leave the opulence and space of your room, but if you do the beaches, blue waters, indulgent Spa and myriad of water sports on offer, as well as the many recommended tours around the island will keep you entertained. Unique and romantic private dining options include in-suite dining, private beach cabana, dining at the Jetty or even the Tipi on the beach dining experience.
If you want to get away from it all and take in a true sense of African Safari, Serengeti Under Canvas is for you. A luxurious semi-permanent tented camp that moves around the Serengeti bringing guests within range of the massive herds of the Great Migration. This is the ultimate in luxury camping, complete with a private butler service, chandeliers, silverware, crystal, ensuite bathrooms and comfortable beds with fluffy duvets. Quite honesty you can’t get a better view of the migration and with only nine tents at each private campsite, the authenticity combined with the exclusivity out in the African bush, will create memories for a lifetime.
Perched on the lush slopes of Mahé, the Four Seasons Resort overlooks one of the finest swimming beaches in all of Seychelles. The hotel’s dramatic position on a steep jungle hillside and glamorous castaway-chic feeling doesn’t disappoint with 67 villas resembling private residences. Many villas spill dramatically down a forested hill offering spectacular views of the beach and turquoise sea below, others are set high up on the hillside and for the beach seeker, some along the coastline. All guarantee the utmost privacy, which means you’ll be forgiven if you find yourself imagining you are blissfully alone.
Sanctuary Baines’ Camp is an intimate safari camp built on raised platforms high above the Boro River in a private concession that borders Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve. With only five suites in total, this really is a romantic oasis. Each suite has a four-poster sky bed with a mosquito net that can be wheeled out onto the private wooden deck for a night under the African stars. In the communal areas there’s a swimming pool and the lounge opens to the big skies of the delta.
Activities on offer include game drives, seasonal mokoro trips and motorised boating during the Okavango flood season. A highlight is the exclusive ‘Living with Elephants’ that allows you to explore the Delta on foot in the company of their three orphaned elephants. This area is world-renowned for its game with about 122 species of mammal and over 400 species of birds to look out for.
Also known as Lemur Island, Nosy Komba is situated in Madagascar’s Nosy Be archipelago. The 4-star Tsara Komba Luxury Ecolodge has a rare and authentic charm to it, in perfect keeping with nature and the area’s outstanding biodiversity. Here you have the sound of waves lapping around this former volcano, now covered by abundant forest and bordered by a sapphire blue sea and golden beaches. The eight lodges blend effortlessly into the Private Nature Reserve, guaranteeing an intimate setting and successfully combining a stylish and exclusive atmosphere with excellent cuisine, customised service and an array of excursions from scuba diving, snorkeling, walks and lemur spotting.
The island is quiet and isolated, a naturalist’s promised land that delights from arrival. In fact there are no cars on Lemur Island and once arrived all travel is done on foot, making for a real getaway with the unique combination of wide open spaces, the intensity of nature, romance, relaxation and a welcome change of scenery. This is a place of eco luxury, where the dedication to the environment and local community encourages harmony, adding a feel good aspect to this piece of paradise.
It’s hard to top Gili Lankanfushi for romance. Here you find a high level of privacy, gorgeous wooden bungalows that are all overwater with direct access to the turquoise Indian Ocean, a relaxed atmosphere and indulgent service, not to mention exceptional cuisine. Actually, each couple is taken care of by their own personal butler and some of the bungalows are so private they can only be reached by boat, not jetty, giving couples as much alone time as they desire.
The Underground Wine Cellar and Chocolate Cave has a private dining table and guests can make a reservation for special occasion dinners and tastings with the sommelier there or on their deck. Otherwise take to the dining room for a delicious meal, walk and cycle the inter-leading wooden walkways, swim, snorkel, ski, kayak, sail, linger on the beach and even enjoy a movie in their Jungle Cinema. It’s easy to see why they refer to themselves as ‘a sanctuary hidden from the world’, although they don’t have to be. You too can live the Gili Lankanfushi life.
If you gift yourself one thing in life, let it be a trip to Africa, and no better time to do that, than on your honeymoon.
For more information on Eye See Africa’s honeymoon options, please click here.
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