Africa is quickly becoming one of the most popular honeymoon locations, offering fantastic safaris, a huge range of luxury hotels with great food and wine, all with virtually no jet lag.
If it is your first time in Africa, a great place to start in Cape Town to visit the city, the Cape and the well known winelands before flying on to a safari destination.
Choosing where in Africa to go for a safari honeymoon may seem a challenge with so many different countries to choose from, each with a unique set of cultures and experiences. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages and it is simply a matter of choosing the one to suit your needs.
There is such a spectrum of places to discover- the only limit to your honeymoon is the time you have away!
Whether you want to take a quiet wine tour and dine in style, relax on the beach all day, visit the Cape penguins or climb Table Mountain, most couples coming to South Africa spend a few days in Cape Town when they arrive.
South Africa is an easy option for safaris, with the huge Kruger National Park easily accessible from Johannesburg, the malaria-free Madakwe region and riding safaris in places like Ant’s Nest.
Safaris in this area tend to be all about seeing the Big 5. The general culture is that hospitality comes first, wildlife second, and there are lots of private concessions (fenced off privately owned sections of the main parks) in addition to the main parks.
Botswana is one of the most popular places for safari in Africa, boasting more animal diversity than any other country. Being blessed by economic and political stability, Botswana has managed to remain relatively untouched, allowing impressive wildlife and wilderness areas to remain beautiful.
It is very well suited for both first time African visitors and specialists looking for a secluded get away. Botswana’s prized safari destinations are the Okavango Delta and Moremi, the somewhat overcrowded Chobe National Park and Savuti, the remote Linyanti/Chobe river system, as well as the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans.
However Botswana comes at a price which many feel is hard to justify, with some luxury camps charging $1000 per night. It is a favourite with American visitors.
Zimbabwe offers a similar experience to Botswana but at much lower prices, so much so that several of the lodges offer day trips into Botswana allowing you to see the diverse wildlife without paying the high overnight rates.
Water is pumped into Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, guaranteeing excellent game viewing, particularly elephants, during the dry season from June to October.
Zimbabwe safaris are known for their exceptional Guides, high levels of service and value for money. There is a very low crime rate and friendly people.
Most safari trips to Zimbabwe start and finish in Victoria Falls, giving you the chance for some adrenalin-fuelled activities and stunning views of the waterfalls.
Zambia holds some of the largest water sources in Africa, as well as dramatic open savannah plains, giving you the opportunity to discover every type of habitat in one country.
Zambia is considered the best place for walking safaris, with lots of wild bush, and a favourite destination for those who regularly go on safari.
Zambia borders Victoria Falls, however during low water (July to November) you don’t get a good view of the waterfalls from this side and it is worth paying the visa fee (approximately $50 each way) to see the falls from the Zimbabwe side.
It is worth noting that you currently need a Yellow Fever vaccination to go through South Africa after visiting Zambia, even if you are just in transit.
Kenya is the most popular choice in Africa for anyone planning to combine a week on safari with a week on a beach. It is a great choice for honeymoons, with a huge choice of lodges, easy transport and diverse game viewing.
It is not the ideal choice for hippo fans; the only thing it is missing is any river frontage. It can be very wet in April and May.
The capital city, Nairobi, is abundant with cultural experiences and is not to be missed.
Mozambique offers 2,500 km of stunning coastline and is home to some of the best subtropical islands and beaches in South-eastern Africa.
Because of the crystal clear waters and beautiful coral reefs, Mozambique is an excellent destination for snorkelling and diving, and has some of the best sandy beaches in the world. The landscape is completed by rainforests and woodland, with the capital city of Maputo alive with bustling colourful markets, an exciting culture and nightlife.
It is not a good safari destination; there are a couple of Parks, each with just one or two lodges, and game viewing is very limited.
Namibia offers desolate open spaces, spectacular mountains and deserts and some amazing sand dunes – the highest in the world.
It holds the world’s highest concentration of cheetah, but other wildlife in this harsh habitat is more limited.
It is not yet well established as a tourist destination so a mobile safari, where the camp is set up and taken down every few nights, is the best option to avoid very long drives.
Tanzania is an ideal safari destination for first timers and seasoned African aficionados alike. The scenery is awe-inspiring and varied, the game is prolific, and it is very much what people imagine when they think of Africa.
Tanzania is most popular from November-March, when countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe are too wet and lush for good game viewing, with a smaller surge June-September when the migration is crossing the Serengeti.
Western Tanzania is a good place for seeing chimpanzees.
It is a great choice for a safari / beach honeymoon, with easy access to the beaches of Zanzibar.
With beautiful lakes, forests and mountains, Uganda is best known for the many gorillas that can be found here and is the best choice for gorilla safaris.
It cannot compete with other countries for the Big 5, however there are a small number of lodges specialising in game viewing.
Rwanda is most known for its chequered past but is now considered to be a safe and beautiful place to travel through with lush forests, numerous volcanic mountains and a temperate year round climate.
It is most popular for gorilla safaris.
Honeymoons in Malawi tend to be centered around the stunning Lake Malawi, which stretches 600km along the eastern border and has a great choice of beach retreats and romantic hide-aways along its shores.
The lake offers plenty of opportunities for water based activities, and there are a few safari options in the area, although this doesn’t tend to be a big focus for their tourism.
Malawi is more densely populated than other African countries; people are warm, friendly and adhere to a fairly strict dress code.
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