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Top 5 Places in Africa to Pop the Question

The emotions your loved one feels when you ask them such a defining and important question – ‘Will you marry me?’ – can be overwhelming to the point of tears, laughter and weak knees, exactly the sort of emotions that are worthy of an utterly romantic setting.

Africa has always supported a strong romantic tradition, from chilled cocktails served beside a river bank bathed in the fierce colours of sunset, to crystal and silverware laid out for a private dinner under the stars, to a four-poster bed draped in mosquito netting and dressed in the purest luxury bed linen. Romantic Africa is the serenade of a nightjar singing softly in the darkness and the balance of thrills and tranquility you experience on safari.

We think this continent is simply made for unforgettable marriage proposals! Here are our top 5 places in Africa to pop the question:

Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Medjumbe Private Island
A romantic island escape in the Quirimbas: Medjumbe Private Island

1. Barefoot Luxury on a Private Island

The tiny islands and atolls that dot Africa’s coastline like so many idylic little Edens are tailor-made for the dreamiest, most romantic proposals. Africa’s private islands are found in the warm waters of the coast of the spice island of  Zanzibar and the exotic islands of Seychelles, in the middle of remote Lake Malawi, and clustered in pristine archipelagos off Mozambique’s north coast.

A private island vacation is probably one of the best places to pop the question – you could be horseback riding along a deserted beach, dining on fresh seafood as the sun spills over the ocean or clinking champagne glasses while the warm ocean laps your toes. You’ll fall in love all over again!

Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Mnemba Private Island
Barefoot luxury in paradise: Mnemba Private Island
Vamizi Island Lodge
An active holiday: Vamizi Island Lodge
Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - North Island
Understated elegance: North Island Lodge

Where to Stay:

  • For true barefoot luxury try Mnemba Island Lodge, a tiny island off the clove-and-cinnamon-scented Zanzibari coast.
  • For bespoke service in an unparalleled location, nothing comes close to North Island in the Seychelles. Serving as the honeymoon destination for British royals Kate & William, the island is incredibly private.
  • For a holiday that's both relaxed and active, visit Vamizi Island Lodge, a luxurious beachy retreat on private Vamizi Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago.
  • For true Robinson-Crusoe chic, try Desroches Island Resort situated on a private Seychelles Island, offering incredible diving and plenty to do.

 

2. On Top of a Natural Wonder

One of the World’s 7 Natural Wonders, Table Mountain is the beautiful backdrop of Africa's gourmet capital, the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. The views from the top are spectacular - a panorama that takes in the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Winelands, the dramatic folds of the Twelve Apostles and the bustling city bowl... it is a view overlooking the tip of Africa.

For an truly romantic proposal, head up the revolving Cable Car with a gourmet picnic basket and a bottle or two of the Cape’s best sparkling wines... we predict tears of joy as you toast 'making it official'!

Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - On top of Table Mountain
Pop the question at the top of a Natural Wonder: Table Mountain
Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Kensington Place
Stylish slopeside accommodation: Kensington Place
Belmond Mount Nelson
Grande dame of Cape Town: Belmond Mount Nelson

Where to Stay:

  • For a romantic boutique hotel experience in the heart of the city bowl we recommend: Kensington Place – a sophisticated and tranquil hideaway situated in a quiet and exclusive suburb, or the Cape Cadogan - a charming, service-oriented stay close to bustling Kloof Street, or the Belmond Mount Nelson - the grande old dame of Cape Town, perfect for a luxury family vacation.
  • For seaside luxury we recommend: Sea Five - a glamorous beach getaway a few 100 meters from Camps Bay beach, and O on Kloof - situated in the exclusive Bantry Bay suburb and named as one of Tatler’s Top 101 Hotels in the World.
  • And while this isn't Cape Town, but it is still a natural wonder, we recommend Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, overlooking the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

 

3. Overlooking the Smoke that Thunders

Much like witnessing the sheer potency of a roaring lion at twilight, visiting Victoria Falls is a pinnacle experience on a Southern Africa safari. It’s a destination with so much history and old-world glamour surrounding truly majestic natural beauty,  whether you experience it from a riverside terrace sipping a gin & tonic, or from the heights of a spray-strewn microlight flight. It is gift-wrapped luxury and adrenalin-fueled adventure in one spectacular package.

Suffice to say, it’s a great place to pop the question, whether you choose a private boat cruise on the Zambezi River, or overlook the thundering falls in the midst of a flurry of rainbows. Victoria Falls is the perfect conclusion to a romantic safari in Botswana or South Africa, and a suitably dramatic setting for a proposal.

Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Overlooking Victoria Falls
Overlooking a majestic display of nature: romance at Victoria Falls
Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Sindabezi Island Camp
Declare your intentions on the Zambezi River: Sindabezi Island Camp
Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - romance at the Falls
A scene set for romance: a secret Victoria Falls location

Where to Stay:

  • For an iconic Zimbabwean experience, enjoy a few nights at the elegant Victoria Falls Hotel, situated just a few minutes from the Falls itself.
  • For high levels of exceptional service, we recommend Royal Chundu, a family-owned and run safari lodge situated on a private stretch of riverbank on the Zambian side of the river. The lodge is also the first Relais & Chateaux property in Zambia.
  • For a true taste of the wilderness, try Sindabezi Island Camp, a rustic island retreat located on a private island on the Zambezi River upstream from the Falls.

 

4. Flying Above the Savannah in a Hot Air Balloon

Imagine looking down at East Africa’s vast open plains as you drift silently over herds of delicate gazelle and elegant giraffe… a hot air balloon safari is on many a traveller's bucket list with good reason, and it makes a perfect setting for a life-changing proposal.

One of the best places to get airborne is over the Serengeti and Masai Mara eco-system – a vast network of grasslands, migratory paths and wild rivers – a place largely untouched by man and time. For a thrilling proposal get down on one knee in a hot air balloon floating above the timeless savannah.

Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Hot air ballooning over the Serengeti
Airborne above the Serengeti and Masai Mara eco-system: hot air balloon safari
Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Serengeti Under Canvas
Mobile camping at its best: Serengeti Under Canvas
Bateleur Camp
Luxury in the Mara: Bateleur Camp

Where to Stay:

 

5. Into the Wilds and Beyond

For many travellers a vacation is all about leaving the daily grind far behind to explore new landscapes and savour new flavours. A truly off-the-beaten track setting is quite unforgettable for a marriage proposal – whether it is in the remote Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park in Zambia, deep in the heart of the Kalahari Desert or exploring the papyrus-lined waterways of the Okavango Delta.

A wilderness escape is the perfect antidote to our endless schedules and stressful city lifestyles. In addition to buckets of tranquility, the best thing about Africa’s remote spaces is the lavish comforts waiting for you there. From walking safaris to game drives, river boating and canoeing, exploring a wild landscape with the one you love sets a very romantic scene for the ultimate proposal.

Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Ngala Tented Camp
Africa's wild places offer tranquility and comfort in equal measure: Ngala Tented Camp in the Timbavati
Sasaab Camp
Morrocan-style chic: Sasaab Camp
Top 5 Places to Pop the Question - Zarafa Camp
In the Linyanti wilderness: Zarafa Camp

Where to Stay:

  • For the wilderness enthusiasts keen on a luxury, try Zarafa Camp in the Linyanti. This old-world safari camp has on hand Swarovski binoculars, a Nikon telescope and a Canon 5d SLR camera in every room.
  • For those wanting to get away from it all, Shumba Bush Camp in the remote Kafue National Park in Zambia offers a truly wild location with rare wildlife and superb birdlife.
  • For an action-packed romance, try Motse Lodge on the edge of the Kalahari. From bush walks to horseback safaris, discover the red sands of the desert between relaxation in the Sanctuary Spa.
  • For a heavenly setting, Ngala Tented Camp in the heart of the Timbavati Game Reserve is our choice: a classic tented camp with gorgeous river views and impeccable style.
  • For an experience of a lifetime, try Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, situated in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and superbly positioned for gorilla trekking.
  • For an exclusive wilderness experience in one of Tanzania's most remote parks, visit Chada Katavi, an intimate camp with only 6 tents.
  • Want to propose in Kenya? We recommend Saruni Wild in the Mara - perfect for hot-air ballooning; The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille with sensational views from its position on the Laikipia Plateau; Mahali Mzuri, one of Richard Branson's eco-lodges, and Sasaab Camp, a pristinely beautiful camp in the Samburu with views of Mount Kenya.
  • For a truly off-the-beaten-track proposal, we recommend Serra Cafema, a wilderness camp set deep in the heart of Namiba's Kaokoveld, and Little Kulala Lodge near Sossusvlei - home to the biggest sand dunes in the world.

 

Popping the question ought to be one of the most romantic moments of your life, so it's deiniftely worth getting an African Safari Expert on board to help you plan the details. And Africa will keep on thrilling you for years to come! It is the perfect destination to celebrate a wedding or share a special anniversary together. So, begin your love affair with Africa with an unforgettable proposal...

Written by Kimberley O'Sullivan. Connect with her on Google+

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