I Dreamed of Africa is one of the most famous books about one woman’s lifelong love affair with this mesmerising continent. Africa gets under your skin and into your soul like no other. It is a spellbinding place to celebrate love affairs of all sorts – your babymoon, honeymoon or even your diamond anniversary.
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.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it seems only right to bring you Africa’s most romantic escapes. But don’t expect just the usual ‘candlelit dinners’ and ‘petal-strewn bathtubs’: our experts have ditched the clichés and sought out exceptional experiences and secluded escapes - this is romance with an African twist.
There are few destinations as romantic as Africa. Vast blue skies curve down to golden grasslands that roll to the horizon, framed by distant mountains marching away in shades of navy and purple. Africa awakens your senses: the scent of wild sage, the cry of a fish eagle, and goosebump-inducing leopard sightings. The days are deliciously hot and the nights comfortably cool. African hospitality is warm and sincere, and when it comes to fine dining or lavish luxury, a leading safari lodge is hard to beat.
Africa has played a pivotal role in two of the world’s most enduring and endearing modern romances. When screen goddess Elizabeth Taylor and her great love Richard Burton decided that they couldn’t live without each other following their first divorce, they married for a second time at Kasane in Chobe National Park in Botswana, Liz posing with her flawless 70 carat pear-shaped diamond engagement ring and an adorable cheetah.
South Africa’s 1996 Constitution specifically protects full and equal rights for LGBT people. In 2006, the rainbow nation legalized same-sex marriages - the first country in Africa and the fifth in the world to do so.
Four o’clock in the afternoon in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and a drum is tapping out a heartbeat. But this is no call to war: the drum’s beat is soon replaced by the sound of clinking china. It’s time for high tea.
Special occasion holidays – honeymoons, family vacations, anniversaries and important milestones – deserve an unforgettable setting. They also need to be as foolproof as possible: you may be travelling with several generations of your family, which means different individuals with different interests. The challenge is to tailor-make your itinerary to balance everyone's appetite for relaxation and action. You need exceptional service throughout your stay, a rich variety of activities, and a daily routine that is as flexible as possible.
There is something thrilling about staying in a tent on safari. Instead of being shut away behind brick and glass, enjoy the glow of lantern light on canvas walls and drift off to sleep to the sounds of the African night. And if your idea of staying in a tent means having to rough it; you're in for a wonderful surprise: Africa's top tented camps offer a softer kind of adventure with all the comfort and the trimmings you'd expect from a luxury safari lodge.