Renewing your vows could be even sweeter than saying them the first time. You’re (hopefully!) less nervous, you’re not worrying about the caterer getting the starter out on time, and you can be surrounded by the children you’re bringing up and new friends you’ve made along the way. Africa is a truly unique place to refresh your pledge to the one you love: packed with outstanding natural beauty and thrilling wildlife. Adding a bucket-list experience (or two) to your celebration is a great way to make the most of such a special safari.
Make sure that you tell your African Safari Expert that you would like to renew your vows so that your lodge or camp can be informed in good time. Since it is not a legal ceremony but rather a spiritual or romantic one, you needn’t worry about paperwork and the moment can be marked by exchanging of personal vows in front of a small group loved ones.
We’ve picked some of our favourite places in Africa to renew your vows – extra special settings to more than match your memorable recommitment to each other:
1. Jabali Ridge, Tanzania
Best For: Getting Away From It All
How about having an incredible wilderness the size of New Jersey all to yourself? Jabali Ridge is situated in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park, a remarkably beautiful conservation area known for its big concentrations of elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard – and very few other safari goers. Arguably one of the most luxurious lodges in Ruaha, the sophisticated Jabali Ridge offers sensational views from its elevated location.
2. Chobe Chilwero, Botswana
Best For: Bringing the Whole Family
With 15 family-friendly bungalows, Chobe Chilwero is ideal if you’re planning a big blowout with relatives and friends gathering together. Located near Chobe National Park, home to one of the biggest elephant populations in the world, its other claim to fame is a wonderful spa with a treatment room slung between the boughs of an old tree. There is plenty to do alongside the ceremony – a great programme for the kids in the care of trained babysitters, winding down on a romantic sunset cruise on the Chobe River and visiting Africa's adventure capital, Victoria Falls.
3. Morukuru in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Best For: A Sophisticated Family Safari
South Africa may be a long-haul destination but nowhere in Africa beats it for world-class infrastructure and seamless logistics. A couple of hours after touching down in Johannesburg, you’ll arrive in Madikwe Game Reserve – one of the country’s largest and best-stocked Big 5 areas. Take over the stylish Morukuru Family’s villas – Owner’s House, River House or Farm House – to enjoy malaria-free game watching. A private chef will prepare a feast to remember as your family settles into their luxurious home from home.
Expert tip: Sun City, Africa’s most popular holiday resort, is a stone’s throw from Madikwe if you want to balance a big game safari with high-octane family fun.
4. La Residence, South Africa
Best For: Gourmets
Perhaps you want to sneak away from it all, just the two of you. La Residence in Franschhoek is an ideal setting for a second honeymoon. Franschhoek means ‘French Corner’ and it's South Africa’s gourmet capital – home to exquisite wines, cheeses and award-winning restaurants right on your doorstep. Wake up on an exclusive wine and olive farm to be pampered by your private chef, butler and chauffeur. Foodies will love the fact that all produce is seasonal and local, while design fundis will adore the individually decorated suites, sporting original art and sculptures.
5. Sussi & Chuma, Victoria Falls
Best For: Adventurous Couples
If you want to renew your vows AND get your adrenalin pumping, head to Africa's adventure capital. Add to your luxurious accommodation a choice of tiger fishing, bungee jumping, bridge swinging, white-water rafting, micro lighting, hiking and game viewing on the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. At the end of an action-packed day, it's cocktail hour on the Zambezi River for a sunset cruise and a wonderful return to your ‘tree fort’ at Sussi & Chuma in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park where you drift off the sound of hooting owls and the faraway howling of jackals…
6. Benguerra Island Lodge, Mozambique
Best For: Absolute Beach Bliss
Tucked away in the far-flung Bazaruto Archipelago off the coast of Mozambique, Benguerra Island Lodge offers you all the sunshine, warm ocean, water sports and seafood you could ever want. Renew your vows on a sandy beach and then head off diving or snorkelling at Two Mile Reef. The African-Arabian décor reflects the area’s colourful history and provides a cosy haven to return to after a day of horse riding on the beach or lazing in your private sala.
Ready to Go?
Whether you’re bringing the whole family or keeping it just for two, a vow renewal ceremony celebrated in Africa is something to cherish. The diversity of landscapes, the splendour of the accommodation and the excellence of the service will all combine to launch you joyously into the next phase of happily ever after…