10 Must-See Africa Honeymoon Destinations

10 Must-See Africa Honeymoon Destinations

One holiday you simply have to get right is your honeymoon but in Africa the huge range of choices can be daunting. Do you go on safari or to the beach? When is the rainy season? Take away the unknown with our advice on when to go and what to do.

Tanzania

#1: Tanzania Honeymoon Safari

The Serengeti provides the stage for Tanzania’s famous Great Wildebeest Migration but this is also a country of big cats, massive  elephant herds and thriving chimpanzee-filled rainforests. And with Zanzibar and its getaway Indian Ocean islands like Pemba and Mnemba within easy reach, it’s the perfect ‘bush-and-beach’ destination. Game viewing is generally excellent during the June to October dry season but you’ll need to travel to the Serengeti between November and August to see the Migration. Zanzibar and its nearby islands get their best weather between August and October.

Mnemba Island off the coast of Zanzibar is a proverbial paradise. Mnemba Island off the coast of Zanzibar is a proverbial paradise.

Once on safari you can look forward to expertly guided game drives and there’s usually an opportunity to go hot-air ballooning. If you stay in private reserves or conservancies, you can  walking safaris, night drives, off-roading and even mountain biking to the list. Our favourite honeymoon safari accommodation includes exclusive Singita Sabora Tented Camp in the Serengeti and Jabali Ridge in the wild Ruaha National Park – both small, personal lodges that are great for big game viewing. Mnemba Island Lodge delivers the quintessential Indian Ocean experience - coral reefs, sunset sailing and beach dining - while for something a little off the beaten path, try Greystoke Mahale, revelling in its remote lakeside setting and home to Tanzania’s best chimpanzee sightings.

Travel back to a romantic, bygone era of safari at Singita Sabora. Travel back to a romantic, bygone era of safari at Singita Sabora.
Tanzania's best-kept secret, Ruaha delivers rewarding wildlife experiences. Tanzania's best-kept secret, Ruaha delivers rewarding wildlife experiences.
Namibia

#2: Namibia Honeymoon Experience

This friendly and easy-travelling country has excellent wildlife viewing in the Etosha National Park but its best honeymoon destination has to be the Namib Desert. A destination best visited in the dry season between June and October, the Namib is a mesmerising land of silent, primal beauty and night skies spilling over with stars. A visit to the famous Sossusvlei dunes – towering hundreds of feet above you - is a must-do activity: you can walk up a dune to greet the rising sun one or take a balloon flight for a birds-eye view. You’ll also explore the desert with expert local guides, on the lookout for unique wildlife in a surprisingly rich and diverse environment.

A romantic dinner overlooking the shifting sands and rocky outcrops of the world's oldest desert, the Namib. A romantic dinner overlooking the shifting sands and rocky outcrops of the world's oldest desert, the Namib.

Our recommended honeymoon accommodation includes intimate and contemporary Sossusvlei Lodge with its dining tables set a stone’s throw from a floodlit waterhole – ask for a suite with private plunge pool. Another one of our favourites is charming Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, complete with panoramic views at almost every turn, not least thanks to the fact that the canvas walls of your suite roll up to immerse you in the landscape.

Climb into the basket of a hot-air balloon and enjoy a bird's eye view of the Namib Desert. Climb into the basket of a hot-air balloon and enjoy a bird's eye view of the Namib Desert.
Etosha National Park is one of the easiest and safest big game destinations in Southern Africa. Etosha National Park is one of the easiest and safest big game destinations in Southern Africa.
Seychelles

#3: Seychelles Beach Holiday Experience

Idyllic beaches, clear warm water and a massage for two – that’ll be the Seychelles. A scattering of islands in the Indian Ocean – some large, some not much bigger than a city block – the Seychelles has a well-deserved reputation for romance and enjoys equatorial weather: warm and sunny year-round with a chance of rain at any time. The hottest months are December to April while the wettest are January and February; if you plan to scuba dive then April/May and October/November have the best underwater visibility.

 

What did you enjoy most?After our Kenya safari, it was great to be a little more active but not to exhaust ourselves right at the end of our holiday. We used many of the resort’s facilities to exercise and to explore the beach and ocean. Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding were our favourites! A treat was also a zipline tour through a forest with beautiful granite outcrops - lots of fun. - Carlien

The Seychelles offers superb service, easy logistics and gorgeous secluded coves. The Seychelles offers superb service, easy logistics and gorgeous secluded coves.

Activities to look forward to include just about every water sport you can think of but there is hiking and mountain biking too. As for where to stay, is there a more iconic place than privately owned North Island? This scrap of jungle-clad granite is the favoured honeymoon destination for royalty and rock stars, guaranteeing a stay of unashamed but gentle indulgence at North Island Lodge - the only accommodation on the island. Your palatial villa comes with its own pool and a lounge that can be converted into a private cinema; chat to the chef about your favourite dishes and you can enjoy them at the restaurant or in your villa, served by candlelight.

The private North Island is superb for scuba diving and snorkelling. The private North Island is superb for scuba diving and snorkelling.
North Island Lodge is a honeymoon destination genuinely fit for royalty! North Island Lodge is a honeymoon destination genuinely fit for royalty!
Zambia

#4: Zambia (Experience the Victoria Falls)

With the mile-wide Zambezi River tumbling into the abyss, no wonder the Zambian name for Victoria Falls translates as ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. It is a destination as famous for its white-knuckle adventures like river rafting and bungee jumping as it is for elephant interactions, sunset river cruises and helicopter flips.

A romantic helicopter flight reveals the sheer magnitude of the world's biggest waterfall. A romantic helicopter flight reveals the sheer magnitude of the world's biggest waterfall.

The best time to visit depends on your expectations: Victoria Falls is in full flow in March and April but this is the peak rainy season and not a great time for a safari (plus many of the best camps are closed during this time). And in the late safari season – September and October – there can be very little water going over Victoria Falls on the Zambian side, often none in November. The June to August period is a good compromise: dry weather, plenty of water at Victoria Falls and good game viewing on safari.

Tongabezi Lodge is our honeymoon favourite. Set a comfortable distance from the Falls, it’s an award-winning lodge with a strong commitment to the local community. As a guest, you decide on your own itinerary and Tongabezi will make it happen. Try a picnic lunch on Livingstone Island, canapés and champagne just metres away from the edge of Victoria Falls itself.

Tongabezi Lodge delivers a tranquil mix of romance and exclusivity. Tongabezi Lodge delivers a tranquil mix of romance and exclusivity.
Botswana

#5: Memorable Botswana Honeymoon Safari

Go on safari to Botswana and see what Africa’s wildlife was like in the days of the first European explorers: elephants in their tens of thousands, big cats, wild dogs and rivers full of crocodiles and hippopotamus. And between May and October it barely rains at all, giving you half a year to pick a date: June and July are the coldest; September and October the hottest.

The best way to explore the spell-binding Okavango Delta is on a mokoro safari. The best way to explore the spell-binding Okavango Delta is on a mokoro safari.

Game drives are the main focus when on safari in Botswana: you’ll head out in the early morning and late afternoons to look for big game, returning with a spotlight to catch nocturnal animals on the prowl. Many lodges are set on rivers or in the wetland wilderness of the Okavango Delta, enabling you to explore by motorboat and mokoro – a traditional canoe. Baines Camp lies on the edge of the Okavango Delta and is a great place to start; you can also interact with habituated elephants and wheel your bed outside to sleep on a platform under the Milky Way. Set in rich predator-country and accessible only by air, Jao Camp makes you deeper into the Delta, offering year-round water activities and Botswana’s best safari spa.

The Delta's remote, fly-in lodges are natural choices for honeymooners seeking exclusivity. The Delta's remote, fly-in lodges are natural choices for honeymooners seeking exclusivity.
The remote Savuti area of Chobe National Park has a fantastic reputation among safari aficionados. The remote Savuti area of Chobe National Park has a fantastic reputation among safari aficionados.
Mozambique

#6: Mozambique for a Dreamy Beach Holiday

Looking for that out-of-the-way beach retreat with plenty of romantic comfort and great weather? Try the Quirimbas Archipelago. A string of coral islands set along Mozambique’s tropical Indian Ocean coast, the Quirimbas doesn’t get much colder than 24°C / 75°F at any time – day or night - and the water temperature starts at that and goes up to 30°C / 86°F. Go between May and September when there is barely any rain and avoid the peak rainy months of January and February.

 

What about the island made it a uniquely African experience? We visited nearby Ibo Island for a cultural experience - its history is fascinating – and explored Quilalea. We walked through the forest to enjoy a picnic on the other side of the island, and dined with our feet in the sand and the sound of the lapping waves just a few steps away. - Emma Hill

Seclusion, tranquility and rich marine life in crystal-clear water are standard in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Seclusion, tranquility and rich marine life in crystal-clear water are standard in the Quirimbas Archipelago.

With much of the archipelago protected as a marine park, the Quirimbas is a natural choice for scuba divers and water sport lovers but you don’t need to get your feet wet to enjoy the Quirimbas. This is also a destination of beachside massages and sunset cruises in a traditional sailing dhow. Accommodation is lightly sprinkled across the islands, elegant, intimate lodges that tend to be the only one on the island; we especially like Azura@Quilalea, set on a private island with sumptuous villas and personalised cuisine, served in a different location each night.

A stunning private island in Mozambique's Quirimbas Archipelago, pure magic. A stunning private island in Mozambique's Quirimbas Archipelago, pure magic.
South Africa

#7: South Africa Honeymoon Experience

Vineyards, deserts and savannahs - the Rainbow Nation offers such a diverse set of destinations it’s hard to remember you’re in the same country. Safari destinations like the Kruger are best visited during the June to October dry season but honeymooners thinking about Cape Town and the Winelands should know that this period is the Cape’s rainy season. And the reverse is true: the Cape is driest between November and April when the Kruger is at its wettest.

The picturesque valleys of the Cape Winelands are home to quaint towns, award-winning restaurants and world-class wines. The picturesque valleys of the Cape Winelands are home to quaint towns, award-winning restaurants and world-class wines.

Game drives are the main safari activity; stay at a private reserve and add guided walks and spot-lit night drives to the mix. Try Lion Sands Narina Lodge, set in a private concession within the Kruger for exclusive Big 5 sightings, or Jaci’s Tree House, a made-for-romance lodge in the malaria-free Madikwe Private Game Reserve. We also love The Motse, set in a private and breathtakingly beautiful Kalahari landscape full of wildlife.

The Kruger National Park boasts some of the finest safari accommodation in Africa. The Kruger National Park boasts some of the finest safari accommodation in Africa.

In the Cape, the attractions of the Winelands are a little more sedentary and include fine food, wine, cheese and chocolate tasting. We recommend the chateau-type ambience of La Residence in Franschhoek, lying at the heart of the Cape Winelands and complete with private butler, chef and chauffeur service.

Zimbabwe

#8: Zimbabwe Honeymoon Safari

Victoria Falls may be the obvious choice for a honeymoon in Zimbabwe but this is big game country and home to safari destinations that are just as romantic but with a twist of adventure. Top of our list is the world’s largest manmade lake - Lake Kariba, where a handful of lodges lie on wild lakeside shores offering land and water-based game viewing as well as walking safaris and local community interactions. Go during the May to October dry season to avoid heavy rains and mosquitoes; the weather is coolest and driest from June to the end of August. September and October are very hot and dry months but game viewing at this time is spectacular.

The luxurious Bumi Hills offers breath-taking views over Lake Kariba. The luxurious Bumi Hills offers breath-taking views over Lake Kariba.

It’s an unspoilt landscape of savannah, open water and distant mountains with sunsets reputed to be among the best in Africa. You can sit on your private balcony and watch one from Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, set next to Matusadona National Park and famous for its flexible schedule, allowing you to plan your day around what you feel like doing and when. There are game drives and boat cruises to choose from but also spa treatments and massages.

The see-it-to-believe-it sunsets are true showstoppers at Lake Kariba. The see-it-to-believe-it sunsets are true showstoppers at Lake Kariba.
The abundance of water in Mana Pools attracts an abundance of wildlife. The abundance of water in Mana Pools attracts an abundance of wildlife.
Kenya

#9: Amazing Kenya Honeymoon Safari Destination

Kenya’s Masai Mara, the destination that inspired Hollywood’s ‘Out of Africa’ is indeed a land of sunlit savannahs, thundering herds and the red-cloaked Maasai people. A generally benign climate and amazing year-round game viewing means it’s a place you can visit at most times of the year though we’d recommend avoiding the heavy rains of April and May.

Re-enact your own romantic scene from Out of Africa at the sensational Angama Mara. Re-enact your own romantic scene from Out of Africa at the sensational Angama Mara.

But choosing the right time to go is important if you want to see the great wildebeest migration: the herds cross into the Masai Mara from the neighbouring Serengeti from late July and stay there until November. Morning and afternoon game drives are the best way to see wildlife but many lodges offer hot-air balloon safaris too – complete with champagne breakfast – as well as chances to visit a local Maasai community.

Why not carry through the ‘Out of Africa’ motif to its logical conclusion? Angama Mara is an elegant tented camp built where the film was made and you can even have a picnic for two in the very spot that every film buff will recognise. It is also well located for the wildebeest migration as it enters its most dramatic chapter: the infamous river crossings.

The Masai Mara offers a range of romantic accommodation nestled in this ancient land. The Masai Mara offers a range of romantic accommodation nestled in this ancient land.
Mauritius

#10: Romantic Mauritius Beach Holiday

Mauritius is a tropical playground set in the Indian Ocean, ringed by coral reefs, white sand beaches and clear calm water. World-class holiday resorts are scattered along the island's coastline offering enormous swimming pools, endless water sports and shaded sun loungers a few steps from the sea. The service at these resorts is superb, the facilities excellent and all tastes are catered for: that’s the beauty of a Mauritius holiday - it’s easy and stress-free with everything conveniently close at hand.

 

When did you go? Is there ever a best time? We went in April-May. This was a great time to be in Mauritius because it is just after the rainy season but still warm. Generally, the southern hemisphere winter season (about June to September) is best but avoid the east coast during July and August as it can be windy. I loved the diving, even though we were on the cusp of the season in terms of visibility. Activities like catamaran cruises with gorgeous sunsets and relaxing spa treatments were really some of my favourite moments in Mauritius. - Ashley Gerrand